On the Road again.
30th Jul 2012 - Kev and Jan
There is a book about the Stuart Highway which many travellers carry and I can understand why. It has so many interesting places on it stretching 3,051 kms long from Darwin to Adelaide.
The terrain can be different on each side of the road. There are lots of dead animals killed by cars and trucks lying on the road. We have to slow down to let the eagles and kites who are feasting on the road kill, fly away. There are road trains 50 metres long pulling up to 4 trailers that are always travelling faster than us. I always breath in when they overtake.
You can travel a few hundred km without seeing any sign of life and then you come to a road house. They all have their own characters. There were about 50 vehicles at Erldunda that had been waiting for diesel for 6 hours.
When we arrived at Stuart Wells all the staff had left and so there was no food and we were down to our last rations. However we did see Dinky the singing dingo who plays the piano with both paws while he sings. Jim the owner told us the story about how he helped his father build the road to King's Canyon and set up a tourist resort there but was pushed out by the landlord. Next door was a camel station but we got there too late for me to get the camel ride that I've been hankering after.
Wycliffe Well claims to have had the most alien sightings in Oz and the roadhouse has models of aliens and spaceships and stocks the largest variety of beer in the country. Maybe that's the reason UFO s have been sighted.
At Aileron there are large bronze statues of Aboriginals towering over the campsite. There were some students camping at the site and just a couple of caravans but on territory night the owners put on a 2000 dollar firework display for us which they set off just near the petrol station.
Daly Waters Pub is packed with travellers every night as it has the best Barramundi and steak and an Australian comedian that had us howling with laughter.
We pulled into Fran's Tearooms to be greeted by travellers from the Moscow circus and 5 Italian cyclists who were cycling down the whole highway. (why?) Fran is famous for her pies and her outgoing personality. We were told where to sit and wait and what to eat and then served up wonderful buffalo pie and fresh lemon juice. As it was so busy Fran was getting into a panic looking at the dishes she had to wash up. Everyone was having a good laugh and Kevin even volunteered to wash up for her. Kevin filled all the cyclists water bottles from our water store and so they insisted on paying for our meal.
It got warmer as we moved north and we enjoyed the walks around Devil's Marbles and were amazed at how the stones have been balanced on top of one another for thousands of years. We loved snorkelling in the 34 degree hot springs at Mataranka.
We have only travelled half of the highway and will have to come back another time to do the rest.
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