My bed is a section of square concrete culvert – one of half a dozen that have been dumped at the rest area to use a picnic tables. It is flat and level and perfect as a raised sleeping platform. There is an exceedingly small chance of rain and the ground is less than ideal for pitching a tent – so it is a night under the stars. The concrete has retained its heat from the day so provides a heat source until the early hours of the morning.
Morning sky is blood red from all the smoke from the fires we'd passed through the day before. A quick breakfast before we head off to Camooweal. Last stop in Queensland before we cross the border and gain ½ an hour. After fueling up I order a second breakfast (scrambled eggs on toast with fired tomato and hash browns with toast and black coffee while I charge my laptop in the roadhouse. Marco & Ursala sit outside under a tree and brew up their own coffee.
The Barkly Highway deteriorates after Camooweal. Lots of road works and chopped up bitumen. Country is more open with less bush and huge skies. Once we cross the border into the NT, the road improves. (Evidence that one the benefits of being a territory rather than a state is that you get extra federal funding for infrastructure such as roads.)
Stop for lunch at Barkly Roadhouse – a welcome oasis on this long stretch. Our destination for the day is another free roadside campsite – 41 Mile Bore – about 70 km short of the 3 ways intersection on the Stuart Highway. No facilities except a picnic table under cover with a water tank. We sleep on the concrete floor next to the picnic table.
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