Once we had restocked and done a couple of loads of washing, we set off for the West MacDonnell ranges just out of Alice. Had a beautiful drive up to Ormiston Gorge. Well folks I must say, when we walked 5 minutes from the campsite to the swimming hole I really believed we had found paradise!
We picked our spot, raced back and put the togs on and immediately went in for a very refreshing swim. Absolutely divine.
The next day we meandered up to the lookout and generally took it easy. We decided to do the Pound walk which involved four river crossings. We attempted to have an early rising but Lynn wouldn’t get out of bed. It was fortuitous really as we were then given some good advice about the final river crossing. We packed a small towel, changed into shorts and grabbed a plastic bag. It was a fantastic walk, with great views and lots of hopping over beautiful rocks. We were in the river up to our chests, me with the backpack on my head. Lynn had a wee slippage but recovered quickly. We waded through to the other side with all our vital bits and pieces like cameras etc dry albeit with cold numb feet.
We have met some lovely people in the campgrounds, including 2 couples from Geelong. We sat around tonight and indulged in some of their home brewed gin. (can you tell?). Off to do the Mt Sonder lookout walk tomorrow at Redbank Gorge.
Coober Pedy – a town like no other. Can’t say I’ll be rushing back any time soon. But after a long drive, and a night by the highway, we were due for a stop-over. One just has to see it. Hang on the dishes need drying. Back soon……
So there is really not much to say, although one word does spring to mind. Ugly. But we had a nice pizza there and the folks were friendly, particularly those who sold opals. I decided they look much better in the rock.
From here we ended up travelling through to Erldunda. Roos and emus broke the monotony and I have taken on the role of audio books. Our iPod I had spent so much time loading up didn’t connect to the car😖 We are reading “Wrong way round” by Lorna Hendry. A great yarn about a family who take a year off to travel with their two young sons.
The next day we finally came upon Yulara, home of Uluru and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas)
AMAZING !! No picture or film can really convey the sheer size, beauty or sense of the place We began our exploration with a talk and walk by one of the indigenous Rangers Well worth it, something that should be compulsory for all visitors!
I was surprised to discover that people are still allowed to climb the rock. They choose to ignore the signs everywhere asking them not to.
And Kata Tjuta
Needless to say, we are both fighting fit now that we’ve walked and climbed all those kms. It was great training for our next adventure 🐪🐪🐪….
From Arkaroola we travelled through to the lovely town of Quorn about 60km north of Port Augusta. As a stop on the original Ghan railway, it was a thriving town and has now become quite the tourist destination. We ended up staying in a lovely caravan park there and enjoyed indulging in a bit of ‘civilisation’.
On a visit to nearby Warren Gorge we finally had the privilege of spending time with the endangered Yellow footed rock wallaby.
They were hunted down for their furs that fetched a good price back in the no so good old days.
They are now only found in a few managed National Parks. We were both SO thrilled to spend nearly 15 minutes or so watching this little one out in the wild
From a distance they blend in beautifully with their surrounds.
We popped into Port Augusta and had the leaking power steering fluid issue fixed, then started our trip up the Stuart Highway towards Coober Pedy. On the way we had an overnighter at Lake Hart. This lies right next to the Woomera/Maralinga area. There is a desolate, eerie beauty to the place.
OK so I have decided to give this blogging business a go. Suspect that there will be lots of technical hurdles to overcome, so don’t be surprised if there are lots of odd things going on!
Our journey began with our friends Paul and Geoff from Gippsland. They joined us for the first week and we had a wonderful time up in the Flinders Ranges. We did a couple of walks (getting those leg muscles working again) and Paul chauffeured us around on trips to Parachilna Gorge, Blinman and Rawnsley Station.
We shared many a laugh, a few wines and lots of great meals. We were all sad to say our farewells. A wonderful parting gift from the boys (a multi sized tap spindle thingy) was greatly appreciated. I’m sure it will come in handy on the road ahead.
From Wilpena Pound, Lynn and I went up to Arkaroola in the northern part of the ranges. It was a slow trip when we hit the dirt road. We took 3.5 hours to travel 130km. Towards the end, Lynn remarked that the steering was getting VERY heavy. On arrival, we discovered an oily substance dripping from below the car. Mmmmmm….. A bit of a worry. Soon realised it was the power steering fluid. There was not a drop in the container. ( Yes, we lifted the bonnet and worked this one out very easily). Had a chat with the mechanic up there who advised all was ok to continue driving and booked it in at Port Augusta for a few days later.
Arkaroola is a wild, beautiful and rugged place. A Mecca for geologists, it’s peaks and gorges are magnificent.
So as you can see we are having a few layout issues but I’ll get there!