Friday, October 21, 2011

Trip to Mt Isa

Nullabor Roadhouse. 


The Great Australian Bight


West of Port Augusta. East of the vast wheat fields of South Australia.

Hawker is at the top of the run up the Flinders after the mindblowing beauty of the run from Port Augusta through Quorn to the beginning of the flats that lead to the Outback.

Coopers Creek was well flooded so the detour to the ferry was the way to go. It is very rough. 
We made it 20 mins before they were due to pack up and go home which was lucky for us. We - unwisely in hindsight - decided not to kit up with camping gear. Had we needed it, it's nusiance value would have been well outweighed by the nastiness of sleeping rough.  

Apparently there had been this kind of flooding two years running after the previous 18 of completely dry.  Must be all this nasty Global Warming.

I once heard Sister Veronica "The Red Nun" Brady whittering on about the "Dead Heart" that we Europeans were so terrified of. 
No one could travel out here without feeling a sense of risk and if you were to, you would be making a big mistake.  It is the first time traveling in Australia I have felt a sence of special peril.
There is plenty of history here involving people who went treking off into this forbidding landscape. Burke ands Wills, for instance, and the tree underwhich those two unfortunate gentlemen perished was a POI on the Diamantina.  They weren't offered the option of a Toyota Landcruiser, Piper Cherokee or Robinson R22.  Conversely I doubt I'd be up to to doing the trip on a bloody camel. 

Sand dune on the Birdsville track.

These are not rolling dunes but are anchored at the base by vegetation.

The Diamantina River just before Birdsville. Aptly named, it turns out the place is swarming with all sorts of birds.

The dead tusker by the waterhole in contrast with the wheeling squarking profusion of birds in the middle of, what could be a scene from the Mars Rover, provides a peppery juxtaposition of themes.

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