Friday morning we packed up and headed to Leigh Creek, an open cut coal mining town, to stock up on food, fuel and water. We then kept on to Marree, stopping along the way to view some ochre pits and the ruins of an old railway town, Farina. We stopped for the night at Marree where we enjoyed the company of other travellers and a good meal at the gorgeous local pub. Marree is the beginning of the Oodnadatta track which we have been looking very forward to travelling.
After a rough night with Lachie (sick) we left Marree a little bleary eyed but excited to be on our way! Even in howling wind we stopped off to see quite a few points of interest along the way including some giant sculptures, the amazing Lake Eyre South, huge wedge-tailed eagles, 18 blown out tyres, and the incredible natural springs that dot their way along the track. The springs have been along this route for millions of years and so it was originally a trade route for Aboriginals as the springs were oases in the desert. The landscape kept changing along the way from red rock (gibber) plains to sand then salt then back again. We set up camp for the night at Coward springs, a beautifully kept campground, with a museum about the area and a special spot where an old bore turned into a free flowing spring and has been now made into a little spa! The dip was a refreshing way to end the day. We are constantly amazed at the arid beauty of this country, the space and the size, the endless sky, and how people live and work out here hundreds of kilometres from "civilisation".