Friday 25th April 2011, Ti Tree.
There you go: We must be enjoying the new found tourist ideas again as it has been a fair while since putting fingers to keyboard. We were at Alice for 9 days and it only seems like yesterday we got there. We did have a good look around the East MacDonnell ranges and did several walks around the gorges, and loved the lot of it, especially one section of entry was 4 wheel drive high clearance vehicles only, so we got in a bit of decent bush bashing as well.
We have now moved on a couple of hundred K’s to a rest area just south of Ti Tree, a very small township on the highway. I say it is a very small township because it must be bigger than just a roadhouse due to it having mobile coverage. In fact we are camped just on the fringe of the mobile coverage, which is just enough to give me internet with the external aerial, but no phone calls because the phones won’t connect to the aerial.
Sunday 24th April 2001, Alice Springs.
We are rapidly becoming aware that we are actually back in tourist mode. While we were out in the East MacDonald range today at Traphina Gorge we had the discussion about how much better it is now that we are out in new areas sightseeing things that we have not seen before, over the past few years we have been going to places that we had mostly been to before and things started to get a little stale, but the new sites are giving us that feeling of supreme enjoyment in doing what we are doing. We are also saying things like, “Why have we left it so long to travel up this way again
Friday 22nd April 2011, Good Friday, Alice Springs.
We are now settling in at Alice. The caravan park we chose, G’day Mate, seems to be as good a park as any in town, in some cases probably better.
I am sure I must have mentioned earlier that an ABC reporter had contacted me about having an interview for the local Country Hour programme about my web site. It seems she stumbled upon the site one day and couldn’t believe what she found, these were her words, so the only way to find out was an interview. As she was in Alice Springs I told her I would contact her when we arrived, but she beat me to it, ringing me about an hour after we got here, because she is going on holiday next week and wanted to do it before she went. An appointment was made yesterday and she came here for the deed, so it has now been done and it will be now wait until it goes to air and see what becomes of it. I was a little surprised though to find out that it wasn’t necessarily the travels we had that she was interested in, but the TV information I have on the site, she couldn’t believe that someone could spend so much time on such a subject compiling all the information I had, and provide it free for download.
Being good Friday we should have been resting, but instead we have been busy planning the next stage of our trip from here to Darwin as we had to do something now so we could book a site early enough to get in. We had already booked a park site a few weeks ago, but after talking to several other people with experience in the area we made alternative choices, so have now changed our bookings. We have settled for a park 20K odd from Darwin, a Big4 would you believe, at Howard Springs and surprisingly it is the second cheapest park in the Darwin area and not booked out, like the cheapest one is. If for some reason we do not like it there we can always move to our other selection at Lee Point due to the fact that one does not have to book there due to it being an enormous park and never run out of sites.
Wednesday 20th April 2011, Alice Springs.
Note that the past few reports on the blog were posted on the same day, today, as we have been out of mobile coverage, hence no internet, but they do have the written date on top anyway.
We are now in Alice Springs, civilization again, and will be here for a week or so, depends on what plans we make from here to Darwin.
I mentioned a while ago, or maybe I didn’t? that I had been approached by an ABC reporter from Alice Springs who was interested in an interview about our past travel experiences for the local Country Hour show, and I said I would contact her when we arrived in Alice. An hour or so after arriving in Alice I got a phone call from her wanting to know where we are, what timing, so we have arranged a time for tomorrow. This will be very interesting to see whether I freeze with a microphone in front of me or not, as I have never been one for public speaking. I am not over concerned though, as it is Linda that is panic stricken at the moment with severe stage fright.
Tuesday 19th April 2011, Curtain Springs.
We are now at Curtain Springs, a rest area at a road-house a little toward Ayres Rock after the turn off from Kings Canyon. We had decided to stop here for a couple of days as it was too far to go to Alice Springs in one go. We thought we might actually stay at a rest area at Mt Connor lookout, being not as far off our course, but when we got there it was apparent that being a small area there was not enough room to camp during the day as there were heaps of tourists stopping on the way to Ayres Rock. We had stopped at Curtain Springs on our previous trip so we knew what it was like and it was only another 20K up the road, although this is going to make my refuelling calculations a little tight, especially if we have a head wind. One has to calculate where and when to refuel due to the high prices around this area: At Erldunda diesel was $1.96, Curtain Springs $2.10, Kings Canyon $2.15 where I had to buy some and use my spare 20 litres, and at the rock they tell me it is only $1.90 but we won’t be going there, so now it looks like we have just enough to get back to Erldunda, a bit tight after the extra mileage.
I am at present very glad that I started the regular daily leg exercises I started a year or more ago, as the walk around Kings Canyon the other day had some rather strenuous sections and when we had finished walking my legs were telling me they had done a fair days work. When this has happened in the past I generally end up with very stiff muscles in the legs for either the next one or two days, but this time there was nothing like that at all, much better feeling.
Saturday 16th April 2011, Kings Canyon.
I now must admit that when we arrived at Kings Canyon I was somewhat, for no apparent reason, disappointed to the extent that I wasn’t seeing what I expected. I thought all around mountain range, instead the countryside was mainly very flat terrain for miles on end, and in the middle was this mountain range that, I must admit, didn’t look that big, hence the question, “Just where is this masterpiece called Kings Canyon?
Friday 15th April 2011, Kings Canyon.
I am starting to feel the effects of consecutive days of long travel. We did about 400K yesterday and something similar today, and it is starting to show that I am just not used to it, I am not too bad, just a little tired, should be right tomorrow after a good sleep, but it is a feeling I could well do without, so from here on distances must be kept lower, or at least not consecutive days. After all that we reached Kings Canyon today, a bit further than we had originally intended, but we weren’t liking the idea of being without mobile coverage for so long, so a couple of nights camping out were foregone to reduce that time by a couple of days. It is a bit expensive here for site fees, but they do have us over a barrel with no other options, and it is the beginning of some expensive areas coming up, so get used to it I guess. Oh!! THERE ARE A FEW LESS FLIES HERE, and very few of anything at all after dark.
Thursday 14th April 2011, NT Border.
Our first stop is at a rest area on the SA/NT Border, a longish trip, about 400K, for our standards but we are going to have to do a couple of these if we intend getting anywhere. We intend having another 400K trip tomorrow to get to Kings Canyon, but then we will slow down a bit from there.
It shows how wet it has been up this way this year, when we are travelling along spotting water in most of the water holes along the way, and then out of the blue a very large lake appeared out of nowhere. I have said it before, that 2003, when we were here before, was supposed to had been a wet year, but it had nothing on this year according to the growth and the water laying around all over the place.
Tuesday 12th April 2011, Coober Pedy.
We have been at Coober Pedy for almost a week now and have enjoyed the local scenery very much, it is just so different than anywhere else. It was made aware to us yesterday that the greater majority of the population do in fact live in houses underground. We visited one of the local mine tours which was a lot more interesting than I thought it would be. There was a film about the history of opals and mining, a tour of the actual mine with explanations of how the opals are extracted, a demonstration of cutting of an opal, a tour through an underground house, and everything was underground, a must see when in the area.
We are now about to leave Coober Pedy on our way to Kings Canyon, close to Ayres Rock, and then back out and round to Alice Springs. After we leave here, except for an overnight stop at Marla, we will not have any mobile coverage for up to two weeks, because we don’t intend travelling very fast and will be camping out some. Again I say if any one wants us leave a message on mine or Linda’s mobile, or we will be at Kings Canyon Resort on, or about, Monday 18th April till on, or about, Thursday 21st April, and we should be contactable there on 1300 863 248. So until Alice Springs this will be probably the last report.
Friday 8th April 2011, Coober Pedy.
We now have some answers to the difference in scenery being a wet year. We went to the Breakaways today and as I have heaps of photos of that area I have something to compare with a the few photos I took today. When we were here in 2003 it was also supposed to be a wet year, but it obviously wasn’t anywhere near as wet as this year as is shown by the greenery on the ground. We thought that it took a lot away from the impact of the scenery when one comes up to the lookout, but after thinking about it the view was priceless anyway, it was just that we have seen it before. If it had been the first time for us, and not knowing the difference, it would have been gob-smacking anyway. It was a foreign tourist that made me aware of this as when I tried to explain it to him he replied with “It is our first time and it is very remarkable anyway