Monday, September 6, 2010

Stuck on the Oodnadatta Track

We headed along the Oodnadatta Track to Oodnadatte (der!!). We visited the Pink Roadhouse which is a bit of an icon along the track. We sat down at a table and a lady came and started chatting to us. Turns out she was a kiwi nurse who was doing a 6 month stint in the sticks. She was lovely and asked if there was anything we needed. I told her jokingly that I was dying for a shower and she invited us back to her place and said we could make ourselves at home. She was just lovely. We got her address and said we would be back the following day as we were heading into the desert for the night and would be even more desperate the next day....

We headed off towards the Painted Desert. It was truly magnificent. Just like someone had taken a million different colours and painted it onto a canvas that we were then looking at.
On the way we decided to camp at a homestead right next to the desert. The homestead was run by a young couple who were
only 22 years old. The husband Patrick was away in William Creek for the Bronco Branding and Steph was managing the farm with her Dad and his mate who were visiting from Adelaide. When we arrived there was a tiny puddle of water which the boys spent the afternoon playing in with their bikes and gumboots. They had a ball.

We went to bed early after a big day and awoke at about 3am to the sound of rain. I didn't think much of it at the time but when we woke in the morning the first thing Neil says to me is, "Thank god we decided to stay here and not in the desert because we are rained in and won't be going anywhere." I thought he was taking the piss but it wasn't long before I realised he was right.

We went over and spoke to some blokes who were also camped on the homestead. They had set up camp in the huge shed, they looked like they were there for the long haul. Little did I know at the time that this shed was to be our home for the next 3 days!!

There were 4 groups of people stuck, the blokes, the couple, the family and us....
The blokes turned out to be in the job out of Maryborough. Small world hey. The family had 2 gorgeous girls aged 14 and 13. They were awesome and came into their own playing
with the boys. The couple were also awesome and are planning on coming to Perth to visit at some stage.

We were sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves when Steph came out with the most superb muffins, sure helped to lift spirits. Steph and her Dad ended up putting on a massive BBQ for us for lunch as well which was greatly appreciated by all.

The boys made the shed more homelike by putting up a massive tarp to try and stop the wind getting in they found a drum for the fire and moved our belongings into the shed.

Food and booze was shared amongst all as we had no idea how long we were going to be stuck for. The fire was cranked and the red wine started flowing.

The second day being stranded saw us all holding our breath that the rain was going to stay away. It was looking like we could be spending more than a couple of days on the farm.

The kids put their gum boots back on and it was out into the mud again. We went for a walk around the farm and waited for Patrick to come back from William Creek with the verdict as to how long it would be until we could leave.

It wasn't belong before an almost unrecognisable Prado came into the homestead. It was Patrick in a car completely covered in mud. It had taken him roughly 18 hours to do a 4 hour drive. The weather forecast for the next few days was showing more rain on the way so it was a group decision that we would convoy our way out the next morning even though the roads were officially closed. We couldn't afford to be stuck any longer, Milla wasn't 100% and we were quickly running out of food for her.

We packed up the TVan and spent the night in a cabin as we were leaving at 6.30 in the morning.

We had 7 vehicles in total in the convey, we were allocated the end vehicle as we were the only ones with mud tyres and they were worried that we might chew the track up for everyone else!!

We had a great time. There was mud being flug like there was no tomorrow and we think by the end of the track we were carrying an extra couple of hundred kilo's of mud.

We made it out without copping any fines. We heard rumours that it is $1000 per tyre!!

Ah, back on the road again. I was secretly disappointed, I really really enjoyed being stranded and I wasn't looking forward to the enormous amount of washing that I had to do.

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