We left the diesel heater running for a while last night and on it’s lowest setting didn’t over heat the van, so with a couple of windows just open we left it running overnight. So this morning it’s warm, but not too stuffy in the van.
A full pack up and we drive the length of the town to Pioneer Park. Here amongst old farm and mining machinery is a boat. It’s a sculpture for the town. Apparently Sturt’s (which the national park is named) expedition, amongst people, provisions, dogs and sheep also carted a 30’ whaling boat, so confident they were of finding an inland ocean. Well let’s say that didn’t work out too well.
South and about 50km to a place, can’t really call it a town, called Milparinka. A pub and maybe 4-5 ruin buildings, having said that the court house and police station have been rebuilt. Interesting enough. But I think we’re here too early. We try the pub, but there’s no food till 12. Oddly here we see a public phone box, we consider a call to our parents as we’re not sure they’ve got the message we’re ok but out of contact, but we figure we’ll sort this out in White Cliffs.
Another 50km on tar, the road to Broken Hill. Then we reach the turn off to White Cliffs, still 120 or so to go. This road is like a liquorice-all-sort. Wide, narrow, dry, mud, rocky, smooth, corrugations and sections of tar.
We carry on and as we go we look for a spot to stop for lunch. There is this amazing mountain range/ridge off to our right as we drive along. After finding nothing better we stop at this junction with the “think tank” (it’s a junk sculpture of a man on an loo) . We run the generator while we eat, unsure of what we’ll get tonight power-wise.
We eventually make it into White Cliffs and to the van park, the Caretaker is not here and the notice board suggests taking any spot. We can’t find any powered sites and are thinking of a freecamp site on the side of the road 2 or 3 km up the road, every chance this would be busy too and there’s no river or lake, but we might be able to run the gennie for a while. As we are deliberating the caretaker arrives and points out one free powered site left (the site is so narrow we missed it)
Anyway we setup and I drive the 500 mtrs or so to town, fill up with fuel ( 1.72/ltr, ouch) and find one of the last two Telstra SIMs in town. I tell you, it’s like gold. Back and a call to our parents to confirm everything is OK. I post a couple of Blogs that have been ready but waiting for internet.
It’s just amazing how many people are here (not just here, but the whole north west of the state. I kinda expected the school holiday makers, but forgot the stuck grey nomads. There are far more of them than families on school holidays.