Day 9 - Marree to Coward Springs

Trip Start Sep 03, 2010
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10
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Trip End Sep 18, 2010


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Where I stayed
Coward Springs Camping Ground

Flag of Australia  , South Australia,
Saturday, September 11, 2010

Had a fairly average breakfast in Marree - toast, warm orange juice,cereal with warm milk. Still...it did the job I guess. Checked out of the pub and wandered around the town for a while. Actually, I can't even call it a town, it is more like a cluster of dwellings with a pub, police station, two petrol stations and a shop. We took some photos of the old Ghan train station and the rusting locos and relics.

We then headed across the way to the Lake Eyre Yacht Club (www.lakeeyreyc.org) which is not that close the the lake but it is built like a yacht club. Bob from the yacht club gave us heaps of information about the area and ways that we can access the lake so we bought some merchandise and were on our way up the Oodnadatta Track.

About 50km out of Marree there is a sculpture museum with some giant pieces at the side of the track that you can see for miles. We liked the double aircraft stuck in the sand, the robot, the Ghan Hover bus and the big steel dog.

Another 20km and we saw our first glimpse of Lake Eyre!

Man, this place is amazing. Lake Eyre is the most wonderful place in the world. There are birds everywhere and it looks like a beach on the ocean. We walked out into the warm waters and had a great time taking photos and marvelling at the place.

As the afternoon dragged on we thought we'd better find our campsite so we continued up the Oodnadatta to the Mound Springs Conservation Park. These weird natural land forms look like rock and sand mounds popping out of the ground but they have springs in the top of them. These things support life for miles around when there is little rain out here.

A few kays later and we were at Coward Springs camping ground. The spring at this place was man made in the 1800's and had so much pressure that it created a huge wetland in the area. More recently it was plugged, rebored and it's flow slowed a bit. It is now fully controllable with taps and valves popping out of the ground.

The birds at this place were fascinating - we took way too many photos. I got some great Attenborough-esque shots of birds doing their thing. We walked around and checked out the small but very interesting museum they had there which was full of old relics, photographs, art and stories of life on the old Ghan line. We then tried out the spring fed hot spa - which was not so hot. I'd say about 30 degrees or so which was nice on a 17 degree evening. After that we went back to our campsite and had dinner - I cooked a delicious chicken pasta with pesto and Julie had tomato, barley and lentil soup.

After some star gazing we decided to call it a day and retired to the tent.
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