Day 11: Alice Springs to Coober Pedy

Departed at 10:00am after a lazy start and posted some excess clothing home . Traveling souths the road, river and rail line all pass thru the one narrow gap in the MacDonnell Ranges. Probably one reason for the town's location. Going south to the NT/SA. border there were a number of interesting sites. There is the airport and it's solar farm, the Ghan train museum, and the dragstrip and dirt bike track which is where the famous Fink off road race starts every June. The locals I spoke to described it as a 200km insanely, rough dirt road lined with drunk spectators for 2 days and nights. The speeds hit over 160kph and serious accidents are common.

Further south, is the 1994 cannonball run memorial when two Japanese drivers in a Ferrari F40 lost control at very high speed and killed themselves and two checkpoint officials. The first race was the last, although the locals did say there was talk of trying again.

I stopped at Kulgera, which like most outback one horse towns, is the petrol station, general store and pub. There I met the Swiss motorcyclist, Lars, who was doing a big lap, having come thru USA , South America and then shipped his 600cc single cylinder Honda to Melbourne and was on his way to Darwin, then Indonesia. He was insistent on telling me how to camp for free in Coober Pedy , but there was no way to avoided paying the 20c for a shower. He was on his way to the bathroom to wash his pot from cooking lunch. So I understood the sign...

By Marla I needed both a rest and petrol and checked my emails as it has Telstra coverage. Being 16:00 there was only 2 1/2 hrs of daylight so I didn't waste any time on the 234km to cooper pedy. I passed the turnoff to the Oodnadatta track and was pleased I had done it coming up.

The very help camping ground & motel receptionist showed me the watered grass area for tents and I set it up in record time. I had not eaten since breakfast and had another good pub meal. I was told by the receptionist to Hugo back out the road to view the "the breakaways".

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