Today was a pretty tedious day. The road was mostly straight, the scenery low scrub, towns non-existent, and flies in swarms anytime we stopped and opened the car door. The only break from the monotony of driving were the occassional Road Houses. These are basically a gas station, restaurant and pub, maybe some basic motel rooms, maybe a caravan park and a few dwellings for locals (population usually well under 100).
One of the sights that caused us much amusement were these cell phone stops, see the first photo, we have seen a dozen or more over the past two days. We have shown pictures of these things previously and cannot understand why anyone would go to the trouble and expense of installing them. Our testing demonstrates that they do not do anything.
The first of the road houses was a place called Aileron where some locals seem to be into large statues, note the reptile in the statues of the women, that is a creature called a goanna. But in life they are not that big.
At Barrow Creek there were some restored buildings from the days of the Overland Telegraph which was the initial reason for building this road. It ran from Adelaide to Darwin to provided telegraphic access to the rest of the world.
We stopped for the night at a road house called Wycliffe Wells. At some point in the past this place seemed to be trying to be the Rosland of Central Australia as the whole place particularly the campground is decorated in a UFO/Alien theme. Unfortunately Wycliffe Wells is well past its hey-day and is well in decline as many of the buildings are in need of repair and many facilities do not work. It reminded Nina and I of many of the tourist facilities we stayed in traveling through Central America and Mexico.
As you might guess from the photos, Wycliffe Wells has a pet Emu. It used to be in a pen or corral, but some weeks back escaped and now the two young guys that look after the place cannot catch it. So it wanders around eating what ever it can find. It seems to like left over french fries and searches the garbage cans for such frequently.
Even the Emu was a bit taken-a-back by the butt-crack display of one of the customers.