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WRAP UP {EDITION 23}

 

HELLO + WELCOME to the Wrap Up. Here’s what has been happening as we make our way overland from Sydney to London via Africa.

Right now we are in Australia. The red hearty gut of Australia.

3G internet connection is becoming sparse as we roll along and get further away from the Eastern seaboard (where the majority of Aussies live). For that reason some of these Wrap Ups from here on in will appear a week or so after we write them. A reality of being on the road. This one was written about a week ago.

It’s Kirsty here with the Wrap Up today. Let’s do this.

 

Aussie Overlanders Yellow Divider

 

YO, WHERE YOU BEEN?

The Short version? In South Australia. Heading West and now heading North.

The Long version? We have made our way across South Australia along the Eyre Peninsula. If you look at the map Eyre Peninsula is somewhat on par in size with Tasmania. It’s BIG.

We made our way along the edge of the peninsula taking in many bays, big fish, towering and rugged sea cliffs. Plenty of wildlife spotting.

The wildlife on this Peninsula is really beautiful to me. The colours of the animals appear to be significatly different to that which we have seen so far. The Emus have a deep dark head whith a white plume of feathers, the Kangaroos look rustic and shaggy agianst the speckled rocks. We have spotted plenty of Sea Lion… making friends with quite a few. We would yell out ‘Hello!’ and they would raise their heads on out of the water for a good 15 seconds looking us straight in the eye. Amazing + So much fun!

The highlight of the Eyre Peninsula was the tip. Including Lincoln National Park and Coffin Bay’s oysters. We took a 4X4 track in Lincoln National Park that took us out to Memory Cove – an area of the park that is under lock and key. You have to request the key from the town prior to heading in with a maximum stay of 3 days. We had the whole place to ourselves, bar one other couple. It was quiet. It was beautiful. It all went too fast. We backed that up with a stay in Coffin Bay and slurped back 12 of the ‘best oysters in the World’ while lazying on grass by the water for an afternoon. Lucky. Lucky. Lucky. Grateful+

Since this we have headed North and up the Googs Track. This track is known as mini Simpson Desert. Hundreds of sand dunes. Over 3 days we saw just one set of travellers at a campsite – over 1km away from where we were actually camped! We were making fresh tracks over the dune crests. Had our first dingo sighting. Saw camels and roos. We had the whole place to ourselves and it felt SPECTACULAR. Soul food. Especially when you see what we haven’t been enjoying below.

We are now sitting tight in Coober Pedy. Here’s a few quick facts on this odd town. Mining started here in 1912 when some kid found an opal. It is now the opal mining capital of the World. The place looks like armageddon in action. Half the population live UNDER GROUND. The other half of the population are *seemingly* Aboriginals who sadly live in poverty and a perpetual state of drunkenness while they lurk outside the bottle shop.

We have been chatting with a lot of locals who have repetitively said ‘people come here to hide out’ and also a couple of self-proclaimed ‘highly successful’ guys in their 50s who now live here for no apparent reason. It’s odd. There’s something beneath the surface in this town and it isn’t just the locals.

It isn’t our favourite place. Not by a long shot. But it’s interesting. The migrant trail of hunting for opals has left a slew of nationalities here who know how to cook! We had one of our best restaurant meals since being on the road toady. Underground Cafe for those headed here any time soon. G’s bet is on the Italian Chicken Parma. My bet isn’t on the food but on seeing what life is like underground.

 

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^ Eyre Peninsula

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^ Eyre Peninsula

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^ Eyre Peninsula

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^ Eyre Peninsula

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^ Eyre Peninsula

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^ Eyre Peninsula

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^ Coffin Bay Oysters, the World’s best purchased straight from the Oyster farmers

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^ Googs Track

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^ Googs Track

 

 

OUT BACK

We are in the ‘Outback’ as we Aussies call it.

Out back of where most people live and spend their lives.

It’s proving really interesting to see how people live out here. WAY out here.

We passed through a town recently with two inhabitants. A mother and a daughter who feed the local miners who pass through. Soon after we passed through a one man town with a ramshackle home, bushy moustache and five dead cars laying about. It was all a little too Wolf Creek for us (a film of a serial killer who traps Tourists in Australia)! So we sped on out of town and couldn’t stop talking about it.

I’m the first person in line to soak up a bit of solitude. I crave it. I’m a sort that needs moments of complete still, of no interference or voices. But to live out here. So isolated. It’s a different ball game. As we roll through some towns Gareth and I talk about HOW? WHY? Would you, could you, live here?

As we have hit more remote parts of South Australia the Aboriginal population has seemingly increased. Indigenous Australians make up less than 1% of our population. Living where we have in Sydney we rarely come into contact with Aboriginals so it is visually ‘different’ to start seeing different people. Adding to that the only Aboriginals we have seen so far are those wandering the streets aimlessly… dressed in rags that look like they belong to the poorest of Cambodia or Rwanda. It all feels very grim.

All of a sudden outback shops and homes have bars on the windows. Shops show signs of ‘Any unattended children will be asked to leave’. It’s blatant without being blatant enough to be classed ‘racist’. We have been in a few shops where frustrated shopkeepers are answering slurred, drunken questions. And then yesterday when we were stocking up our own booze supplies an indigenous guy came upon us in an aisle and look startled that we were blocking his way to the goon (cheap wine). “Ohhh Excuse me sir. Madam. How do I (… get through)… Ahhh…”, it’s like he was fearful we were gong to have a go at him. He was completely pleasant and even ‘gentle’. We of course shuffled out of his way and said “No worries mate, get on in there…”. He was acting subbordinate. It felt so wrong. To come across this in your own country is quite shocking. I don’t want to pretend to understand the complexities of this issue or what Indigenous Aussies have been through. However, the people we are coming across and how they live is becoming a part of our daily story. And we both find it fascinating.

 

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^ The Outback dream

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^ The Outback (occasional) reality

 

PUMP

On the Eyre Peninsula we picked up some foul tasting water. To me it tasked like warm luke warm milk. To G it tasted of blood. So before heading North we wanted to pump it out and water up with a fresh batch. We flicked the pump on and nothing. No light. No buzzzz. No water coming. Within a couple of seconds we had both said ‘fuse box’.

Gareth checked his neatly labelled fuses (onya babe!) and sure enough the pump fuse was toast. Quickly replaced. Within 3 minutes total we were pumping water again. Of course the question is now ‘WHY did it blow?’. But it felt very good to know that we knew the car so well that our first ‘problem’ was so quickly handled and solved. Gareth has installed all the electrics himself so knew exactly what to do. We’ll be keeping those fingers and toes crossed that any other things that creep up are so easily solved!


CHIPS

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Of all the trails and roads we’ve been on… we got corked on the Sturt Highway from the Googs Track into Coober Pedy. A road train (a truck pulling a few loads) shot a rock into the windscreen. It was the first road train I (K) had passed while behind the drivers seat. Luckily we were on our way to a town and so we got it sealed up within a couple of hours. $40 later all sealed, glued and suctioned up.


LOVING  (AND NOT LOVING SO MUCH)

 

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^ Memory Cove, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia

NOT LOVING SO MUCH: Hoards of oldies and their massive caravans on the road (where are the younger people?… a big round of applause goes to oldies who get out there, awesome, all respect, good on them. but we are craving some chats with ppl our own age!) + pricey beers on a budget + a bazillion flies wanting to eat your face  (silver lining = wearing a head net *trendalert!*)

LOVING: Fresh water + paying 20c for 30L of water and pumping it into the car like fuel (fun!) + cooking up a tasty Spaghetti Bolognese brimming with wholesome veges and beans + getting into a smoother rhythm with our wakeup routine + Kirsty getting behind the wheel more often + calm weather + spotting a dingo on the Googs Track + completing the Googs track without getting stuck once (woopwoop!)  + the delicious scrambled egg wrap with lemon oil and basil that Gareth just wipped up for breakfast + appreciating the small things like fresh tomatoes and starry nights.

 

Aussie Overlanders Yellow Divider

 

 

That’s us all wrapped up.

From here the option is sitting on the Stuart Highway Tarmac for 4/500 kms on our way up to Uluru or to head offroad. We’ll be hitting the dirt!

As always thanks for being here. We absolutley love being able to share this journey with you.

Any comments? Thoughts? Just want to say hi? Give us a big hello in the comments below!

Come on DO IT. We would love to hear from you.

 

Cheers

GK Signature

 

 

 

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** Want to see photos live from the road? Click here

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