Thursday, 24 July 2008

Last Day at Alice

For our last day at Alice Springs we decided to do the things we tried but abandoned on Saturday due to the windy conditions.
On our way out of town we stopped at John Flynn’s Grave and read the story of the replacement of his original headstone with another which was more appropriate to the Indigenous people of the area which was very interesting.
Then it was back to Simpson’s Gap where we started on Saturday and despite encouraging thoughts from us and the ranger no wildlife would greet us again (sensibly inside making a pot of tea I should imagine!).
Then we travelled to Hermannsburg which was the birthplace of Albert Namatijira and was a German mission in the late 1800’s and again early 1900’s. An incredibly desolate place and I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been especially before they had a reliable source of water. From there we went to Palm Valley which was the inspiration for many of Namatijira’s paintings and truly a breathtaking place. The first part of the drive was a pleasant one thru the river bed, rocky but really fine. We had lunch at the picnic point looking at the most spectacular scenery you will find anywhere before we began the treck to Palm Valley.
A vehicle in front of us became bogged in the sand and was rescued by another 4wd vehicle and decided not to go on, very wise move I think. However we did go on and although I have tried to describe, in a matter of fact manner to both Kate and Peter, details of the next part of the expedition, I have been called a wimp so I won’t bother here. Those who really want to know how much I enjoyed it can ask me when we return. Don’t ask Ian however as he will give a very different account. Suffice to say it was interesting although the view from Palm Valley would have fascinated a scientist or botanist I was very keen to complete the 2k walk (very keen, indeed did so in record time!) and get the hell out!
I am now speaking to Ian again and we have resumed our travels with some understandings in place.
We returned to the caravan park and I was able to share my appreciation of Palm Valley with the couple next to us, who decided to only go as far as the delightful picnic spot.

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