It was a beautiful dawn in the Northern Flinders Ranges.
There was a mixture of excitement and nerves as I headed north to Marree and the start of the Oodnadatta Track
Marree is an historic town and a major Old Ghan Railway.
The name The Ghan was derived from the Afghan camel handlers who were instrumental in opening up the centre of Australia to European settlement and in building the railway.
This historic mosque is a remnant of the Afghan presence.
The southern part of the Track is straight and fairly well sealed with quirky sideshows along the way.
It also skirts Southern Lake Eyre.
Coward Springs sits amongst provides a sheltered camping space amongst date palms originally introduced by the Afghan camel herders.
The owners have planted a new date plantation.
It provides a sheltered place to campin the arid country.
Coward Springs sits amongst a ground of mound springs.
And has a natural spa on site feed from such a spring
What a relief after a long ride!
Mound Springs are a unique part of outback Australia where water bubbles out of the ground from Australia’s Great Artesian Basin.
These springs provide green oasis in this otherwise arid land
The Southern section of the Track ends at William Creek an old railway siding with a welcoming hotel.
It was time for a break, adjust the drive, have a cold drink and choose my route to Oodnadatta.
The choice is direct or via Coober Pedy. Time is on my side so I have taken the long way via the underground town of Coober Pedy.
That tale is for the next blog.