Well, after ‘conquering’ the Donohue/Plenty Hwy, we arrived in ‘The Alice’ at lunchtime Tuesday. The Plenty Hwy was not too bad, about 50/50; 50% good; 50%5 bad, but you had to concentrate and watch the road all the time, because it changed so quickly. The worst part was the last 60km from Harts Range to the bitumen, and at one stage we were only doing 40km/h! Of course the back of the Ranger was covered with a fine layer of red bulldust.
We stayed overnight at the Jervios Station camping facilities, which Susan says was a cow paddock. In fact several of them did visit! We were the only one’s there, and then just after we cleaned up and quietened, a car came in,parked only 10 metres away and setup camp. Of course they were Japanese! The flies were still thick in the mroning, but had another great sunrise. In hindsight, we should have pushed on for another 3 hours and stayed at Gem Tree CP, where we stopped for morning tea and driver swap. Seemed like a good setup.
Susan was driving, and again she tried to collect wildlife, this time Wedgetail eagles feasting on road kill just outside Alice Springs. We checked into Big 4 CP (luxury!) and lazed around the pool all afternoon.
Wednesday we visited most of the tourist attractions in town. School of the Air (very good), RFDS Centre, John Flynn Memorial church, Adelaide House (first hospital), and the Old Telegraph Station. Charlotte has picked John Flynn as her 20th Century Notable Australian for her school assignment, so we covered all the bases there.
Thursday we visited the Desert Park in the morning. It’s changed a bit since we were there 16 years ago, but still a great place to visit. Charlotte really enjoyed the bird show, the low flying Barn Owl was pretty cool. We then visited John Flynn’s grave, I went and into the Police station to get some info on the state of the Tanami Road, and then we came back to camp to prep for our next leg down to Yulara.
Did you know … #4?
That Alice Springs was originally named ‘Stuart’? It was officially gazetted Alice Springs by administrators in Adelaide that on 31 August 1933!