Another cool night, we were up with the sun again and away around 8ish. Just a few km up the road, we spotted smoke and soon after the cause was revealed, a completely burnt out prime mover! As if that wasn't bad enough, the fire had set the scrub next to the road alight, and with the wind, it was moving quickly. There was nothing we could do, as the driver wasn't there, and we are not equipped to fight big scrub fires!
We stopped at Barkley roadhouse for a cuppa, and continued on. The next exciting thing to happen was an intersection! Three ways! We fulled up at the roadhouse and kept on going, and going, and going....Elliott for fuel, then Dunmarra.
We both resolved we;d had enough of bitumen and decided to take the Buchanan hwy. Not only is it shorter, but it promised to be a more intersting drive, simply because it is dirt.
As soon as we turned off, our mood lifted. The bush suddenly has wild flowers galore, flocks of budgies flicked left and right through the trees, to dive across the road just missing the front of the vehicle and climb again, hundreds of individual birds thinking and moving as one. It gladdens the heart to see such amazing things just a few k's from the 'civilised' highway!
Across the Ghan rail-line and westward. The road is brilliant, one of the best dirt roads we have ever driven on. As a bonus, we seen two vehicles in the first 5 minutes, and that was it, we had the road to ourselves! The downside of all this wonder and amazment is the fact that it's really difficult to find somewhere tucked away to camp. We pressed on,deciding if we could get to Top Springs we would stay there. The road runs mostly through thick scrub, with fences on both side, but suddenly, about 40ks from Top Springs, it breaks out into open country. Cattle crowd around, dozily on and beside the road, heads slowly turning, following you as you pass by, reluctant to move out of the way, as if it is vitally urgent they do not move from this spot.
Top Springs it turns out, isn't.
Still it is a friendly place to stay, with an inviting lawn to pitch a tent on and wonder of wonders, a shower block! Not sure where everybody is going, but there seems to be a lot of traffic!