I woke up early to a magical Outback sunrise at Beresford Bore. It was worthy of waking up Adam for – and he uncharacteristically happy about it.
As Wednesday is a full-on work-all-day day, we set to work. However, across the expanse of campsite soon came my new French friend, Martine. She brought me a French version of Matilda’s Last Waltz (La Derniere Valse de Mathilda), a novel by British-Australian writer Tamara McKinley that I can’t wait to try to read (Sara Lewis and Gareth Dando … help!). Plus, Martine inscribed it, which my mother will be delighted by, as my Mom inscribes every book and has taught me to do the same.
I really enjoyed attempting to use my little French with Martine, and I think she appreciated my efforts. (Adam was also surprised – mildly impressed? – by my ability to communicate.) I thought Martine was a beautiful woman, and I admired her and her husband Serge for making this trip – this was her first time ever in Australia – and the trip from Adelaide to Darwin (Australia bottom to top) speaking very little English is no small journey. Brave and impressive.
Adam likewise (but with zero French and Serge’s close-to-zero English) tried to help Serge with some internet connectivity and tech tips for the road. We think (hope!) we helped them with Wikicamps.
I waved them goodbye and went back to work for a bit, spending the rest of the morning working on blog posts for two corporate clients.
Packing up later today was not fun. OMG … the flies are THE WORST!!! Adam copped the worst of it outside, packing up the Starlink and solar mat, but inside Sherwood, at least five menacing little fly beasts swarmed me and nearly drove me batty. Even Adam was complaining, so you know it was bad. I told Adam I was never leaving the van again!
On the road, it was my turn to tackle the corrugations (read: bumpiness!) of the Oodnadatta Track. I enjoyed the four-wheel driving, even though it was loud and a bit jarring. We were all alone out here. I can count on one hand the number of cars we encountered in two hours. We stopped at a beautiful lookout (like a planet out of Star Wars) and had cold leftover pasta for lunch and a Hokey Pokey ice cream Drumstick each. UNTIL THE BLOODY FLIES RETURNED! I high-tailed it back to Sherwood.
We got to William Creek to finish our workday – Adam had a series of meetings, and I still had to work on my blogs, but this is where we’d be for the night – the halfway point on the Oodnadatta Track. We parked in an unpowered spot and set to work. At happy hour time, we explored William Creek, which took about 10 minutes – an airstrip (they do scenic flights over the Outback from here); the William Creek Hotel, a pub (which we would return to for dinner); a petrol station (the most expensive fuel so far); a golf course (!); the “MENS UsaRINENELLS,” some historical artifacts, and, all importantly, the shower and bathroom facilities (much better than the “urinenells”).
After a glass of Samuel’s Gorge Gruner Veltliner in Sherwood, we made our way back to the William Creek Hotel for dinner. The young Danish pair who’d been there earlier to check us in to the campground was now replaced by a young French couple. Adam got the goat curry, and I braved the beef schnitzel with mushroom gravy. (I’d had my first beef schnitzel in Broken Hill and thought I needed to try another. This one was better!) A good feed, as they like to say over here.
Now, Adam’s watching some show and I’m trying to catch up on this bloody van life blog so people don’t think I’ve been abducted in the Outback. Ended the day with another bloody good sunset: