• Day56

    Windorah 16/6 TO 17/6

    June 28, 2016 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    We set out from Birdsville along the Birdsville Development Road (the same road we drove in on). Rain was predicted and we were determined to reach the bitumen road near Windorah before it set in. As we drove along we saw a huge Aboriginal artwork depicting a serpent on a hillside near the road. It was made out of different coloured stones from the local area and must have stretched for about 100 metres. Continuing on our way we made the short detour into Betoota, a town with a sign saying – Population 0. There was just the ruins of an old pub – not really worth the detour!! The road now had some short sealed sections but the dirt sections weren’t too rough and looked like it had been recently graded. Knowing we wouldn’t make it to Windorah we started looking out for suitable places to camp for the night and late in the afternoon we spotted a lookout high on the top of a mesa which was only about 3 km off the road so we decided to stop there for the night. We had great 360 deg views and even a long drop toilet. There was a picnic table set on a large concrete area with a cover over it so we decided to park next to it so we had nice concrete to step onto as we exited the van. However the wind sprung up during the night and the shelter beside us made loud banging noises all night. Outsmarted ourselves again!!

    The next day we drove the last 100 km of dirt road and then on very narrow (only one car width) road to Windorah. The countryside varied from plains with Mitchell grass to areas of Mulga scrub and still very red sand dunes here and there. There were some large mesas and mountains in the distance. We heard from some fellow travellers at a rest stop that it had started raining in Birdsville on the previous evening and that already the roads had been closed so we were very lucky to have left in time. The dark clouds were following us as we headed towards Windorah. Just before the town we spotted a swag roll which had fallen off a ute which had passed us about 10 km earlier so we picked it up thinking the owner may still be in town. Alas, he’d left a name and phone number at the roadhouse but despite several attempts we weren’t able to contact him. The caravan park was all dirt but was only $15 a night and had nice hot showers. There was not much more than a few houses, a pub and a roadhouse but they did have an info centre! There was one little old house (not much bigger than the average kitchen) which had a small front verandah with a couple of old couches and an old chap who just seemed to sit on a chair in the doorway all day! Apparently it used to be the courthouse back in the day.
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