Day 85 | can you say Algebuckina Bridge?: it's a biggy

78 km | Heading west total: 3,168 km


The old Ghan train sporadically linked Alice with civilisation to the south for about 80 years.

The last train trundled through in 1980. The narrow gauge line generally followed the Overland Telegraph Line but there were big washouts after floods and other obscure difficulties that caused the train to be out of action for months at a time. Eventually after one long bridge was washed away the state government decided to construct a new standard gauge line 160 km to the west to avoid the more difficult river crossings.

The old line with the associated infrastructure was abandoned. There’s something profoundly sad in encountering the obsolescent remnants of all that history: the rusting desalination towers, an old cemetery with 3 old graves from 1888, (Paddy O’Dea died aged 23), the numerous bridges. So much wasted effort attempting to tame this barren landscape.

And here we are rushing furiously to transform the rest of the world into a matching landscape.