Sunday 7 July (posted in Marla on Wednesday 10 July)
It was freeeeeezing this morning. Just saying.
These old trucks grace the camping area at Mungerannie. It was our introduction to Mr E G (Tom) Kruse, a legend in these here parts, who delivered the mail in often extenuating services between Birdsville and Marree over many years.
First stop today was the old Mulka Store and Homestead Ruins.
The mirages on a desert afternoon are quite something. It’s as if the mesas up ahead are sitting on a bed of sky. There were road clean up crews out this afternoon. Each of the utes had large soft toy mascots either on the bonnet or riding shotgun on the ute cage.
Behold our first water crossing. Baby steps people.
We pulled up in Marree where the van park owner is also the tyre fixer and the roadhouse and general store owner. So thanks Lyle and Sandy for a place to stay tonight, a repaired tyre and a few provisions to get us through the next few days until Oodnadatta.
Marree was the end of the line for the Old Ghan train. There is an outdoor museum at the old railway station which includes another of Tom Kruse’s trucks.
The Marree Hotel has a room dedicated to Tom Kruse and his contribution to communication in this remote part of the world. The stained glass windows are a feature of this solid old pub. If only the walls could talk, as they say.
A bottle of Annie’s Lane Shiraz was a take away treat (we are in South Australia after all).
Another feature of this historic town is a memorial mosque and park dedicated to the memory of pioneering Muslim cameleers and the families of Marree (or as it was called in earlier days – Hergott Springs).
Just as we began the drive down the Birdsville Track with a little country and western music, so it ends today as the voice of Jimmy Barnes fills the town on this Sunday night.