Sunday, November 15, 2015

Day 114 - Outback Day 5: Sunrise at Coober Pedy, Woomera, Hiking in the Flinders Ranges

If you are curious: The answer for yesterday's riddle is - a ring
Wow, today we could sleep until 5:40! When we had breakfast the sun was already almost out and colored the feather clouds over Coober Pedy in yellowish pink. But how awesome it is to sleep in a real bed after a couple of nights on in the dirt. The annoying thing about sand is that even if only you touch the ground, you get dirty and you can hardly get rid of the red dirt.


For lunch we had wraps and sandwiches with chicken, again. Since the fly plague at the salt lakes north of Port Augusta was even worse than in the desert (flies love moisture and salt), we had lunch in Woomera. Never heard of Woomera? This was a military town for decades, today it is widely deserted. The British and later the Australians tested military and civil rockets and missiles here. We prepared and ate our lunch next to Woomera’s main attraction: an exhibition of some 20 rockets and missiles, including two wreckage displays if you are interested how a rocket looks inside.

On our way to Woomera, we even witnessed an actual rocket start, going straight into the sky. Should have worn my NASA t-shirt ;-)

A 50-car freight train behind a lake (water, finally water!)

A lonely tree at the horizon


Wild emus
Unfenced cattle


On our way to the Flinders ranges we made several stops, including a "bush toilet" stop for urgent cases - who always happen when you have 16 women on board. Fortunately it wasn’t too urgent for me, I couldn’t imagine having a bush (30-50cm height) only as a hiding, with all those creepers you don’t see. Later we passed by a stopped car, the man peeing at a tree, the woman watching, Ross honking - hahaha.In Port Augusta we stocked up booze at a drive-through bottle shop - this was going to be our last evening on tour. My father bought some beers, and I shared with tour mates a pack of Apple Cider, my new favorite.
As we were climbing up the Flinders ranges with our hard-working bus (oh wow, mountains!), the red dirt was gradually replaced by trees and crop fields. In the mountains we had to turn off the air conditioner because all the energy had to go to the engine. Pretty exhausting for Nicky (our bus’ name), with windows open, felt like on a roller coaster. Unfortunately a creeper-hater received a present from the outside: a grasshopper flew through the window and landed in her cleavage.

We drove to Mt. Remarkable and hiked for about one hour into and through the so-called Alligator Gorge. No alligators here, but instead lots of huge evil ants. I liked the hike, because it was mostly in the shade, with a creek beneath (yes, beneath, because most of the time we spent jumping from one to the next dry stone to cross the creek, except for a clown that didn’t want to struggle with the stones, just failed to be Jesus and waded through the water...
Because the camp site tonight was not sandy, even my dad decided to sleep outside under the night sky in his swag. The stars were stunning, again, but we were only four persons sleeping outside that night. The rest had enough and went to the bed, offered in cabins and wrecked caravan trailers around the camp. We had rice for dinner, but even the last evening we didn’t make a fire, and the guitar that Ross brought all along remained unused. Instead, he was doing “king’s cup” inside with them girls. And we watched the funny video from one mate’s skydiving :P

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