TUESDAY 15 MAY ARKAROOLA TO COPLEY 130kms
After last night’s grand finale, it was time to depart Arkaroola!
With only 130kms to go, we could afford a leisurely pack up. There was quite a lot of wet stuff – our awning, but especially M’s living tent.
At the office, I handed in the Visitor Survey form that we had been asked to complete. I thought that, after eleven nights here, we could give a more accurate assessment than many campers! I was critical of the quality of the Reception staff who, a lot of the time, seemed totally disinterested in what they were doing and in us and our tourist experience there. In tourism operations, front-line staff are so important….
The Road Conditions board just outside Arkaroola indicated that the Strzelecki Track was closed. Good thing we were not planning on going to Innamincka.
The many little floodways/dips between Arkaroola and Balcanoona – some of which we hadn’t even noticed in our previous drives – had received a water flow during the night, evidenced by debris on the road. Even small rocks and bushes had been moved! Some still had a little water in. The amount of run-off there had been surprised us. Maybe it shouldn’t have, given how much run off ran through our camp!
Balcanoona Creek was still flowing – good to see. The ‘roos appeared to think so, too, judging by the numbers we saw.
After Balcanoona, the way was much drier, and the road surface was pretty good.
It was a scenic run, for much of the way.
We booked into the Copley Caravan Park for two nights. Our powered site cost $22.50.
After setting up and having lunch at the van, we drove to nearby Leigh Creek, to shop for food.
Copley was really just a small village, with a very pleasant caravan park. There was a hotel and bakery, and a bit of a general store, but we needed to do a serious re-stock. Leigh Creek, 12kms away, was one of those soul-less purpose built mining townships, containing the supermarket we needed.
Even though the fresh produce, we found, was not due in until tomorrow, I still managed to spend $256 at the supermarket! Well, it was nearly two weeks since the last re-supply, and should be at least a week before the next. We would have to go back tomorrow for bread, fruit and vegetables.
Visited the Information Centre and picked up some brochures and maps. They were selling locally stencilled T-shirts – remainders, I thought. $5 each – can’t go too wrong at that price. They had a sort of stylized serpent on the front. I bought us one each – a nice dark green and a navy – good for not showing the dirt, which was a pre-requisite of travel clothing for us.
There was a group of indigines staying at the caravan park – led by the well-known Geoff Clarke, who came over to chat to us whilst M was setting up her camp. He was not as tall or big as he appeared in the media. He was taking a group of youths/young men from down Yambuk way to become acquainted with “outback” aboriginals. He did not really explain what this was supposed to achieve.
Late in the day, John was working on his laptop, in the van, with the door open. He was visited by a black cat. It just strolled in as if it was totally entitled and proceeded to make itself at home. Was this some sort of omen?
Through the evening, we could see flashes of lightning away to the south east.