Bertha: Off-roader

A and I had planned on spending 9 days on a cattle station near Yuendumu, proper outback country. It was a 700km round trip out of our way, works out about $200 of fuel as prices are a lot higher in the middle of nowhere. We set off this morning from Alice Springs, ready for the 350ish kilometres of driving. Trip was pretty average, it’s heating up the further north we go so we went old school road trip with the windows down blasting our favourite songs (Every time we touch by Cascada definitely being one of those!) It was a gorgeous day, we saw our first wild camels (ooh) in both alive and roadkill forms. Whoever hit that badboy can’t have had much of a car left, must’ve been like hitting a wall!

Anyway, we’re driving down Tanami Road when suddenly the tarmac vanishes and we’re crawling along this bloody awful corrugated road, catching things as they fall out of place in the van. But we keep crawling- only 56km to go!

Then it gets to their own dirt road. We’d been forewarned that it was a gravel track, but perfectly suitable for our Bertha. Turns out that changed as they had immense rain on Sunday (we weren’t told) and we were busy either dodging puddles or holding our breath as Bertha plowed on through them. She was like a 4×4, and after today I can’t say a bad word against this van. She went through a vehicle’s version of Crossfit today and came out like a trooper! She’s mud spattered and due a damn good look over but we’re pretty sure we didn’t lose anything and nothing is making a noise so #prayforBertha. Sadly we got to a puddle too big for anything without a snorkel to tackle and had to make a swift 180 back towards Yuendumu, with only 22kms left to go. 

So we’re currently heading back the way we came, A has been chief driver today thank goodness. We’d be submerged in a puddle if I’d been behind the wheel! While I’m sat here bitterly typing this blog and cursing that we ever went so far out of our way for naff-all benefits.

Tonight will be spent camped out at Tilmouth Well Roadhouse before we make our way back towards Alice Springs and then embark on a slow trip to Darwin. Been a couple of crap days for us as visiting Uluru yesterday was also a disappointment as strong winds chilled us good and proper! Still pretty cool to admire though, it’s one big rock! 

That’s it for now. Remember guys, don’t take tarmac for granted, you don’t appreciate it until you’ve driven on roads that shake you like a maraca. 

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