Indian Pacific, 16 February 2007

Port Augusta

Why are you going to Port Augusta? There is nothing to do there. Indeed, there is nothing to do in Port Augusta and that is exactly what I like about it. The Ghan arrives a bit early. It is half past four at night. Port Augusta train station is dark and deserted.

When the Ghan departs towards Adelaide I go for another nap. It is a bit cooler here than it is in the Territory, but still warm enough to sleep under the stars. Shortly after sunrise I walk to town. Port Augusta is still asleep. Only the bakery shows signs of live.

The centre of town is small. It is a bit odd to walk around in a strange, sleeping town and know the whole centre after ten minutes.

As soon as the first hotel opens I head for bed. A few hours of sleep compensate my broken night a bit.

The Stuart Highway across the water is a beautiful sight. This highway is a enormous long string of asphalt. It will be about a thousand kilometres north to reach Katherine.

At the other shore a lookout tower attracts. As there is little to do, the lookout seems a fine destination to me. The sun shines fierce. I should have taken sun block and have to stay in the shade.

Across the water, Port Augusta west, a BBQ table offers great shade. Now the centre of town is at the other shore. This is a temporary SUMit HQ, a fine location to extend the SUMit roster software with locations. I like this life, wandering through Australia with a laptop in my backpack.

The view from the lookout is nice. It shows how Port Augusta is surrounded by outback. Look in any direction and see vast nothing. Port Augusta promotes itself as a hot spot, a regional centre. Well it is correct, head out of Port Augusta and find there is even less to do.

Very charming: Port Augusta is so small that it does not have an Internet cafe. But the library offers one hour of free Internet, which suffices. The PCs have limited functionality. I have to apply a few tricks to FTP my story on Travel North.

My arms look red and my neck feels sun burnt. It is better to stay in the shade for the rest of the day. The exhibition at the information centre is very good, offers a fine journey through time.

The centre offers some good tours towards the outback too. These tours look good. It is a pity that I am here for such a short time. Tomorrow night quarter past three the Indian Pacific will take me to Adelaide for a tour in the outback.

My speed is too high. The waterfront of Port Augusta is a fine place to work, read a book or just stare a bit at the ships, a pelican and the seagulls. There is little to do in Port Augusta, if only I could have enjoyed that a bit more.

Till next nut,