Sunday, 6 July 2014

Oodnadatta Track: Part 1

Only 613 kms to go. And stony all the way. We took it slowly and had no trouble negotiating the corrugations, dust, rocks and clay. There's been no rain so the surface was dry.

The gibber plains look spectacular and so do the occasional patches of mallee and rocky outcrops.

The Ooodnadatta track runs more or less parallel to the old Ghan railway and were able to inspect the old sidings and bridges across numerous dry creek beds and marvel at the men who built the track.

Before I left home I downloaded several books to read on my tablet. One was the explorer Ludwig Leichardt's account of his trip from Sydney to what is now Darwin. The other is Ernest Giles' account of his explorations through South Australia. Both have been fascinating to read as we've travelled through this dry country. Finding water each day was a huge problem and it's easy to see why. I'm planning to read an account of Stuart's trek from Adelaide to Darwin as well because we've been following his route for several days.

Another problem the early explorers had was the huge salt lakes, like Lake Torrens and Lake Eyre, that couldn't be crossed and were difficult to go around. As we drove up the Oodnadatta Track we were able to view part of Lake Eyre (south) and Phil walked down to the edge from the viewpoint. It was quite busy at this particular spot because everyone stops to have a look. There's still a bit of water in the lake (which is below sea level).

Phil at lake's edge

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