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September 3, 2013

Well after leaving many dollars here in PA yesterday we head off in the AM with Lesley & Erich heading towards Birdsville via Roxby Downs & Marree. Yesterday we got gas refill for $25 at Mitre 10. Prices at two other places were $34 & $28 but they are not as bad as places WA. One was $38 another was $43!!!. Groceries $+ as well as some wine, port & spirits which was $+. Then we needed oil, filters for vehicle & water filters for van. Ah yes, forgot to mention that the fuel gauge was on empty.
Big plus was the beautiful whiting & salad bar for dinner last night at the Sport complex where this camp site is situated. Cost is $7/pn. There is a dump site as well as tap to fill van water before we leave.
Did the most important thing yesterday- voted.
To-day caught up on the washing, Bruce checked bearings as well as going to get a tyre from one van wheel & it put on one of the spare wheels on top of the car so that he could put the better one on the van before back on dirt again. As usual everything else was also checked.
Wandered over to take photos of the Flinders ranges as this afternoon they are looking the best we have seen them. No haze with the sun shining on different parts.
The view from the rest area in east Port Augusta – it is # 532, Port Augusta Motorhome Park in Camps 7, cost $7/pn & you have to sign a form to say you are self contained. There were vans here in May which had outlet hoses just running anywhere & even this time I saw one just out onto the dirt! Ours is caught in a drum then emptied into the dump point- why can’t everyone do the same thing. The sign coming in also says “no towed caravans” but no one checks!. The previous 3 times we have been here we have paid in a van park because of that sign.

This is how beautiful the country looks- coming into Port Augusta. everywhere there are fields of yellow & white daisies.
After leaving PA the first stop was at the ranges Lookout rest stop about 60k nth of PA.

Continuing on up the Stuart highway amazed at how green everything still is, but then again there have been a few good years as well.

The salt ones below are as we were going past Lake Dutton.

Sorry about this but I am into the flowers again- the roadside is lined with with orange flower/weed whatever it is.

There are klms of nothing either side of the highway & at one stage we passed over the Ghan railway line.

Towards Island Lagoon just before Pimba.
We stopped at PImba to top up with fuel as thought that it would be the cheapest for a while- however Andamooka was cheaper so we topped up out there again.
We went into Woomera & had lunch there but that was all because we had been there twice before, so we headed up towards Roxby Downs which was a vey pleasant surprise. I was expecting to find another mining town but it is so beautifully set out, clean & tidy.
Unfortunately the Info centre shut at 12md so could not ask anyone about the various different coloured desert pea flowers. If interested in having a look at some truly magnificent colours just google “Roxby Downs sturt desert peas.” I had been given a bit of an idea where they usually appeared but apparently a little too early as they tend to come out late Sept/Oct. Ah well!.
We did drive very slowly for the 32 ks out to Andamooka but no luck.
This town is a typical opal mining town with mullock heaps everywhere.

We paid our $4.40 to spend the night at #440 rest stop. Another camper there advised us to go for a drive out to Lake Torrens (15ks). The men unhooked the vans & off we went. came to a Y in the road & Lesley & I decided which one to take. Well the road deteriorated & travel got slower & slower. (This guy had told us we could take the vans out).

The white of the salt evaporation from the Lake appeared in front of us thank goodness.

Once again there were some different flowers/weeds out here so naturally had to take their photos.

Had not seen the one above before.

This flower feels like a cacti & is basically a flower coming out of sand!

There were many different animal foot prints in the salt but could not work this one out & too small for a human.
There was some crystal clear water in the creek/river which runs into the Lake. The white is salt, not foam.

Got back into town & had a look at these “dugouts”.

We got back to Andamooka to where we had the vans parked in a very large area & could not believe how close this vehicle was parked- we should have got the genny out & started it up. There was no need for them to park soooooooooo close, almost on out door step.

Back into Andamooka to the Dump site then up the Borefield Road towards the Oodnadatta track. The weather has got hot at last- wonderful to be back in shorts & Tees. Driving up here it is hard to believe that this is desert country, until we got up closer to the Oodnadatta Track where everything turned to brown.

This is all we could see of the huge Olympic Dam Mine site- just as we drove past. As usual, any roads within a mining area are good. that changes once we left the mining area.

Came up to a communications tower & could see that there was a bird sitting up there on a nest but as soon as we got close she flew off so did not get a photo.
Only saw this one group of Emus.

Bruce seemed to think that these dielse fuel tanks & station are to pump water though the pipeline that has been beside the road. Maybe?

The difference in the surrounds is evident- not a lot of green & less flowers, apart from the Paterson’s Curse which is everywhere.

As we had seen the Algerrie Creek sculptures in May on this trip & Lesley & Erich had also seen them a couple of years ago we continued into Marree for lunch, however we hit an emu just on the outskirts of town & broke its leg. Actually it changed direction & Bruce could do nothing about it & it hit the front passenger wheel. Got into the pub & asked them to send someone out with a gun to put it out of its misery.
We were surprised to find that there were no other vanners behind the pub, seeing that it is the weekend before the Birdsville Races.


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  1. Roxby Downs is very nice, but we thought that $50.00 per night at the caravan park was a bit hot, especially when they wanted an extra $5.00 for Molly, naturally, we didn’t stay there.

  2. Doug permalink

    Hi, very nice photo’s. I notice you have dust on your cameras sensor. Top centre and rop right of photo’s. I’m sure you know though and that you can get a cleaning kit from a camera store.

    Keep having fun

    • Our local Camera house is on the list as soon as we get home. Bruce has a blower thing for his hearing aids & have read the cleaning instructions but just not game to do it myself! Cheers

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