It’s been great on the Great Central Road
All 1100 km of it, along mostly gravel roads, from Yulara to Laverton in Western Australia. We have had two stops along the way at roadhouses and have enjoyed the remoteness of location, the clear night skies and, yes, the rather chilly nights. The hot water bottles have remained in mothballs though. Campfires have warmed the bones before retiring under the donnas.
The road has not been nearly as bad as the guide books paint. We have been lucky it seems. A manager at one of the roadhouses says they have never been better, usually not as good as this and certainly a lot better than 5 years ago (when the guide books were written maybe). Long stretches of smooth gravel and clay, not quite a snooker table, some corrugations and wash outs. The Isuzu and van have handled it well. Couple of minor problems with our rear vision mirror camera and the road just shakes the clip on mirrors, making them next to useless. This is not really a problem because there is not exactly a lot of traffic to worry about in these parts.
Have seen some interesting places along the way. Lasseter’s cave, where he holed up for 20 days or so, in the 1930s, before setting out and subsequently dying in the desert. He was still looking for his ‘lost’ gold reef west of Alice Springs and Uluru. He had originally ‘found’ it in the 1890s. The cave was a fascinating spot beside a river bed. Allthego had a dig in the dry river bed sands and about 20 cm down water started to pool. Maybe it was there when Lasseter was , maybe it wasn’t. Who knows now?
Our route has taken us through the Gibson and Great Victoria deserts. The landscape though has been awash with vibrant colours, particularly the yellow flowers of cassias. A small patch of Sturts Desert Pea also jumped out at us, these are quite scarce it seems.
The trees and bushes are also looking in great condition following the rains. Spinifex stretches for miles either side of the road, with their seed stems wafting in the breezes.
We have spotted a camel and a few lizards, nothing much else.
The red dust though has been a bit of a trial in the house keeping duties. It just gets into everything. We are now in Laverton and will tomorrow head north-west towards Mt Magnet, stopping first at Leonora and then Sandstone for a few days.