Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Central Australia 2009 pt 2

Getting up nice and early we headed of to Lyndhurst again the country changing and looking south we could the Flinders ranges in the distance.  I would love visit and do bike trip through here one day.

On our way to Lyndhurst we stop at Mount Lyndhurst Station to check out the camel yards.  As the country was opening up in the late 1800s camels were the main stay of transport and with them came Afghans to ride them.  Everywhere you go in the outback you come across stories of amazing feats of survival.  From sign at Mount Lyndhurst Station comes the following.
In 1887 Faiz Mahoment rode 280 miles from Beltana Station to Port Augustra in just 27, to obtain urgently needed medical aid for the wife of the Beltana Manager!
Thomas Elder acknowledged this impressive feat by donating the camel to the Adelaide Zoo, and financed Faiz and his brother Tagh in their own camel transportation business.
Truly amazing stuff - to think about it modern terms that is 450ks on dirt tracks - probably about an 8-9 hour trip on a dirt bike this guy did in only 27 on a camel.

From here it was on to Lyndhurst for fuel and well needed burger.  It when down a treat.

After Lyndhurst we started heading north again this time the second of our famous tracks - the Oodnadatta track.  At little way north of Lyndhurst is the ruins of the town of Farina.  From a bustling hey day this town saw its services no longer needed in the 60s and closed down.  With resigned sadness you can still see this occurring today throughout country Australia.  Today all that remains is a sheep stations and ruins of this old town.

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The Ruins of Farina Train Station

Next stop Marree another town that was trying to stop its decline the last train on the Old Ghan left here in 1980 and town is busily reinventing itself as a tourist stop.  Time will tell how how they go but the town was busy little centre with plenty of Nomads in evidence.  It is also the start of the Birdsville Track. I would have like to explore the town a little further but burger I had consumed a Lyndhurst had made it way through digestive track and well lets say I wouldn't have wanted to clean the loos that day.  By the time I was done Tim was ready to push on so it was off again.

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Lake Eyre Flood Station just off the Oodnadatta Track.

From Marree it was up to William Creek for a quick refuel and then out to Halligan's Point at Lake.  Spectacular!  With an amazing sunset.
Lake Eyre
We camped right amongst the dunes.
The sunset was so much better than the picture suggests

Up early the next morning.  For Tim real early, he got up thinking it was about six and packed up, only to realise it was two.
The landscape on the road to Hallingan's Point was quite strange, really black rock and in places not vegetation whatsoever.
From Halligan's Point it was on our way to Alice given that it was only Wednesday we weren't picking the girls up until Friday we could afford to take our time and would do a few diversions.

We came across one the old railway bridge on the old Ghan.  It was a beautiful spot with a lot of bird life and lots of water.  If it was warmer I would have gone swimming.



From here we headed to Marla for fuel and camped just off the Stuart Hwy near the crossing of central Australia rail line.

The next day we going to head to Alice, via Finke River Gorge National Park (not be confused with Finke it is on the other side of the hwy).  Looking on the map it was a nice easy 300ks and we would be in Alice by mid afternoon.

Well we kind of got that wrong.  The track through the Finke River Gorge, well it runs through the bottom of the Finke River.  Loose deep sand that I crashed in a dozen times.  I just couldn't get up enough speed to get on top of it, with the way I was loaded.  Eventually we got to Hermannsburg just after dark and service station had closed.  Rather than stay the night we headed for Alice but after being on the road for another hour or so we realised that if we continued it was very likely to have a skippy encounter of the dangerous kind.  So we pulled off the road and camped the night, not be certain of the status of the land we camped well off the road to avoid any trouble with potential traditional owners.
Water hole on the Finke River.
So it was going to be another early rise as we needed to be at the Airport to collect ours wives just after lunch.  As we headed out I realised that the previous days ride had consumed far more fuel than I had originally planned for.  After very gentle riding and using the last of Tim's fuel I was able to limp into Alice on the smell of fumes.

After fuelling up we headed for our hotel and had our first shower in 4 days, much needed after sweating out the crashes on the previous day.

After this it was time to get the girls and spend a nice afternoon with them.

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