What a week its been since we have headed down into South Australia - another week of over 1000km (the #BadBettyBus has done over 10,000km now!) and so much to see and do.
We keep reminding ourselves not to do any more dirt roads but cant seem to risk missing something that we may never get the chance to see again so besides an impromptu visit to Woomera, Roxby Downs (only 29 years old - a purpose built town to support the families for the local Olympic Mine - what a huge operation that is!) and then out to Andamooka, we followed on with a stint along the Oonadatta Track - not the whole way but about 300km out there and enough to see Lake Eyre (South) up close and personal - even though there is no water in any of it so that will be a trip by itself one day when it fills again.
So many pictures and lots more detail of each of the places - enjoy our blog and thanks again for joining us all! xo
Lake Hart (Stuart Highway)
Seeing Lake Hart from the Stuart Highway and not expecting it was a bit of a shock - it was the first time either of us had seen a salt lake and with this one having been used for "mining" salt in the past, the crust was incredibly thick - and yep, we tasted it, it was salty!
Woomera is essentially an Airforce base and is the cleanest town we have ever seen.....
#BadBetty had a huge lot of fun on all the military equipment on display and it was amazing to see that sort of equipment, albeit very old now, up so close. There were also displays of recovered rockets (from the desert) on display along with the relevant history from those launchings.
Andamooka is a great little Opal mining town 30km out of Roxby Downs - to be honest, it has a whole lot more character than both Lightening Ridge (way too commercialised for tourists) and Coober Pedy (a pretty boring town actually).
Andamooka is at the end of the road - you go there on purpose, no one just "travels through". The caravan park was great for $3 each a night and we were able to walk around the town and fossick for opal (its called noodling) - we found a few little opal chips, some interesting looking stones, saw what Gypsum looks like straight out of the ground and checked out the restored cottages and the museum display - well worth a visit and it might be somewhere we go back too one day if we are out this way again.
We also made sure we got pics of #BadBetty with the flower of South Australia - the Stuart Desert Pea - stunning!
We didn't do all the Oonadatta track but travelled along several hundred km's of it - we keep saying "no more dirt roads" but we keep heading out there.....
In addition to Lake Eyre, we checked out Curdemurka Siding - one of the previous stations for the Old Ghan railway and camped there overnight - what a stunning sunset that was! Along the way there were also several amazing natural springs - this is all water from the Great Artesian Basin (which we also saw being tapped in outback Queensland - that is one HUGE underground body of water!) and Coward Springs - another previous Old Ghan station but instead of a spring, there is a bore that was unsuccessfully capped a long time ago with the result being a permanent local wetland - simply amazing.
On the way back towards Marree we came across a statue display - first noticed in the distance of an above ground water tank that looked like a dog and when you see the planes..... There are certainly some interesting characters in Australia's outback!
Lake Eyre is 12m below sea level and it just keeps stretching out for as far as you can see. We actually were at the southern end but one day we will be back when there is water in it - its on the bucket list!
The track that you can see is the Old Ghan line - there are reminders of it everywhere in this region - fascinating history and incredible buildings - especially considering the time it was all built and in such harsh conditions.
I was wondering when it was going to happen and it has! There was no definitive time when the thought arrived, more of a gradual build up like the tide turning, you're not sure at first but when you see the current moving you know for sure the tide has turned and so it is when you begin to feel the call of home.
They say when you have been married for a while that couples assimilate and become like each other, taking on each others traits, begin to think the same, say and like the same things, I think this is true. When I mentioned it to Lyne she immediately fired back that she felt the same.