Monday, June 27, 2011

Days 3 and 4

Just a very quick one to let you all know we are still alive! As expected, yesterday was a pretty big day travelling. Clare to Glendambo was approximately 477 kms of driving, which on paper should take about 5 and a half hours. Of course, fuel, toilet and food stops all were needed, so we probably got to Glendambo at about 4pm.

On the way we stopped at a great little playground at Port Germein and had lunch in Port Augusta (which we expected to be way bigger than it actually was!) We also echoed hundred's of travellers sentiments when we said "Thank God for Spud's!" (Spud's Roadhouse, between Port Augusta and Glendambo. Only petrol for miles... and miles and miles.) Although this was a super long day in the car, it was quite exciting to see the landscape changing, becoming scrubbier and sparser and the colours of the land slowly reddening. It finally felt like we were somewhere different, on our way to our goal! 

Glendambo was an amazing stop. A population of 30, two petrol stations, a motel, pub and caravan park on the highway. That was it. No water to hook up to, just power. And no grassed sites of course, just dirt! But it had a lot of character and for Leon, the pub was the winner! It had an open fire, beautiful meals (the kids chips and nuggets looked like they were being presented on Masterchef. Although the same can't be said for the 'bowl of ice cream and topping' that was complementary with the meals - a frozen and defrosted once too many times Dixie cup with the lid removed and a blob of topping on top!) 

Trying to break up the days a bit, we planned a slow one for today. Only about 2 and a half hours driving, from Glendambo to Coober Pedy. This was the first part of the trip without mobile phone reception, which concerned me slightly. The highlight of this drive for the kids was finally seeing some road kill! Yes, apparently my kids are sick deviants who want to see dead animals. Cooper was actually in tears the day before because Leon had seen a dead roo at the side of the road and not pointed it out! So today, we hadn't been driving long when Leon spotted a kangaroo who had met an untimely end and pulled over. The kids hopped out very excitedly, leaving me in the car shaking my head in shame. I don't think they were too impressed with what they saw - Imogen definitely doesn't want to see one again and Cooper says he doesn't really mind either way but probably not! Maybe there is some hope for them after all! 

We are staying the night at the Stuart Range Caravan Park. It's got an almost stadium like set up, with the playground, undercover bbqs and toilets in the centre and then the camp sites laid out in rings around them. Because we got here nice and early today, we got a prime position in the front row! After we'd set up the van we headed into town. Very dusty, dry and dirty (to use some alliteration for the day). But very interesting, seeing all the buildings set into the underground. After some lunch (John's Pizza Bar - he's on Facebook!) we visited 'The Old Timers Mine' which was an old opal mine rediscovered in the 60's and set up as a museum now. It was very interesting, Cooper in particular loved it. 

Tomorrow we hope to cross another border and stay at Erldunda, NT. This should be our last stop before hitting Uluru! The kids are very excited about being so close. I'm pretty excited about being able to set up and spend more than one night somewhere! The caravan has been so fantastic so far but I feel like we haven't been using it much, will be great to really test it out over a 5 night stay!

Extra Notes from Leon: The showers at Coober Pedy require 20 cent coins for every 3 minutes. And you can't put in 60 cents at once and get 9 minutes! You have to put money in when in runs out again! Also, now would be a good time to stock up on any alcohol, should you be heading towards Uluru (see uluru post as to how expensive beer is!).

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