Driving across the Australian desert

Trip Start Jan 05, 2009
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Trip End Jun 30, 2009


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Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Before heading into the desert, we decided to enjoy a bit more warm wheather and some waves so we headed to the Yorke Peninsula, specifically to the Innes National Park, famous for his world-class waves.
It is a beautiful park with amazing beaches that are absolutely desert during the week. Waves were also pretty impressive and a couple of times Massimo has "chickened-out" because of the dimension and the fact that nobody else other than Melanie was there to rescue him, in case (and Melanie is not known to be the best swimmer...and
Massimo wasn't sure she would have chosen him or the shark...).

We then started our 1500 Km journey into the desert.

We stopped almost immmediately in Port Pirie to gather water and food as if we were going to war at the beginning of the century: everybody told us that crossing the desert could be dangerous so the Swiss German side of Melanie pushed to make sure we were well equipped! It took us three nights to do the trip, even because we took our time, but the driving was really easy and relaxing. Cleary when you drive for more than 200 Km without seeing a living thing you wonder what would happen to you if your car broke down but then you get reassured by a 30 mt long road train with 3 trailers coming in the opposite direction...at least somebody would take care of you...or finish you!

As we have probably been complaining too much about the cold temperature in South Australia, we've been receiving the heat back...with the interests! When you get off the car in the Australian desert you always wonder who has left the oven on and if you are beside a huge pile of poo as there are millions of flies attacking you!

On the way to Ayers Rock, we've been stopping by in a village called Coober Pedy, a village living on the opal mining. It was amazing to see again (as in the Amazon) how the human being found a way to make a living in a place that is not really welcoming. They actually had a series of underground "buildings" were the temperature is constantly at 25 degrees no matter what happens outside....it is a little bit dark but better than the heat and the flies we guess!

When we started the trip in the desert, we had to take the surfboard with us as we didn't find a place to sell it in the Yorke peninsula...now Massimo gave for granted that he would have easily found a surfbag (which you need to put the board on a plane)...in the middle of the desert!! The guess was partially justified as every place we visited had a surf shop (well almost every, we didn't see any in Coober Pedy) but unfortunately none of them was selling surfboards and clearly no bag for it and they were actually quite amused when a confident Massimo was walking in the surf shop asking for one!

Anyway, as we are a good team, we found a way to wrap the board in air bubbled plastic and safely get it to Darwin together with us.

While in Darwin, other than enjoying the pool and the sun at the backpackers hotel, we went on a two days tour in the Kakadu national park, a huge rain forest east of Darwin. The tour was really a good one but after having been in the Amazon is funny to say that every other forest you visit impresses you a bit less...anyway we managed to get impressed by the huge crocodiles we spotted in the Adelaide river during a "jumping crocodile" cruise we took during the tour. The guide was really a crazy one, Crocodile Dundee style, and while all the other boats were only using a stick to hang the food to make the crocodile jump, our guy at the end decided to hand the food to a 6 metres crocodile with the hands...check the pictures because it was really something impressive!

Soon coming M&M's campervaning on the east coast.
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