Day 33: Marree to Beresford Bore Railway Siding Ruins

Today was mostly a great day. We woke up in the campground behind the Marree Hotel. Adam went for a run while I worked in Sherwood. We packed up but had a little explore around Marree: the local mosque (a thatched hut), some mini silo art, and the Lake Eyre “Yacht Club” (take note: Lake Eyre is a dry lake).

The Marree Hotel ⤴️
The “Yacht Club”⤴️🤣

We filled up with diesel (I am the filler-upper – one of my jobs) and drove to the warning signs. Yes, the warning signs. We were embarking on the Oodnadatta track. This was the real Outback, albeit supposedly a gentle track. There was no turning back now.

We got to a sweeping part of waterless Lake Eyre and got out to admire this odd phenomenon – and all the salt where the water once was:

More salt!

We also saw a section of the famed (and controversial) Dog Fence, the longest barrier fence in the world, which was erected to protect Australian agriculture and livestock from dingoes and wild dogs but at other ecological costs:

That box on the left has a mean alarm on it when you go through the fence – scared the dingo out of me!

I also saw a cool plant, which I found out later is called Bluebush:

Purdy! ⤴️

There are a couple of rare sightings of water near Lake Eyre; the Wabma Kadarbu Mound Springs Conservation Park is about 130 kilometres (81 miles) from Marree. It’s home to a network of mound springs that come up from the Great Artesian Basin, including The Bubbler and Blanche Cup. 

So, remember I said today was mostly a great day? There were two reasons it didn’t earn five stars: 1) the flies (oh, the flies!!!) and 2) our “big bottle blowout.” Let’s just say the road to The Bubbler was a bumpy one, even in steady Sherwood. From the cab of the campervan, we could hear a lot of things rattling around behind us (pots, pans, laptop chargers). Such noises were not unusual, but this was next level. I had to keep looking back to make sure all the latches on Sherwood’s cupboards were still working, that the fridge was shut, and that the bathroom door didn’t fly open. Twice, we had to stop to reclose the fridge. More bumps in the road, more looking back. Then, after a particularly big bump, I smelled it before I saw it – red wine! Our dedicated wine cupboard (yes, of course we have one!) had flown open, and a very nice bottle of Pinot Noir from Shaw + Smith had smashed and was “reeking” havoc on Sherwood.

Adam pulled over and we both flew into action (dramatic, right?), careful not to get cut on the broken glass, stain Sherwood, or – heaven forbid – break more wine bottles.  

Grieving the loss of a bottle I had splurged on but grateful that the “Great Bottle Blowout” hadn’t been worse, we checked out the two mound springs:

Not long after, we drove through Coward Springs and then pulled into our campsite at Beresford Bore Railway Siding Ruins.

Flies on Adam! ⤴️

We donned our flynets, and settled in for happy hour (obviously NOT with Shaw + Smith Pinot Noir) and a beautiful sunset. Afterward, we said hello to our only camping neighbours, Martine and Serge, from Strasbourg, France, who were making the journey from Adelaide to Darwin. Martine spoke a little English – about as much as I speak French – and I really enjoyed trying to communicate with her (and for the most part, succeeding).

Martine and Serge’s campsite, across the way from us.

The night sky was beautiful:

Plus, I got a clear shot of the Southern Cross (cue the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song):

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *