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Driving in the Outback.

There’s nothing like driving in the Outback. Seriously, if you’ve never been there, you’ve probably never experienced anything like it. It’s hot, like really really hot… and it’s dry.. think dry and then times that by twelve. And after one flat tire – please reference a past post about ‘was my life really worth an $8 burger‘ and you’ll understand why I’m so proud of the brand new tire in the photo below!  Because I’m still alive!

Tire's all fixed!

Being American by birth, I’m used to seeing the occasional, raccoon, deer, groundhog and squirrel.  You don’t think much about it… but when you start passing kangaroo’s, emu’s, sheep, fox, cattle and then ‘mystery’ animals, it kinda catches your eye.

We decided to travel from our ‘home away from home’ in Port Lincoln and do a marathon drive up to Coober Pedy. It takes about nine hours on road – but since we’re pretty seasoned in the long drives it wasn’t really a biggie.

Putting it in Perspective

For the first few hours we passed, kangaroo, fox, birds and the occasional mystery roadkill, but it wasn’t until we saw a red kangaroo, that I really realised the damage these Aussie creatures can really do.

where we're from and where we're going

Kangaroo’s are just about as popular as deer in the United States, however there’s a huge difference – Kangaroos are build like brick shit-houses.  They’re amazingly solid creatures.  Seriously.  They’re built so low to the ground that if you hit one of these things, your car will probably be totalled.  That’s why they tell you to hit these suckers straight on.  If you hit it on the side, consider yourself dead.

Then, the road starts to get cool in a morbid kind of way.

Big Warning

This is the start of the real outback.  Okay, someone added the little person – but perhaps it’s not that far from the truth – a lot of crazy people cycle and even WALK in the outback – I’m serious.  Click here for a list of all the crazy people who have walked across Australia.

And this guy is hands-down my favourite.


Anyway.. probably about half way though our drive things started to get a bit weird.  We entered ‘Death Valley.’

There were about eight or nine cows in all different states of decomposition.  It’s a dry heat that can get up and over 45 degrees, so it preserves the flesh a bit more than the humid conditions on coasts of the United States.

cow roadkillRemember the sign you saw above?  Think about it… We’re on some guy’s farm.  Like this is an actual cattle station that we’re driving though.  There’s no fences out here.  This is the Outback!  And, if I were the farmer, I’d be pissed that my good stock has been plowed by a road train.

This is a road train.

Road TrainWe were sharing the road with these bad boy trucks carrying even more than this!  We heard a story about a guy driving a road train who slammed into thirteen camels in the outback.  That’s right – THIRTEEN.  He couldn’t stop and took every single one of them out and he was only going 110k’s an hour.  That’s the normal speed limit.

It’s kinda making sense that we’re seeing so many dead cows and sheep on the side of the road.

Former Sheep - now a pile of fluff

And then there was a little ray of sunshine that we caught using our finely tuned bush eyes.

sheep!  Alive!

These little guys are smart because they’re hanging out on the shady side of the road.  If they stay there, they’ll survive.  Fingers crossed.

And we’re so far out in the middle of nowhere… that we came across stuff like this:

airstrip Our road doubles as an airstrip!  It’s a bit unnerving.  First, the road widened and I saw the actual landing strips and immediately looked up!  Planes LAND ON THE HIGHWAY!!!!!  Insane, right?  But we are in the middle of nowhere – probably not that weird out here because there’s no one around and well, we’re kinda on a military base too.  No fences, just a nasty old sign that pretty much says that if you stray too far during your pee break, that they’ll shoot you on the spot – no questions asked.  Welcome to Woomera.

WoomeraYeah, they’ve got rockets and guns.. and all the things that fight the bad guys. We made sure to keep on the path, just this once!

And, then, there’s nothing else out there until you reach Coober Pedy.  Seriously.  Nothing.

Outback nothingness

Well, maybe an occasional whirly whirly.

whirly whirly

I thought these were rare as tornadoes…. until i saw about ten in a 50k radius – all at the same time!  (the outback is pretty flat)

Okay, so how can you not smile when you’re greeted by a super cool sign like this!

Coober PedyWe finally made it to Coober Pedy! (more to come about that)

taraustralis View All

A girl gone walkabout in the great big world!

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