Saturday, September 17, 2011

Beyond NT - Lake Eyre

One of the benefits of doing the Oodnadatta track is that we would get to see Lake Eyre with water in it. Considering I had not seen it without water I was not desperate to see it with water. But Ben was ovely excited about it so I feigned enthusiasm for his sake.

When we got there you could vaguely make out some blue water on the horizon in front of about a kilometre of mud. Thankfully I was able to use Didabell as an excuse not to tramp through the mud with the others to put my feet in the water. I happily stayed at the car while the other 4 set off.

Diddy and I quickly retreated to the caravan because the flies were completely insane. I think I saw more flies yesterday than I have seen in my entire life. I can only guess there are so many of them in the desert because they have no natural predators here... although... what on earth do they eat???? Unsuspecting tourists?

I happily played with Diddy in the caravan and watched the others splashing around in the Lake Eyre water. For a brief moment I worried that I had made the wrong decision. Leaving the van Didabell and I got about 1 metre into the mud before making a hasty retreat back to the van.

As Ben and the kids were heading back, I began to hear the kids all whinging and they were absolutely covered in mud and flies. My elation at being inside and clean was marred by the knowledge that some of my offspring were outside and uncomfortable. Lake Eyre its extremely salty and the salty mud was stinging the kids legs. Being in the desert, where water is precious, we didn't really have anything to clean them up with.

It took Ben about 15 minutes to clean Rohan up to my standards, so he would be permitted to enter my haven. As ben passed him through the door about 20 flies came with him - they seemed to have taken up permanent residence on him, especially just under his nose, which was all snotty from crying.

I then spent a good 10 minutes frantically squashing flies. The exercise was repeated when Jazzy was passed in, followed by Kylah.

Having to leave the van to enter the car was torturous. I don't think I can adequately explain how many flies there were. It was awful!!!

And there weren't just flies either - as I found when I hopped in the car and got bitten by a wasp on my lower back (about 2 inches above my bum). He bit me three times!!!! The yelling I did was way worse than anything the kids had been doing. Infact, my screams were enough to stun the older 3 into complete silence - their own discomfort temporarily forgotten.

After putting an ice pack on my stings we headed off to look for a free campsite.

It its kind of fun travelling on our own. I love travelling with a group, but being able to do whatever you want and go where ever you want is kind of cool. Ben and I had no idea where we were going to stay last night until we got there. It ended up being this remote rest area with no toilets, showers or even water.

The stars were amazing... again!!!

This morning we got up at our leisure and slowly got ready to leave. It wasnt until we were well on our way that we decided it would be nice to go to Port Augusta and stay somewhere nice (we are all in desperate need of a long shower).

We are slowly making our way to mildura to visit a friend of Bens. Then we will head home from there.

The friend of Bens we are visiting is named Rohan. Yes, Ben named our son after one of his old mates!! Actually, what really happened is that Ben and I were having trouble picking a name for our baby boy and we were fastly approaching the cut off date for having our baby named (for me that is 7 months pregnant). We had reduced our list of names to 5 mutually agreeable names and I had devised an elaborate voting system to determine the name. After both Ben and I had cast our vote the result came out that our baby boy would be named Josh. But then Ben said 'I'm not sure....'. Feeling frustrated I threw the baby book at him and screeched 'PICK A BLOODY NAME THEN!!!!.' Ben opened the book and looked at the first page the book fell open to. He said to me "what about Rohan? I used to have a mate named Rohan and he was a good bloke". "Fine" I responded grumpily (because I hated the name but just wanted one picked) "we'll call him Rohan James".

And that is how Rohan got his name!!!!

(Ben has just informed me that it was the dried salt flakes making the kids skin sting. He said it was awesome and I sound have come and that the salt was a natural exfoliant. My response was "Ben, do I look like someone who exfoliates??? And I can assure you if I ever had the urge to exfoliate it would be in a day spa - not in Lake Eyre!!!')

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