Friday, 7 April 2000

day sixty-two: the road to alice day three

We left Angorichina and the Flinders Ranges, passing through Parachilna Gorge, and stopping at Copley, famous for its bakery and Quandong Pies. Once again, Arnold, the dutchman displayed his arrogance, being bloody rude when ordering coffee, and barking at me when I politely pointed out where to pick it up from the counter. Decided it would be best to keep clear of him for his own safety! Hugh was already getting pissed off by his constant questioning about things he had already told the group.

From Copley, on to Leigh Creek with its open-cut mines for coal. Suggestions were made about pushing Arnold in, and it was tempting.

Quick stop at some Ochre Pits, and Marree. We went to visit an eccentric called Talc Alf, who sculpted from Talcom rock. This guy was definitely not playing with the full pack, with his ramblings on just about everything. Whilst everyon wandered around his home, I helped change a tyre with Hugh and Kim, an Australian guy on the tour.

Then it was time to play a joke on the group. Hugh told them about the worlds first ever solar powered telephone, and that it was a free line. He said that he had a call to make to the office, then I would ring home to say Happy Birthday to my father. We pulled up to the phone, nailed to a tree in the middle of nowhere. I pretended to make the call, and Hugh had them fooled and got them to sing "Happy Birthday". Needless to say, the phone was just a handset that someone had put up for a joke.

On we went, passing the Oodnadatta Track, Curdimurka Siding, where a riotous Outback Ball is held every 2 years, and Lake Eyre South. We were fortunate to see water in this huge salt lake, the most that had been seen in there for 40 years. It would be soon be full, a sight not seen in White Australian history.

We pulled into William Creek late afternoon, the expected wall of flies had not materialised, and we had a beer in the pub before driving out of town to set up bushcamp at Anna Creek.

After dinner, sat around the campfire, everyone took it in turn to tell something about themselves, which took an age! After, Graham, Tess, Helen and I wandered away, to view the night sky away from the light in camp.