Overcoming the fear of travelling alone

I will not pretend I wasn’t petrified. I was. But mixed in with the awful fear was a glorious feeling of excitement. Most of the really exciting things we do in our lives scare us to death. They wouldn’t be exciting if they didn’t. 

Danny, the Champion of the World

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Kanku/The Breakaways – Painted Desert

The colours of Kanku/The Breakaways and the Painted Desert are truly breathtaking.

Check out the photo gallery

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More car trouble in the outback

Well, it’s happened again. I’ve had car trouble.

Driving from Coober Pedy to Arkaringa and the Painted Desert, one of the clips holding my back window in place broke. Of course it was the strongest one, the one that holds it all in place. Without that, the clip that holds down the other corner just pops out. So I drove through the dust with my back window flapping in the breeze. Letting in the dust that the car was kicking up behind.

I tried putting the front windows down to get an airflow through the car and push the dust out the back. It didn’t work. All I got was a dust storm swirling in front of my eyes. It was a bit cool anyway, so I was happy to put the windows back up and deal with it when I got to my next stop – 45k down the dirt road.

Nope.

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Outback Australia landscapes

The Australian outback truly is remarkable. And ever changing as you drive through it.

I left Coober Pedy heading north for the Painted Desert. First stop, Kanku/Breakaways again. Last night I drove in from the highway to the lookout, so today I wanted to drive in via the Moon Plain, and actually into Kanku to see the hills from ground level.

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Coober Pedy, the wild outback

Coober Pedy.

It’s not as I imagined it would be.

Yes, there are a lot of opal mines, surrounded by even more mounds of dirt, looking a bit like crab holes in wet sand. You know how little crabs throw balls of sand all around their hole while they’re digging? Well, that’s what the surrounds of Coober Pedy reminded me of. If we really are in the Matrix, or there is a giant looking down on us, I’m sure that’s how Coober Pedy would look to them.

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Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre, all to myself

Halligans Bay is the only place you can camp at Kati Thanda (Lake Eyre), and I have it all to myself.

Well, not quite to myself. There is a bird who appears to be trying to mate with his reflection in my wing mirror. And there’s the spiders – but more on them later. First, the bird.

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Coward Springs, a desert oasis

Reeds glowing in the sunriseLike most places of interest on the Oodnadatta Track, Coward Springs was originally a siding for the old Ghan railway line. When they were putting the track through, somebody decided that the best way to get water was to sink a bore. Well, they got water – more than they expected. The water gushed out, and flooded the plain.

So now, like Mungerannie on the Birdsville Track, Coward Springs is a man-made wetlands in the desert.

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