Yesterday we flew to Charleville and today we will move on to Birdsville via Windorah where we will have lunch and fuel up the aircraft. This is a much longer track than that of yesterday. Now we are really going to enter the outback.
The day started by fueling up the planes, keeping the flies away and of course cleaning the windows.
And then on to Windorah. Once you have passed Birdsville, you enter the outback. There are not a lot of towns anymore, but you will find grouped houses either being part of a single farm or several families living closer together. This is cattle land.
Here’s the team in VH-JCU: Ray and myself upfront and our navigator/host/caterer/tour guide Clare in the back.
Well as you can see there is a lot of space out there. The colors are great and changing constantly. I have tried to take some nice pictures of it, but they are by far not as nice as the real thing. You should come out here and see for yourself!
On our way, we have passed several airfields. All the towns (or at least those of some size) will make sure that they have a decent airstrip, allowing the Royal Flying Doctors to come in when they need help.
Today I also could take a picture of a so called “road train”; this is a big truck with several trailers hauling cargo over longer distances.
There has been a lot of rain lately in this region, so besides a lot of relatively dry areas you will also see green and rivers containing water. This is a relatively flat area, so the rivers are not very deep, but when they get a lot of water, they will become very wide and cause flooding.
We could not make it directly to Birdsville and therefore landed at Windorah to refuel our planes and have lunch. Windorah is a really small place; there’s nothing on the airport except for an air conditioned cabin to have lunch and wait for the person who can fill up the planes. And then there are even more flies here then we had before in Charleville.
Windorah is a small town, but with a high tech solar station to generate the power they need here. And they must consume a lot of power with their air conditioners otherwise it’s just too hot. Today is a “not too bad” day according to the locals; it’s only about 40 degrees.
On our way over from Windorah to Birdsville you can find these amazing views. These are formed by water streams that resulted in vegetation and the dry areas cause this great contrast.
Again we started last, but arrived first at Birdsville. And again it’s hot (about 40 degrees) and the moment you get out of the plane, you are covered with flies. Great…
We are going to stay in the world famous Birdsville hotel for the next two nights. It’s been very pleasant day again. We saw some amazing views of the enormous country. Here you can fly or drive for hours before getting close to a town. I will have to take a picture of some of the road signs to show you how far away this place is from anything “nearby”. More on that in a later post. For now: time to have a bear and mingle with the locals.
The track of today:
Friday 20 March 2009