A local town for local people

Trip Start Sep 16, 2008
Trip End Sep 15, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , South Australia,
Thursday, September 3, 2009

Another early start took us south from Coober Pedy through Glendambo whose human population of just thirty people, is somewhat dwarfed by its population of around two million flies. My experience of South Australia so far has driven me to believe that Australian people may have at some point been driven mad by the heat, as who in their right mind would voluntarily live in the middle of a desert with an extremely limited water supply, unable to even step outside their homes without being swarmed by flies. The group had learned to dread our outdoor lunches as the flies get in your nose, mouth and eyes no matter how much you flail your arms around in protest. You know those ridiculous stereotypical Aussie hats with the corks hanging down, I’d have paid any amount of money for one of those at this point!
There are several salt lakes in South Australia, something I’ve never seen before and on the way to Quorn we stopped at Lake Hart, one of the smaller ones but it still stretches about as far as you can see. Around 6 months ago Queensland endured weeks of flooding and because of that the salt lakes here currently have water in them. It takes about 3 months for the water to soak through the earth and travel down the country and somehow it all ends up here. The ground is thick with salt where the water’s evaporated away and it looks like snow in the middle of the desert!
Back on the road we finally started to see the earth come back to life as we came into the Flinders Ranges, and made it to Quorn in the early evening, after getting our first glimpse of the sea at Port Augusta. Everything’s called Flinders here by the way, after the explorer Matthew Flinders who named Australia. We got several history lessons from Jen during the long days of driving as talking incessantly kept her awake on the endless straight road. She thought she was boring us to tears but it was actually quite interesting. Anyway Quorn’s definitely a local town for local people, with the local guys staring at you like they’ve never seen a girl before, but is very quaint and looks like something out of an old American western.
Not far from the town we visited the ruins of the Kanyaka Homestead, where the ever intelligent white man decided to put 130 sheep per square mile in a place that gets less rain than Ayers Rock. It was here that I discovered Gallah’s! 10:1 you’ve all now got the voice of Alf Winters from Home & Away saying ‘Flamin’ Gallah’ in your head...no, just me? Well anyway they’re grey and pink parrot looking things. You’ve gotta love Australia just for having the most incredible abundance of weird and wonderful animals. England would be so much more fun if we had echidnas, rainbow loriquettes and 7 of the top 10 most poisonous snakes!
Next was a short hike up to Arkaroo rock to see some ancient Aboriginal rock drawings. It was such a shame to see the sight with a big metal cage around it to stop people graffitiing the rock. 5000 years of history ruined so you could draw a chalk tree like a child, well done. It was only a brief visit as we had another hike to complete at Wilpena Pound, which from the air looks like a huge meteor crater. To be honest it was more a stroll in the countryside than a hike, and along the way in true Aussie style we spotted a few wild kangaroos. One was lying not far from the path and when it stood up to it revealed it was a female with a little joey in it’s pouch, everyone was yelling at me to come and look as I had, by this point, become the group’s official photographer.
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