Friday, 7 April 2017


It's hard to decribe the sense of space of Central Australia, the change in our environment yesterday from coastal to outback has been breathtaking. Going back through my photos last night I realised that sending Snapchats to family had left me with just one usable shot.

We doubled our mileage yesterday, making it through to Coober Pedy after 550km. A relaxed ride out from Port Augusta had us in Woomera by midday. Woomera was the post-War centre for the British Empire's rocket development and testing programme, and at its peak housed thousands of scientists, military personnel and their families in what must have been one of the most locations on the planet. The museum really engages the visitor and documents when Australia was at the forefront of Cold War research and development. 

Well before Pimba and Woomera, we passed huge white salt pans. Lake Hart forms part of the Woomera Defence Area and cover thousands of square kilometres, contrasting the gently contoured bushland with a whitewashed sea. I had a 'Priscilla' moment when the Walkman played a track by Baroque opera singer Simone Kermes as I rode across the horizon-to-horizon low bushland.

We were pushing the envelope when we rolled into Coober Pedy on sunset. Speed dropped for the last hour as the local fauna became more active - we saw two emus along the roadside and a few head of cattle. Luxuriously accommodated in an underground hotel, dug into the sandstone where the temperatures are constant year round. Today's target is the Eldoundra Roadhouse, turnoff for Uluru and 463 km from Coober Pedy.

The Antipodean Mariners
Coober Pedy

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