From Birdsville there was 486 kms of mostly dusty road interspersed with roadwork detours into even dustier roads. I transferred to the biggest Triple Road Train which carried the rig gear. I now had a great view of everything in a 5 star air-conditioned comfortable Road Train, a softer seat, with country music and the option of retiring to the cabin behind the driver, offered at least 3 times during the 6 hour drive.
The only drawback was lack of water. I had a small bottle of water which was drunk far too soon and nothing more until Windorah. The road drives through straight desert changing in color. First the whites of the Sandy desert, then orange sand hills and flats and red rocks.
There is nothing until the Betoota turnoff past which is a lookout hill. Betoota is 173 kms from Birdsville and the Lookout where you can see the shelter on the hill is another 50 kms past the turn off. I asked for a toilet stop, and this is where they stopped. I went the 2kms in the Ute with Frank to see an amazing view over the Birdsville Track where we had now driven. It was a white road over rich red land and very beautiful.
The outdoor toilet had no door and you could see over the plains below when seated and it was a beautiful seat with a view.
We returned to the vehicles to discover the kitchen door open. My driver told me later when I was worrying about what to make for dinner, that they had eaten all the bacon raw, the pies in the fridge and also ice-cream and all the apples in one fridge. The team never go hungry it seems.
Betoota is a small town in Diamantina Shire, in the Channel Country of Central West Queensland, Australia which has a seasonal population; the last permanent resident, Sigmund Remienko, died in 2004. Betoota is situated on a gibber plain, 170 kilometres east of Birdsville and 227 kilometres west of Windorah.
The town was surveyed in 1887. Only three streets were ever named. The Betoota Hotel was built in the late 1880s and is now the last remaining building in town. The building is constructed of sandstone and has timber floors. The hotel operated until 1997 when its owner Sigmund (Simon) Remienko retired at 82 years of age. Originally from Poland, Sigmund worked as a grader driver until he bought the Betoota Hotel in 1957. Owning the hotel for 47 years, Simon was Betoota’s sole resident until ill health forced him to move. In October 1997, the hotel closed.