Day 137 – Oodnadatta Track (Day 2) and Flinders Ranges

20130927_RCH_3236 20130927_RCH_3240 20130927_RCH_3256I bemoaned yesterday about not always waking in beautiful locations. I cannot say that again today. Walking around just after sunrise gave me an incredible sense of freedom. I felt like the only person alive for as far as I could see. The galahs ruined my peace and quiet all too soon.

20130927_RCH_3263We continued the last stretch of the Oodnadatta Track. First stop was the Lake Eyre South lookout – still not overly impressed with Lake Eyre (from an aesthetic point of view). Some of the statistics are phenomenal though – fifth biggest lake, biggest water catchment area, HUGE evaporation rate, and ancient underground water.

20130927_RCH_3264We passed a few more ruins, and a few more bridges. I couldn’t help myself, even though I’ve photographed dozens of them, I still want to stop each and every time I see one.

20130927_RCH_3268 20130927_RCH_3272 20130927_RCH_3273 20130927_RCH_3274 20130927_RCH_3276This second bridge was in a dried salt lake, which was beautiful and white (and a really interesting texture to walk on, kind of like walking through crusty snow). It even looked like sulphur in some places. I now understand why they say driving on these kinds of areas can be disastrous, as with no warning, I sank up to my knees in soft (and filthy) mud. I thought it was hilarious, Risa was less than impressed…

20130927_RCH_3277After I washed myself down (3L of premium drinking water) and were back on the Track, Risa thought she could see a dog sculpture. I told her she was mistaken, that it was a coincidence. Regardless, we pulled over to take a look. It wasn’t until after I’d taken the photograph did I realise that she was right… dammit.

20130927_RCH_3279 20130927_RCH_3280 20130927_RCH_3283 20130927_RCH_3284 20130927_RCH_3285 20130927_RCH_3289 20130927_RCH_3299 20130927_RCH_3310We’d arrived at an interesting sculpture park (Alberrie Creek). Not that either of us have ever been, but we got a real feeling of the Burning Man festival looking at this odd art.

20130927_RCH_3314 20130927_RCH_3315 20130927_RCH_3318It was only a short drive to Maree, the official end of the Oodnadatta Track, and the start of the Birdsville Track. We’d (I’d) originally planned to continue the drive up to Birdsville, then return via the Strezelecki Track. Time (and money) are now in short supply, so we skipped that rather large loop, and made our way to Flinders Ranges. I love the outback sense of humour, like the Lake Eyre Yacht Club…

20130927_RCH_3347This highway was another that was littered with roadkill. It was hard to find a stretch of more than 1km without the remnants of an animal that came off second best with a vehicle. We declared it ‘South Australia’s Road of Bones’, not to be confused with ‘Western Australia’s Road of Bones’, or the Road of Bones in Eastern Russia.

20130927_RCH_3322 20130927_RCH_3325 20130927_RCH_3320Risa also was enjoying some colourful hills in the distance. She said it looked like a colour chart, and she was right (though, with a rather limited palette). It was a little disappointing to learn that it was just a mine (coal). Still, there was yet another ruin, so I had to photograph it. Not sure what the barbed wire was for though…

20130927_RCH_3328 20130927_RCH_3329 20130927_RCH_3334Even though the Oodnadatta Track hadn’t been that bad, it felt so good to be back on bitumen. Nothing like the sound of silence (as silent as this car can be). I didn’t know too much about these ranges, other than a few photos of an epic exposed rock face called Wilpenia Pound. Out of sheer luck, we drove along an amazing scenic route. The Brachina Gorge track followed a dry creek/river through the gorge. Normally we’d have to be on foot to enjoy this view, so it was amazing being able to do it from the comfort of our car. Sure, it’s lazy, and there is a disconnect from nature, but we’re tired, and I generally only hike for a reward of a great view. If I can get that reward without the effort, I’m going to take it. Every time.

20130927_RCH_3337 20130927_RCH_3341This drive eventually joined with another scenic drive (Bunyeroo Gorge), and not only did the scenery stay beautiful, but the drive became incredibly fun. I felt like a (really slow) rally driver weaving around all these twisty dirt corners. The hardest part was concentrating on the road when there was so much to look at.

20130927_RCH_3342 20130927_RCH_3348 20130927_RCH_3352We arrived at Wilpenia Pound a little after 4PM. The sun was starting to get low in the horizon. I knew we didn’t have much time, so I checked with the tourist information desk what was the quickest way to see this rock face that I wanted to see. Turns out we had to do a three hour hike to get there… and seeing as though the sun set in two hours, it wasn’t going to happen. I didn’t get what I was anticipating, but instead we received so much more with those two scenic drives. As we left Wilpenia, I noticed that we could actually see the beautiful rocky range that I wanted to see, albeit a heavily shadowed version. The road south roughly followed the range around, and eventually provided us with an amazing view (though, I had to climb on top of the car to see it unobstructed). I was happy.

20130927_RCH_3357 20130927_RCH_3362From now it’s just a push south to Adelaide (with just one or more stops for ruins). The sun setting in the mountain ranges was just incredible. The hues, and subtle colours were amazing. I knew I couldn’t photograph it, so I just tried to soak it up (and stay on the road).

137日目  9月27日(金) 不毛地帯から緑の景色へ!

今朝は、私の大好きなガラーという鳥の鳴き声で起きました。 この辺りは、水脈があるせいか、背の低い草の種を食べて生き残れるようで、こんな過酷な地でも鳥の姿がみられます。 とってもたくましいなぁ。

今日もひたすら赤い不毛地帯を走りました。 いくつもの廃墟を通り過ぎ、しばらくすると、不思議な巨大なアートが集合した場所が突如現れました。

ここは、アーティストが思い思いに、おもにリサイクルされた鉄類や部品を使って制作したアートが、荒野に飾られています。 小型飛行機を丸ごと2台使ったアートや車の部品で作られた親子のアンドロイドなどなど。

このアートに鳥達が快適なお家を作って住みついちゃってるのも、なかなか自然と調和してていい感じです。

アメリカの砂漠で行われるBurning Man という憧れのアートのフェスティバルがあるんだけれど、ちょっとそれに似てるかも。  クレイジーなアート達。アーティストさんありがとう!

その後は、廃墟、エミュー、古い橋、違うアングルからのエアー湖、などなど、、、、
そして赤い不毛地帯のOonadattaトラックは、 という町で終わり。 思ったより道路の状態もかなり良かったせいもあって予定よりもかなり早めに回る事ができました。

最初は、赤い土の未舗装の場所は、ノーザンテリトリーと西オーストラリア州で、もううんざりだったので、かなり乗り気じゃなかったけど、実際に回ってみると、改めてこれが本当のオーストラリアの素晴しさ、規模の大きさ、美しさだなぁと体験させられるとても素晴しい場所でした。

もしオーストラリアにくる機会があれば、ぜひぜひこの場所を訪れてみてください!!

途中、炭坑の採石所を発見。 この採石所は、ほぼ全てのオーストラリアの炭坑と同じでトンネルではなくて、地面に巨大な機械で凄まじい規模の穴を掘り下げて行くらしいです。  その後は、おおきな穴が空くので環境にもかなり悪いらしい。   その穴のふちに盛られた土は、赤、黄色、茶色、グレー、黒となんだか色とりどりでちょっとユニークでした。

久々の舗装された道路に戻る頃には、緑が少し増えていました。

そしてお次ぎは、Flinders Range という山脈の国立公園へ。

ここは、この山脈の間に道路が造られていました。 道の始めは、赤い岩がゴツゴツした、ほぼ植物の生えていない荒々しい岩山の景色で、まだ砂漠らしい景色。

そして先を進んでいくと、川底をドライブするでこぼこトラックへ。

この辺りの地層はとてもおもしろく、層が45°から垂直に傾いています。

ラリーレースのトラックのような、車が1台通れる大きさのうねうねの急な山道にさしかかる頃には、久々の緑の風景!

青々とした草、針葉樹林、そしてお花も咲いている!

なんともドラマティックな景色の変化が楽しめるとても印象深い、すてきな場所です。

山を越えると、なだらかな丘が広がり、羊とエミューがたくさんいるのどかな景色。

この草原がひろがる丘に夕日が射していて、とってもキレイでした。

毎日違った、多彩な、こんな美しい景色を見られて本当に幸せです。

明日は砂漠と牧歌的風景から、オーストラリア大4の都市アデレードに到着予定です!!

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3 responses

  1. This comment of yours right here….is why I will do this trip. “Walking around just after sunrise gave me an incredible sense of freedom. I felt like the only person alive for as far as I could see.”
    Looking forward to your Adelaide posts. I am moving there in the next year or so.

    September 30, 2013 at 10:14

    • PEKOiSM

      My only regret is that this isn’t the case every morning. Too often we succumb to the ease of the rest areas on the side of the road.

      Adelaide is nice, and I’d certainly have no problems living there one day. Plenty of everything, and without the crowds/inflated expense of other capitals cities.

      September 30, 2013 at 21:16

      • No regrets Ross! If you felt like that every day, it wouldn’t be so special right? In my travels I have felt that a few times, it’s not soemthing everyone experiences. I remember once standing looking out over Fish River Canyon in Namibia feeling like that. Did a 12,000km trek through Africa.

        My Mrs is from Adelaide, so the pull of family for her is strong. Me, I love new experiences so I’m happy to head over.

        Just read your post on the 2.1m height….the only downside to the Deli’s. ;-)

        October 1, 2013 at 09:09

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