Monday, 23 August 2010

Chambers Pillar

On Sunday we decided to go for a drive to Chambers Pillar after we visited the market in the mall which was the best market we have been to on our travels. Lucky Ian, because I found a few ‘must haves’!
In the guide book Chambers Pillar is quoted as being 167kms from Alice Springs and taking 2hrs and 15 mins each way so we thought a lovely day trip. It was also 4 wheel drive recommended so it ticked all the boxes.
On the way we stopped at Emily Gap (photo) which was beautiful and then on to Ewanginga Rock Carvings where we met up with a ranger and had a lovely chat before walking around the rock carvings which are amazing. One of our photos is of these carvings which have great significance to the local Indigenous community. As we are not a part of the community we cannot be told of the meanings but they are as all the carving and paintings we have seen on our journey, quite amazing.
We drove on to Chambers Pillar with the weather not quite as good as our previous days but the ranger assured us that although the road would be sticky (she had returned from there that morning, and her vehicle was testament!) we would be fine. It was a great drive along beautiful ochre red roads and down into dry deep sandy river beds on to our destination – and on and on! Finally after 3 ½ hours we arrived! It had been a terrific drive which we thoroughly enjoyed and Chambers Pillar in the photo hardly does it justice but like so much of the scenery here a photo is a poor substitute for being there. We just keep looking around in amazement at the diversity of country as we travel. Sometimes there is thick bush and trees right up to the road and then in a blink of an eye it opens up to enormous mountains of all colours and shapes.
The ranger had told us there was an abundance of wildflowers already and we were not disappointed as you can see. Again it is really hard to capture in a photo but we tried and I took scores of photos, thanks to digital photography.
As the day was getting on we reluctantly left Chambers Pillar and decided to take the alternative route back along the old stock route to see what it had to offer. A lot of cattle gates, cattle, kangaroos and a lot more driving than we wanted. By the time we joined the Sturt Highway it was dark and we discovered to our dismay that we had a further 100kms to travel back to Alice Springs. Fortunately we joked most of the way back, but we were certainly tired.
This morning we looked at the car and realised we had brought back a large quantity of red dirt with us and looked for a car wash with a vacuum to clean out the sand inside as well as each time I got out to open/close gates I brought back sand and dirt with me. We did find a car wash and after two go’s we now have a much improved version of our car although we are still leaving clumps of red soil when we stop.
Off tomorrow to the Northern Territory/S.A. border and back to free camping.

No comments: