Uluru – Days 13 & 14 – The highlight of our trip so far

Where are we, where have we been and where are we going?

Day 12 – Coober Pedy to Erldunda – 495k (3,461k total)
The day fined up again but was a little cooler and windy with the maximim 19c. The 490km trip from Coober Pedy was fairly flat and uneventful with the flies making rest stops a bit uncomfortable. They were so bad even the road workers were wearing hat nets. Erldunda is claimed to be within 12 km of the official geographic centre of Australia so we are now well and truly in Central Australia. We left South Australia and entered the Northern Territory today and are heading for Uluru tomorrow.

Crossing the border

The sign speaks for itself :o)

Day 13 – Erldunda to Uluru – 299k (3,760k total)
We had a fine and sunny but cold 10c start to our 250km run into Uluru from the Sturt Highway although it warmed to 22c through the day. The trip was fairly straight and flat but some spectacular views of Mt Conner, Uluru and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) on the run in more than made up for the lack riding highlights.

Mount Connor NT often mistaken by foreign tourists for Ularu

Mount Conner NT often mistaken by foreign tourists for Uluru

A serious picture of Ularu. Love the way the clouds lead the eye to the Rock.

A serious picture of Uluru. Love the way the clouds lead the eye to the Rock.

Kata Tjuta (formerly known as the Olgas)

Kata Tjuta (formerly known as the Olgas)

We arrived at Yatala and went straight on to Uluru 20km away. Hopefully the photos will tell the story but surfice to say, even though the image is very familiar to us, Neither Ros or I had seen it “in the flesh” ,so to speak, and there is nothing like actually seeing it.  We checked into our resort (our big splurge for the whole trip) then headed off about 5.30pm to watch the sun set over Uluru and enjoy our “Sounds of Silence” dinner under the stars in view of Uluru and Kata Tjuta. (Also part of our big splurge). Definitely a highlight of the trip.

Corny but cute! :o)

Corny but cute! :o)

Enjoying our "Sounds of Silence" dinner experience

Enjoying our “Sounds of Silence” dinner experience

 

Day 14 – Uluru – 149k (3,909k total)
We spent the day visiting the various attractions in and around Uluru and Kata Tjuta in beautiful sunny weather (24c) The flies were a but bothersome at times but otherwise a wonderful and unforgetable day.

The beautiful Sturts Desert Pea. Our first sighting in the wild ever!

The beautiful Sturts Desert Pea. Our first sighting in the wild ever!

Off to Alice Springs tomorrow

Cheers Ros and Dick

Into the Northern Territory

Where are we now?

Day 10 – Glendambo to Coober Pedy – 260km (2,956 km total)
We had a leisurely start from Glendambo this morning for the relatively short 260 Km run to the opal mining town of Cooper Pedy. The day was fine again although it is definitely warming up as we head toward the centre. The temperature was 27c by about 10am although it did not get any hotter during the day. There is absolutely nothing between Glendambo and Cooper Pedy with low scrubby country (no shade) for the whole trip. There was just two opportunities to stop (Rest areas) but the lack of shade and toilets together with the millions of flies discouraged us from stopping until we reached Coober Pedy at around 12.00pm. We were able to check into our underground Hotel

Our underground Motel room

Our underground Motel room

and enjoyed our previously purchased sandwiches sitting in the shade on their veranda. We booked up a couple of tours for tomorrow, purchased some supplies at the local IGA and spent a pleasant couple of hours on the hotel veranda enjoying a few drinks with a few other fellow travellers.

Some of the underground homes in Coober Pedy SA

Some of the underground homes in Coober Pedy SA

Day 11 – Coober Pedy
We spent the day taking in the sights of Coober Pedy and surrounds. We visited several underground mines, saw the opal fields and travelled out to the spectacular Breakaway Mountains. It drizzled rain for most of the day and was quite cool with a max of about 19c

Underground at Coober Pedy

Underground at Coober Pedy

Underground again (thought I might as well do a bit of work)

Part of the spectacular Breakaways mountains near Coober Pedy

Part of the spectacular Breakaways mountains near Coober Pedy

Part of the 5,600km dingo fence which runs across three states - Reputedly the longest fence in the world

Part of the 5,600km dingo fence which runs across three states – Reputedly the longest fence in the world

 

Day 12 – Coober Pedy to Erldunda – 495km (3,461 total)
The day fined up again but was a little cooler and windy with the maximim 19c. The 490km trip from Coober Pedy was fairly flat and uneventful with the flies making rest stops a bit uncomfortable. They were so bad even the road workers were wearing nets attached to their hats. Erldunda is claimed to be within 12 km of the official geographic centre of Australia so we are now well and truly in Central Australia. We left South Australia and entered the Northern Territory today and are heading for Ularu tomorrow.

Crossing the border

Crossing the border

Cheers Ros and Dick

 

 

Port Augusta, Woomera and Glendambo

Day 8 Broken Hill to Port Augusta (423kms)

Another fine day greeted us as we set off from Broken Hill with the Temperature 16c at 9am rising to 24c during the day.  We entered South Australia not long after leaving Broken Hill. The road was undulating and fairly straight except for where we went through the Flinders Ranges and Horrocks Pass just outside Port Augusta (See Youtube clip below) which is our next overnight stopover. The country is still generally healthy and downright green in some isolated patches (probably irrigated). We followed the Trans-Continental railway line for much of the day

Olary Station SA on the Transcontinental Railway

Olary Station SA on the Transcontinental Railway

stopping for lunch at Peterborough which was apparently a major rail hub during the steam era with the railway providing most of the towns employment during this period spanning about 100 years. During this time it is said over 10,000 workers were employed by the railroad. We also met up by chance with a couple who we know through our OZSTOC forum. They had spotted our bike in the street and had stopped to give us a card about the forum only to discover we were already members and, in fact, knew each other on the forum.

500 year old Red Gum just outside Orroroo SA

500 year old Red Gum just outside Orroroo SA

The road up through Horrocks Pass and the views of the Spencer Gulf as we came down the other side were fantastic.

Spencer Gulf in sight from the top of Horrocks Pass

Spencer Gulf in sight from the top of Horrocks Pass

Ros was a little off colour this morning so our early 3pm arrival at Port Augusta and a Nanna nap once we had checked into our digs was greatly appreciated.

If you feel like coming for a short, four and a half minute, ride with us up over Horrocks Pass in the Flinders Ranges SA without getting out of your chair click on this Youtube link >>> http://youtu.be/Mk24okRqa0g

Day 9  Port Augusta, Woomerah, Glendambo SA (304kms)

We fuelled up in Port Augusta after some initial trouble with the bike (would not idle) which made for some interesting riding around town. The bike speedo clicked over to exactly 70,000 Ks while we were at the servo so maybe it was just the old girl (the bike that is) letting us know we had reached a special milestone. The problem seemed to sort itself out once we got underway. Lets see what happens tomorrow morning. It became obvious we will need to secure a new battery sooner rather than later however. The weather was again clear and a mild 18c warming up to 27c during the day. The first leg of our day took us to the rocket test site town of Woomera 173 k away from Port Augusta. The first 100 k’s was dead straight with flat low scrubby country either side. On several occasions large inland lakes came into view (complete with water).

Lake Gairdner on the Stuart Highway north of Woomera

Lake Gairdner on the Stuart Highway north of Woomera

We spent a couple of hours at Woomera inspecting the various exhibits inside and outside their museum.

One of the Woomera relics

One of the Woomera relics

On going into their visitors centre for lunch we were surprised to see a full size bowling alley with about 6 lanes inside. Obviously a remnant of the American presence during the 60’s and 70’s. We set off from Woomera after lunch for a 130k leg to our overnight stop over at the Glendambo Road House where we secured an adequate motel room for $99.

Glendambo Roadhouse in the late afternoon

Glendambo Roadhouse in the late afternoon

Where are we now?

Total distance to date 2696 Kms

Bye for now ….. Ros and Dick