The Barrier Highway

Departing from Broken Hill I went west along the Barrier Highway. The wind was still blowing quite strong and from the south west, making progress slow. I had a late breakfast with my friend Linda, she treated me to a gourmet breakfast of salmon and eggs. A rather good way to start any day. The Barrier Highway goes west through Broken Hill into South Australia and onto Adelaide. I’ll be following it as far as the Flinders Ranges foothills and then getting onto quieter roads – not that this can be described as busy.

Thanks in part to the late start I only went past the South Australia border before stopping for the evening. The ground is very rocky out here and I found a nice spot to camp, nice and sandy in a run-off area so easily levelled. The only drawback was that it was near the railway. I’ve camped near railways before and the noise didn’t wake me so it’s no problem.

Next day was more of the same. This has to be one of the most featureless areas I’ve travelled in so far, there is very little in the way of vegetation, or hills. The wind though was a constant companion making sure that every inches travelled was an inch earned. Many of the roadhouses and hotels on some of these streches are closing down. In Mannahill and another township I passed earlier in the day the pubs have closed, presumably due to lack of custom. There were a few signs pleading with travellers to give their custom to help them to stay open – with little success apparently. At Mannahill there was even a new sign saying that there was woodfires burning to beat the winter chills but the place was locked up when I got there. Shame, a fire would have been nice.

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