I joined a group on Facebook called Rolling Solo a group for Women who travel alone. Our first big Meet/Rally was to be at Ross River, East of Alice Springs and this was to be my maiden trip, just a mere 500 ladies, with all different types of camping styles & vehicles. When the rally was over I looked around Alice Spring, Uluru, Kings Cayon & back up the Stuart Highway & when I came through Mount Isa I decided I would go to Birdsville, nothing like traveling by the seat of your pants. This is my account of leaving Birdsville on Saturday 30th Sept. 2017
After coffee at the Birdsville Bakery and after checking the road was open from Birdsville to Windorah at the Info centre I proceeded on even though the weather was looking a bit damp Ummm… proved to be a very harrowing, tiring & interesting day to say the least. Thought coming from Bedourie to Birdsville was a bit hard… well this proved what traveling in the outback was more about. I drove quite some way over the corrugated road thinking this has to be the worst of it over, but it seemed to get worse & as I’d come so far, I couldn’t see that going back was an option anyway… Sooo I just keep on going SLOWLY…EVER so Slowly too… in a lot of parts I was doing 20 kph & on the betta bits 40kph… Yes that slow.. my Poor Jessyblu was sure feeling the corrugated roads & having back dual wheels the rock build up in road centres was tricky to navigate… but we got though with no tyre damage , just covered in dust/mud as it was drizzling blowing hard as well & continued to drizzly & blow all day.
I was so thrilled to come onto a decent length of bitumen coming into the Betoota area as there had been other strips that just went over sand hills… you’d be thinking bitumen… Yaaa & get to the top of the small rise & see dirt road again at the bottom of the hill. Coming onto the Betoota Rainbow Serpent from some distance back was awesome… this big serpent curled along the hill is something to see. After seeing the Rainbow Serpent up close, I popped into look at the ghost town of Betoota where only the old tin shed type pub still stands, all boarded up as it was closed in 1997 a free camp & loo opposite. Apparently this was a thriving little township in it’s hay day, boasting 3 pubs, but there is nothing to see of that existence now.
Still having daylight, I decided to keep going & found a Rest Area not that far ahead. Deon’s Lookout which had a 360 degree view of the Channel Country I’d just come from to the rise in land level to the next part of he Channel Country I’d be travelling. I learnt it was actually called a landslip from a earthquake thousands of years ago Well this is going to be it for tonight, dark is closing in now… Ohh My Goodness when I got out of the bus I was having my doubts… it just about blew my drivers door off it’s hinges (& I kid you not… have the evidence) plus I had trouble standing up in it… unbelievable how strong it was up there. Umm… so I parked my bus between a sign & the shelter shed… my reasoning, that they had been here sometime so should withstand these winds & drizzly rain plus by 9.30 tonight they should have settled… Yea right… let me tell you my bus was rocking with these winds ALL night. I do believe this is where my real Adventures started in my Big Girl, JessyBlu. I love driving her & we’ve become a great team.
Pulling out of Birdsville, these corrugated iron sculptures are on the Birdsville Races side of town. We discovered that the Races have been a major occasion here since 1882. The flat plains of the Channel Country plus my little bit of bitumen…Now I’ve not seen one of these before but sure makes sense… it was so hard to take the photo as the wind was actually blowing that hard it was twisting it… plus this turned out to be the ‘passing lanes’ as well ☺Ahh… the Rainbow Serpent at a long distance away… so impressive. This sculpture is part of three that connects the Diaminatina Shire… the Dust Storms fo Bedourie & a Women’s Meeting place mosaic in the rotunda at Birdsville. All works were created by two sisters, Elders of the local indigenous community.The Rainbow Serpent is making pathways for the river system through the Shire’s Channel country. It is made of Gibbers & other colour & textured rocks collected from within the Diaminatina Shire.
Don’t you just love the Betoota sign… population 0… 😉 and that is the old pub… Betoota comes to life one w/e a year – last w/e in August, should you be in the area – when they have the Betoota Races… there is a great racing track & small aeroplane strip behind me & as you can see, plenty of room for free camping & one long drop loo 😄
This is the plaque on Deon’s Lookout in memory of a well loved young chap as I saw his grave at the Birdsville cemetery yesterday. The eldest of 6 children.
Well I reckon My Big Girl has well & truly earned her stripes… hard challenging roads, drizzly, dust/mud & a novice driver who is getting more confidient by the day. From now on she’s to be known by her official given name of JessyBlu or JB even though she’s not got her signs yet… she has earned them.
I won’t need to pull the curtain tonigh 💜
My parking strategy & you can see Deon’s rock on the right. Woke to a lovely sunny although still windy day.
Deon’s Memorial Rock sure looks impressive with the plains in the background
My laugh of the day… ‘Passing Lane’ out here???… Gosh they’ve been passing me on either side as they are travelling so fast in their 4WDs they are onto me before I even see them in my mirrors.