Well we made it to Alice Springs in 1 piece. Before leaving birdsville we went and had a crack at big red (its a big sand dune for the non 4wd folk) and made it over the top on the 3rd go. After leaving birdsville we headed down the Birdsville track for Clayton station, to get to Clayton station we had to cross the Cooper creek using the ferry. I had to remove the spare wheel carrier to fit on the ferry but we made it on unlike so other people who were turned away with their caravan. Clayton station has an outdoor hot spa (well its a cow trough with hot water) and this turned out to be one of the best nights we have had so far. The kids had a swim while we setup camp and after tea the kids were shuffled of to bed and the adults skinny dipped in the spa under the stars drinking cans and wine and watching shooting stars and sattelites flying by.
The next day we headed further south to Marree to resupply and press on to our next stop at William creek, we stopped at coward springs on the way for the kids to have quick swim. The william creek pub dished up some very nice meals. We drove out to the edge of Lake Ayre and it turned out to be a really crappy road but we dipped our toes into Lake Ayre water which is pretty cool. I hadn't realised my phone was on the wrong time so we turned up for our flight the next morning half an hour early. The 1 hr flight was really good, it was like an inland ocean, we had never seen it empty but will one day to compare. After william creek we continued up the Oodnadatta track to Oodnadatta itself, I found the town a bit of a s***hole and refused to camp there so we headed for the painted desert for a couple of nights. After spending a couple of nights on a station near the Painted desert we headed for Dalhousie springs.
At Dalhousie the spring is the size of a small dam and is pretty well always 39 degrees, it felt like a hot bath and if you stand still their is heaps of small fish that eat the dead skin of you, its a bit freaky at first bit you get use to it. Mt dare was the next stop for 2 nights and it had a nice pub and grassed campground. After some repairs to vinnies camper we pressed on up toward Finke turning off just short of the town to visit the geographical center of Australia, after some photo's we headed back to Finke. Finke is an Aboriginal town and we were greeted by a big pack of dogs, the dogs seemed to out number the people we kept going and up the Old Ghan rail track which runs beside the finke race track. We ducked onto the race track here and there but it was just too up and down for camper trailers. The Ghan track itself was interesting as it was covered in rail spikes, lucky we didnt get a puncture. we stopped at Chambers pillars for the last night before Alice.
On the way to Alice we stopped at Titjikala to buy an Aboriginal painting and continued on for the final run to Alice. The rough roads pretty well keep going until you hit the outskirts of town, once at Alice it feels like an achievment to make it with minimal damage to the campers and cars. Today we visited the Alice springs desert park to see the bird show and other attractions. its nice to spend a few days not moving.