And so we start what to us is a bit of an outback adventure, ‘The Plenty’. Actually the Donohue Highway which becomes the Plenty Highway, part of ‘Australia’s Longest Shortcut’ which connects Laverton to Winton. The landscape around Boulia is parched dry, barren and almost devoid of vegetation. At least the quality of the dirt road was excellent, which matched comments by many others, who all said that the Qld side was brilliant, and the NT side much worse. How much worse we would have to decide for ourselves. On this point, everyone’s assessment of dirt roads varies wildly; some will state haughtily that the worst corrugated road is fine, perhaps to seem more bush hardened? Others will call it like it is, well for us at least anyway.
Apart from an obligatory ‘Kodak moment’ at the NT border, there were no surprises, no punctures and even time for some photos and video along the way to a free camp 389km from Boulia. Our camp was a flat area nestled in a shallow valley, surrounded by stunted gnarled and twisted trees.
After some whip cracking practice, James helped me build a fire-place, just perfect to enjoy a beer and watch the sunset followed by moon rise. We saw only one other car pass after we setup, with complete silence descending after dark. Apart from thousands of fierce foot-hating prickly burrs that stuck to everything they touched, this camp was perfect. I far prefer to be out here in this great outback emptiness rather than in some posh noisy caravan park.