It was a long day, our first day in the desert, with some severe landscapes and four bodies of water. Within the first hour we had our first technical hitch (see earlier post) where a tap on our largest water container turned itself on, watering the road with about 17 litres of water before we remedied the situation:
Later Don and Patsy’s vehicle dropped a chain into the sand, luckily spotted by Darral and Marion and picked up by Betty and Eoin. Don spent our morning smoko break re-attaching the offending chain.
Soon after the water incident we came across the Bloods Creek remains which boasted a pub and a store in the 1890s following the telegraph construction and sustained later by the Central Australian Railway. This is what is left:
Half an hour down the road we came upon the remains of the stockyard and grounds associated with Federation Station. It was built in 1910 as part of the Bloods Creek pastoral lease and store, when things were going well and John Bailes put in a store manager. Bailes had a flourishing garden:
The next series of photos shows what you see now:
I can’t help but think there has been a process of desertification at work.
Towards midday we came to Opossum Waterhole, an oblong body of water in the desert:
If you look carefully at that photo you can see a pair of parrots:
The surrounding countryside was quite dry:
Nearby were some lovely flowers:
Then we traversed some harsh, forbidding gibber country with some salt flats, interspersed with softer country:
We had lunch at Dalhousie Springs (Irrwanye) and visited the actual springs from about 2pm. The water is naturally heated to a warm 38°C:
Marion and Darral found it most pleasant:
Then a large mammal plunged in breaking the peace and tranquillity:
The monster emerges from the deep!
In a field nearby was an abandoned planter:
I can’t imagine this country ever being farmed:
Almost an hour later we came to another body of water, this time without verdant growth:
More harsh country, and some softer:
Around 4pm we met a convoy of four coming the other way:
The road was often deeply rutted and corrugated, with myriad alternate tracks in the flat country.
Len loved to explore, seeking respite from the horrendous corrugations on the main track. But when he was off on a wander, Darral and Eoin zipped by with Eoin suggesting that this time, maybe he was heading for Adelaide instead of Birdsville.
It’s true that their more modern suspensions handled the rough stuff better than ours. Perhaps they had the scent of Purni Bore in their nostrils. We were starting to see a few sandhills with wildflowers:
At 5.13pm by the clock, perhaps the first sandhill we drove over:
At 5.15pm we were there, unprepossessing at first, with the toilets in view, but delights were to emerge around the corner:
More next week, but here are some lead-in images to associate with Purni Bore:
Note: This post is the fourth in a series on our Red Centre holiday.