Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nothing like a nice fresh shower to perk you up!

I was at the Pink Roadhouse in Oodnadatta this morning. It's an interesting place actually, it's pegged as the driest town, in the driest state on the driest continent... yet some fools still chose to live there???!!! There's a little general store and a museum there, but life seems to revolve around the big, pink roadhouse. Oh, there's also a cinema! Imagine a dozen old church pews on the side of the road, an oversized basketball backboard with a speaker attached to the top, and that's the cinema... I didn't think to check when the next screening was...

Anyway, this roadhouse, it's very interesting, it is in possibly the blokiest location possible (last port of call before the Simpson Desert, every seriously laden 4WD has to stop here for fuel, water and to repair their tires), yet, the whole thing is PINK! Maybe it was once hot pink, but after years of sun and fading it's settled on a nice, delicate 'fairy-floss' pink. Very manly, very manly indeed! Well, I ended up hanging around there for a good few hours just watching the different folk come and go. There were the newly retired folk who wanted to try their hand at the Oodnadatta track, and were just going up as far as Marla, or just coming back from there. Then there were the real mucho blokes, big fat 4WD's loaded down with swags (cos real men like to sleep on the ground, with bugs, and snakes... apparently...), fuel cans, one guy even carrying a whole tree stump on his roof, saying that he can never find decent firewood out there! What really got my attention, was a cyclist, that's right, a dude in tight shorts peddling up the track. Definitely not something you see every day! It turns out he was on his way to a big race somewhere... I had to wonder how many other guys in tight shorts I'd have to dodge on my way out of here!


If you're a people watcher, I can't recommend the pink roadhouse enough as a place to just sit and watch the world go by (albeit somewhat out of the way).

The food wasn't bad either, I had their special vegie-burger... I'll hand it to them, the most inventive use for frozen 'Bubble & Squeek' patties I've seen yet!

After a couple of hours I thought it was time to move on, I was getting odd looks from the girl with a funny accent working the counter (turns out she was Canadian... out here...), so I grabbed a souvenir from the book exchange rack and headed off 'down the track'

I was aiming for William Creek, it was the next place along that had showers and while I was still on the safe side of a week, I though it best to have a quick scrub. When I arrived there was a convoy of about a dozen cars (with 28 guys!) that had come from Western Australia, 'straight across the middle', as one guy put it. They were on a bit of an adventure using old Len Beadle maps (he's the guy that originally mapped out all the roads in the outback), apparently the roads had been so rough in one spot that one blokes car had actually snapped in half! You never know just how much merit to give these sorts of stories, but they seemed serious, and all appeared to have their story straight, so maybe there is some poor bugger left out there somewhere waiting for a tow.

Well here's a little example of some of the dust I collected after an afternoon on the track:


So, I thought it was definitely time for a shower... until I saw the showers!


All I can say, is it's a darn good thing the lights didn't work, and the sun was setting quickly! Of course, one thing I didn't consider, apart from drinking water, everything out here is bore water, and this stuff seemed extra salty. By the time I got out of the shower, I felt like I'd just come out from a swim at the beach and needed a good rinse off! Mmmm... bore water & soap, instant dread-locks!

Since it was getting on I ended up just spending the night here. I hadn't really put any thought into it before, but this was the first time I've camped on the 'other side' of the dog fence, I still didn't think of it until I had my first experience of a dingo nosing around my camp late at night, what a creepy feeling! Dingoes are weird because they don't really make any noise, even when they walk they're virtually silent, so you never really know just quite where they are. I've heard they do odd things too, but I wasn't expecting to wake up to something lightly scratching up under my wheel arches! Okay, I'll admit, I got a little freaked out for a second, the metal under there is pretty thin, so it sounded like this thing was almost in the car! I had visions of that gremlin creature on the Simpsons that follows Bart to school and starts tearing the bus apart. Eventually I stuck my head out the back window and yelled at them to nick off, even then I never saw the thing, just a distant bush rustle as it passed through.

No comments:

Post a Comment