Wednesday, October 22, 2008

East MacDonnells & Alice

After spending the afternoon & night in Alice Springs recharging we headed out the Ross Highway towards Ross River Station (and yep the mozzies LOVE me!)

There are about half a dozen sights along the 240km round trip including gaps, waterholes, gorges and aboriginal sites. We stopped along the way keeping our eyes peeled for the best camp site for the night.

*A smoko stop on the road. Double click to enlarge to see Andy's beard.

NT national parks seem to be run differently to NSW - you don't pay a vehicle fee, you can't get an annual pass, you just pay the ($3.30 ea) camping fee and the facilities are incredible - loos, free BBQs and burners, tables, seating, shade and drinking water ( a rare commodity out here people, you are supposed to treat it or boil it first but we seem to be OK)

*This rock was lovely and cool and in the shade.

*Caterpillar Dreaming rock paintings. These were very impressive as they were over a metre high.

*The waterhole at Trephina Gorge. No we did NOT swim in it. It has been incredible - we visitited these gaps and gorges obviously created by water action however there was nary a drop to be seen. All rivers are dry too. It must be something when the rains do finally come and fill all these waterhole

*Our lovely shady camp at Trephina Gorge Bluff. As there is very little permanent water in this reserve the only animals we see are birds and insects. We did see a Perentie a little way away which was a bit exciting as at over a metre long he/she was the biggest living animal we've seen in a bit.

We stopped in at Ross River Station for a much needed Calippo (me), Magnum & Coke (Andy) and just to check it out. We also crossed the Ross River several times (dry). They had camp sites but we'd had enough of the city life and wanted to stay in the bush.

Andy gave me the night off last night and treated me to dinner at Alice RSL. We figured it'd be a bit more real than touristy type joints in town. Correct. Our timing was perfect - the bell rang for happy hour as we signed in. Chicken parmigiana and a steak sorted us out and we only waited half an hour for our taxi cab.

I take back what I said about Andy being Mr.Fix-it. He fixed the radiator guard before we headed for the hills. By the end of the day it was gone. Admittedly the roads in some parts were pretty bouncy.

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