March has ended, Easter has come and gone. We are still staying at home and trying to work out what life will be looking like tomorrow, next week and so on.

In one of our recent work-place meetings, we were thinking about all those who work with us to put together the great programs we run. We speak regularly to many of them. Places like Curtin Springs, Maree Hotel, Allsail, Go Ride A Wave, IGA, Black Mountain and more have become part of our family. We want to know how they are going and how can we help them.

We have asked them to write a paragraph about the impact of these times and what they are looking forward to. We will be posting these both to acknowledge their contribution to us and let them share their journey at the moment.

We are starting with the Marree Hotel. This is one of our way stops on the Auscamp Central Australian Journey. It is an iconic watering hole and community center at the southern end of Oodnadatta Track.

We were gearing up for another busy season here at the Marree Hotel, the hotel had been deep cleaned and brought back to life after its summer slumber and then the restrictions were put into place and it was time to put the hotel back to bed – this time indefinitely. The staff that we had ready to spend the season here with us, unfortunately, had to let go, leaving just the two of us here at the hotel. Although we are used to the isolation that comes with living in the Outback, this is a new type of isolation for us as the rest of the district has also gone into hibernation. The town’s busy social calendar consisting of; darts night here at the hotel on a Friday, movie afternoons at the youth club on a weekend and tennis on a Saturday night has been put on hold until the current situation has passed. These events have been swapped for phone calls to keep each other company and updated with the local gossip. People in the Outback are used to enduring harsh weather, isolating conditions and tough times – we will all bounce back from this together. We are hoping that everyone that has had to forgo a trip to the Outback this year will choose to visit us next year instead and those people that would not normally travel Australia will choose to stay a bit closer to home next year and see what the wonderful country has to offer. – Joe Calvert and Jess Williams -Managers