click on pix to see them big
Twenty-six kilometres east of Windorah is a dry-weather-only track, signposted to Hammond Downs and Welford National Park. For the most part it runs parallel to the Barcoo River. The landscape was pretty bare, most of it having being eaten by cows I suspect. There were frequent vermin fences and dire warnings.
'On the outer Barcoo where churches are few,And an anonymous writer wrote even earlier:
And men of religion are scanty,
On a road seldom crossed 'cept by folk that are lost,
One, Michael Magee had a shanty...'
'To carry me westward ho, my boys, that's where the cattle strayRivers in this region have a strange, other-worldly feel that's difficult to define. There's a quietness and a sense of unreality that I suppose results from remoteness and the fact that it's so dry they shouldn't be there at all. The only sign of life on the Barcoo was an opportunistic Black Kite circling over an unfortunate kangaroo that had recently met its maker on the bridge. How could anyone have been driving that fast at that point?
On the far Barcoo where they eat nardoo*, a thousand miles away!'
And then, four Spinifex Pigeons. Welford National Park was living up to expectations. The River Drive obviously took us back to the Barcoo and 'The Jetty'. In the next little while we crossed a series of dry and dusty flats and came by the occasional waterhole. By midday at the Desert Waterhole it was a pleasantly warm 23 degrees.
resembling clover or waterlily, nardoo is in fact related to the fern family. It grows in water or wet ground but can survive hot dry summers, seemingly dead, before springing into life come the rains