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ADELAIDE:  Locals along the Eyre Highway have been appalled at what they claim were begging tactics used by the young faith walkers.

The group of seven set out nine weeks ago to walk across the Nullarbor, believing God would provide for all their earthly needs.

One Eucla resident, who refused to be named for fear of reprisals, said the walkers had deliberately set out to embarrass the Nullarbor locals into giving them food and accommodation for nothing.

"They've got their stage-act down to a fine art," the man said.

"Every time they hit a roadhouse they expected us to put them up - if we didn't they threatened to ring the media."

Mr Barry Brotherson, manager of the Madura Roadhouse, 530km south of Norseman, said today he had been shocked at the group's antics during their two-day stopover at Madura last week.

"They can only be described as a group of highly skilled beggars.  Divine intervention has nothing to do with it," said Mr Brotherson.

"On one occasion I saw members put on their white robes on again after spotting a bus load of tourists at the roadhouse.

"I had cashed a $100 bill for them the night before, but there they were counting out one and two cent pieces, debating over whether they had enough to buy a pie between the lot of them.

"Several tourists offered them money, but I intervened.

"The general feeling among the operators is that these kids have not been short of money at any stage of the trip.

"They have been remarkably well clothed and equipped, and tourists have been giving them money all along the way," he said.

The first of the walkers arrived in Adelaide at 2am this morning and were expected to be joined by the rest of the group later today.

Christine McKay (15) and her brother Garry (16) denied the allegations they had been using underhand tactics to elecit money and food.
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