Wednesday 7th May, (Wycliffe).

We have now moved on from Alice Springs. As it was getting rather cold of an evening, and it is up to 10deg warmer at Tennant Creek, we decided not to stay the extra few days at Alice and to move further north.

Our plans for the travel leg to Tennant Creek were as follows; Today, 200k to a rest area just north of Ti-Tree, overnight there then another 200k to Devils Marbles (National Park), a couple of nights there and then the other 100k to Tennant Creek. As has happened before, all good plans of mice and men, when we arrived at the said rest area near Ti-Tree our usual problem occurred.

The problem we have staying at rest areas is mainly that we are travelling on our own and we won’t stay at any of them on our own for security reasons. As we only plan on travelling short distances and arrive at rest areas at about 1:00pm, there are at that time no other travellers stopped there with the idea of camping. I get the impression that if others intend staying at rest areas they don’t intend to much before dark, this is too late for us to stay there waiting to see if they are going to stop, so by 2-3:00 pm it is time for us to make the decision to move on. This is what again occurred and we decided to go another 100k to Barrow Creek. When we arrived at Barrow Creek our first impressions of the caravan park were very far from favourable so we decided that we would definitely not be stopping there so the only decision would be to go on to Wycliffe Well, a Big4 caravan park in the middle of nowhere that would be ok being Big4. This was a further 100k north totalling 400k for the day, which is a long trip for us so we will stay here for a couple of days then have a short 50k trip to the Marbles and continue our original plans.

The caravan park at Wycliffe has a difference, having a UFO and Aliens theme, and other attractions so it will be a welcome stay here for a couple of day’s relaxation.

The grandeur of scenery seems to have ceased after leaving Alice Springs and is now more of a nature that we had expected of the entire centre. After we have experienced what we have seen we now accept the countryside up this way is still of a changing nature and perfectly acceptable, meaning we will now not get bored with the scenery as we did in the Queensland outback last year, hopefully.

Alice Springs

Monday 5th May, (Alice Springs).

I got distracted yesterday so I am now back to continue.

After a full visit of the gorges we are now back in Alice. We will be here for a few days to restock and give Linda a last chance for some retail therapy for a while. We intend staying until Thursday or Friday and then head further north. Once we move from Alice we won’t have to worry about the weather any more as we will be north far enough for it to be constantly warm, even of evenings.

If I didn’t mention yet Linda has purchased a new camera. The old one was just a simple automatic, and the new comes with two lenses (SLR). One being a zoom lens so she now has the photo range that I wish that I had with the digital. She had her first set of prints from it back today and is quite pleased with the results. After studying the photos Linda confided with me that she was a little upset that I criticised all the shots and didn’t give her any credit, but all I thought I was doing was offering a little constructive criticism. Not that I am any expert as such, but she is only just starting and most of her shots were actually quite good.

We are staying at a different park this time, the Stuart, and it is quite reasonable. We changed for a number of reasons, one being the cost and another being variety. The last one we stayed at was the Big4 park and typically these are pricing themselves out of the market as far as we are concerned. This one is an FPA so with the discount we also get here it is much cheaper and the standard is quite good.

West MacDonnell Ranges

Sunday 4th May, (West MacDonnell ranges).

Nothing has been written for a while as we have been camping out and reserving power, but could I put a few words down now.

The car repairs and service have been done with the door part turning up on the Wednesday and the work done that day.

We have been awe struck once again with the scenery on offer in this district. The gorges and mountains in the West MacDonnell ranges are a sight we most certainly did not expect. Even though the seven or so gorges and gaps in the ranges each have their own special quality there were a couple that stood out. The Ormiston Gorge and Pound, an area of flat land surrounded by mountains, and the Ochre Pits are just a couple.

Ormiston Gorge is set among a spectacular mountain range and offers a 3-4 hour walk around the pound and through the gorge and is a must do if in the area.