Day 27. Thursday 24 August.

Serenaded awake by our favourite, the Butcherbird. We think this bird may be following us from Canberra. IMG_1054

T had a chat this morning with Tim, the traveller we met and shared a (his) fire with last night. He had travelled through Tibouburra and Camerons Corner and was refueling at Kulgera (just north of the SA/NT border) yesterday when he got chatting to a ‘well put together Kiwi woman, with grey hair and a twinkle in her eye’. She informed him that she was on the way to join 400 Solo women travellers (a subset of the CMCA – Caravan and Motorhome Club of Australia, of which we are members – but not of that sect) at the Ross River Resort (this totally explained the group of solo women travellers who had twittered at Trephina Gorge a day ago). She also added that she had a bottle of Bourbon and that he might like to join her and ‘talk shit all night’ He declined, but was tickled to be propositioned. T said to him that she now understood why he kept a chainsaw in his tent: he had admitted the previous evening that this was his protection against feral dogs! Apparently feral cats as well.

T later wanted to know whether D would like to travel alone with the opportunity to meet interesting people and ‘talk shit’ all night over a bottle of Bourbon. He reckoned that all he was missing at the moment was the Bourbon.

So, a long, flat, fairly monotonous day ensued – well over 500 kms, which is well over our desired time on the road. A plus was the excellent knitting time on the smooth bitumen.

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Stopped off at The Breakaways, about 20 km out of Coober Pedy, later realizing that they are actually the southern end of the Painted Desert. Our ignorance did not diminish our enjoyment of this beautiful landscape.

Overnight in Coober Pedy, crammed into a tiny space in the Oasis Caravan Park. It took several minutes of reversing, forwarding, reversing….to actually get the van in. There was applause from the watchers, and D’s masculinity acknowledged. Compare this to our last night’s stay – which was free! And after paying $30 to occupy this handkerchief sized piece of dirt we then had to pay 20 cents for a 3 minute shower – the first 30 seconds of which was cold, and the next 2.5 minutes went in less time than expected. Grrr!

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