As there was only 200 kilometres to drive to our next stop, Devils Marbles Hotel, there was no rush to get up or get away. At around 830am, we all got out of our vans to find the main grassed area which was full with about 50 caravans last night, completely deserted and our neighbours in the overflow were all but one gone as well. The strange thing is that none of us heard them leave. There was an advantage of having the gentle hum of the generator nearby overnight.
Before leaving ourselves around 9am, we checked out the camels and donkeys on the property and then headed south. Along the way there was a reminder of when things go wrong with a caravan destroyed on the side of the road. No indication of when it happened and the tow vehicle was not with it but there were some corresponding skid marks coming from the south.
A quick stop in Tennant Creek to refuel at $1.419 a litre and we continued on towards a huge pall of smoke. It appears that a fire had started by the Stuart Highway and was headed westward and building up steam as it went. Later while we were eating dinner at sunset you could see the smoke plum from where we were camped for the night.
After passing the Devils Marbles or Karlu Karlu, it wasn’t far for our final stop for the day at the Devils Marbles Hotel. This is another one of those places I have driven past over the years but never stopped. This year we stopped and camped out the back.
Apparently an ex-firefighter from work owned and ran this outback pub. We met the current owner, Greg and he certainly didnt look like an ex Firie. I asked about whether an ex Firie had owned the pub and he said that was about 4 owners ago and probably 10 years ago. I guess that stories never age in the fire service as I only heard about 6 months ago at work about “you need to stop and say hello to …..”.
It was a relaxing afternoon sitting under the shade watching all the late comers jostling for position. Glad we got in early.
The meals have a good reputation here or so we have been told. This story is correct as I had the best barramundi yet on this trip and it was a good size and just melted in the mouth.
A largish drive tomorrow of 400 kilometres through to Alice Springs with a stop for a couple of days.