Aus Update 5 - Port Augusta to Marree


13th August 2006 - Today we broke our pack up camp record of 2 hours! We managed to get up, breakfast, dress and pack up camp in 1 hour and 10 minutes.  We got on the road by 9.05am, we are very proud of that.  You all might be laughing, but remember we are on holiday, we don't have to be anywhere in particular at any particular time.  It is really good that we are both on the same page as far as getting up and going goes, it could be very frustrating otherwise.

Over the last couple of days we have travelled only a very short distance in the whole scheme of things, and yet it is so large in distance and diverse in senery, wildlife, flora.  There has been so much to stop at, take photos of, learn about the different area's history, it is just impossible to see it all, stop at it all...

So we only traveled 102kms today to Port Augusta.  We had to replenish our fruit and vegies due to ours being kindly removed from us at the border. We also needed to stop in to the information centre and find out any information that we might need to know for the next part of the trip.  We are going to be doing the Oodnadatta Track.  They told us that the road was open but they have had a fair bit of rain, and that we need to be prepared to be stranded on the track for 3-4 days if it rains because it becomes impassable. Take water some water and some more water (apparently it is scarce up there, infact they sell it to you like petrol, by the litre, we look forward to seeing that), a few other things in regards to spares, no worries.

Chris has wanted to run the petrol tank empty because we didn't know how large it was and the gauge plummets to empty very quickly (50km was all we got before the gauge said we were empty). We were relieved to find that is not the case. The other part of the story is we had a petrol voucher from Office Works where we purchased our plastic trestle table.  This voucher gives us 16c off per litre off fuel (all types), at any Coles Express petrol station nation wide.  We could also add fuel discount docket from Coles supermarket giving us a another 4c discount, that is 20c/litre off fuel.  This is not something we have ever bothered with before but 160 litres every time we fill up and no income for the next 11 months, we got really excited.  So the next part of the story is we were nearly out of gas and completely out of petrol, we had some petrol on the roof but Chris was sure we were going to come across a Coles Express station.  We hadn't seen one since Mildura in Victoria.  We drove the total 102 kms today at no more than 80km/hour, to conserve.As we drove into Port Augusta, which Chris didn't think we would make, thinking we would have to stop and fill up at the first petrol station, and would you believe the second station was a Coles Express.  Thankfully we saw it before pulling into the first station. We got 61.16L of petrol, 85.69L of LPG, making 146.85L of fuel - the voucher allowed up to 150L of fuel at the 20c/L discount! So we got a $29.37 saving :-)

So tonight we are staying at a caravan park in Port Augusta. Nothing flash, but warm clean showers and plenty of drinking quality water for us to top up before heading up the centre.

14-Aug-2006 We have now made it to Marree. We are planning to stay here tonight. Tomorrow we'll head up the Oodnadatta Track, but head over to Coober Pedy for Tuesday night. Wednesday we will head back through the painted desert, and after that, either Uluru or Alice Springs...