Friday, September 25, 2009

Leaving the boy and going solo

So I left Zeke with Danny in Coober Pedy to head for the Painted Desert. I left the boy in his Step-Grandaddy's capable hands for a couple of reasons, firstly, I knew Zeke wouldn't like it further North where I was heading (he was having enough trouble with the heat in Coober Pedy!), but also because I was hoping to pop into the Gammon, and maybe Flinders Ranges at some point on the way back to Adelaide. Of course, being National Parks, they tend to discourage four-legged visitors.

After filling up Big Red, having a quick lunch (hot chips and a day old corn-dog) from the diner at the servo I left one final phone message before heading out of range for who knows how long, then was on the road!

It was pretty exciting to finally be headed for Arkaringa (in the Painted Desert). I had wanted to get out there in April, but it was just a bit too far out of the way for the time I had available, that hasn't stopped me visiting there many times in my dreams since then though, and now I was finally on my way! To get to Arkaringa from Coober Pedy, you take the Oodnadatta road and turn off at Mt Barry, which means you have to pass through "Moon Plains". Moon Plains has to be one of the creepiest places I've ever been to in my life, I don't even know where to begin describing it! What's there? Well, there's nothing out there! Well, that's not entirely true, there's rocks out there, millions and millions of jagged, sharp rocks for as far as the eye can see, and the sandy ground has an odd, sort of green hue about it.


There's no hills on the horizon to get a sense of scale or distance, no trees to cast a shadow, or to give you an indication of whether it's windy or not. There's just nothing out there! At one point I pulled up figuring, what better place to get a photo of Robot Man than on Moon Plain. When I opened the door it was wrenched from my hand by a blustering gale, which was a real surprise, because with no trees, or even grasses to give an indication I had forgotten it had been windy at all! Stepping out of Big Red felt a lot like stepping out on the moon landing reckon, as soon as my feet hit the ground I sank a good inch or so. No, not because I'd had day old corn-dogs for lunch two days in a row (hey, we were sight-seeing and didn't have time to prepare anything better, okay?!), but because the odd, greenish sand had consistency much more like ash than any sand I've ever known. I snapped a couple pictures of Robot Man as quickly as I could, then rushed back to the safety of Big Red! What added to the creepiness out there, was that it was deathly silent. Although the wind was strong enough to push you back a few steps if, with no vegetation to be blown about, there was nothing to make any sound. Creeeepy! The picture doesn't really show the greenness of the ground too much, maybe it was just from the reflections of all the rocks, you can, however, see a couple rather deep footprints in there! (...and an exhausted Robot Man!)


Leaving Moon Plains behind could not have been a more comforting feeling if there was a Mr Whippy waiting at the other end, I was just so happy to be out of there and see trees again! I was even happier when I came across an overflowing bore and took the chance to fill up on water for washing up etc. From here on it's just a straight dash across Mt Barry, past Patsies Car and on to the Painted Desert, woohoo! Although, I will admit, I almost missed the turn-off!

...To Be Continued!

No comments:

Post a Comment