Sunday, November 1, 2015

William Creek - Coober Pedy

Woke up early in the morning this time. Purposefully, as I had found out the day before that they offer flights over Lake Eyre and the Painted Hills. As I most likely will probably never come here again (to far out) I thought that I should just do it. Bit of drama to begin with, as I don't have the capital to pay for the flight in my Australian bank account but I have a German savings account where I could pull the needed money from. Due to bank reason (and it being Saturday) they didn't transfer the money (haven't yet either) but I managed to get bye with what was left in my wallet, what I had left in my Australian account and using a MasterCard of my other bank.
Off in to the air we went after that and the scenery is just spectacular from the air. Taking off our pilot (a guy who his working up his hours to be a pilot for the Flying Doctors Service) took us past Anna Creek Homestead, the largest cattle station in the world. Being in the air it's territory basically went from one end of the horizon to the other and apparently it takes a week on horseback to cross it. With me was a couple from Queensland, who were touring through Australia. After the homestead we angled toward the Painted Hills and had a look at their wonderful colours and the occasional stock at water holes here and there. Then towards Lake Eyre, where a many a documentary has been made. Apparently the company who owned the plane did a few flight for film crews and similar. The lake was as expected, a massive expanse of dry salt, where nothing lives at the moment. Flying toward the lake we did see a few pelicans take of from a creek bed. We flew over the lake for what felt like hours and visited a few islands out in the middle of no where. Coming back after spending a while out there we found some water in the middle of the lake, due to a storm the night before. Predictions are it is going to be gone shortly, due to the high temperature that was expected. 
After landing back in Williams Creek and saying goodbye to everyone I headed of along the William Creek Track to Cooper Pedy. This one wasn't as straight or long driving as the Oodnadatta Track, only about 160km until to Cooper. Met a few cars driving the opposite way, but surprisingly none of the massive road trains everybody was warning about. The huge ones (with five trailers) have eluded me so far. The scenery turned from the red sand dunes of Williams Creek back in to flat country once I got closer to Cooper Pedy. Weirdly, a rain shower came through the desert and I actually had to turn the windscreen wipers on. Luckily it wasn't to much, so I wouldn't get bogged in my car. Getting towards Cooper Pedy the landscape got weird. Holes and hills everywhere, some with mining equipment in it. Driving around I eventually found the town that wasn't 100% underground and booked in at the local backpacker hostel (cheapest place to stay). I got a dorm room underground in a section called the dungeons and it is wonderful. Due to it being 6,5m underground, it is nice and cool nearly all the time, perfect against temperatures in this part of the world. Went up to the bar after some dinner and used the free Wi-Fi. Met three English girls, a Dutch guy and a bloke from the US. Got talking to them and it ended up with us all driving out to the Breakaways (a geological formation about 30km out of Cooper Pedy). Got some really good looking pictures and had a fun time with people closer to my age. Had to stop shortly to refuel out of my jerry can, as the last time I had filled up was ages ago in Marree and I didn't want to end up with no fuel in the tank whilst they drove away in their Patrol. Had a brilliant time and went in to a bar for the night before heading back to bed and saying goodbye to the other five. They are heading off to Alice Springs in the morning, but as I will probably appear one day early to mum coming, I'll probably spend the day with them.

Track at GPSies.

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