Sunday, May 23, 2010


20 May 2010


It started to rain last night and continued throughout the night. I woke up as I felt a drip on my head. A little leak in the back corner that will need to be fixed when hubby can access a ladder. Otherwise we were fine. We think that when they fitted the third solar panel on the roof they may have dented the top of the top pop as it is slightly warped and we cannot explain the warp any other way. Outside we were surrounded with many large puddles of water.

A dingo came to investigate us. I tried to take a photo through the fly screen.

We spent time on the radio checking on weather and road conditions. Rain is forecast right up to Tennant Creek today and tomorrow and then on Sunday. We feel very safe now that we have a HF radio and belong to the VKS network. They are just so helpful.

We had parked on what appeared to be a very hard surface last night. Even though at this stage we might only have had 6-8ml according to the weather forecaster the conditions had totally changed. Because they have had much recent rain it was soaking in. We needed 4WD to get out. The Oka got out easily but it was slippery. We left quite a track behind.

We decided to abort the plan to go up Sandover Highway to the Binnes Track and to travel on the Stuart Highway instead. When we came to the interesection with Sandover we reconfirmed the decision. It would have been a slippery and muddy trip up the Sandover. It was light steady rain all morning. Couldn’t see much, even the ranges were obscured from view. At Aileron there are two magnificant sculptures. They were commissioned by the owner of the road house and made by Mark Egan. The first is of Anmatjere man known as Charlie Quarpot, the early day rainmaker.   It is 17.5 metres tall and weighs 9 ton.

The second set of sculptures were of a woman and chld. They were just as imposing and stood near the gallery. The gallery had some magnificent art works.

We stopped at Red Centre Farm where besides mangoes they were growing table grapes. This is the first time we saw grapes being grown so far north.

We continued on to Ti-Tree. The morning continued to be cold. 13C was the highest it got to. We’ve had days of over 20C ever since leaving Beetaloo. The nights have been cool but the days have been T-shirt weather. So today is quite a change. Ti-Tree is also the so called boundary – line between frost free and frost prone areas. A peacock was strutting around on the roof above the bowsers.

The scenery changed from Ti-Tree.

Past Ti-tree we saw our first termite mounds – ant hills of this trip. They are small and tended to be on the east side of Stuart Highway. After Ti-Tree the weather changed. The rain  cleared and it got to 18C and then slowly crept up to 21C.

We stopped for a look at Wycliffe Well. They claim to be the UFO capital of Australia.

The décor around the roadhouse and caravan park were obviously based on the UFO theme.

There was quite a lot of water here under the road bridge. The old road was now a detour into Wycliffe Well besides the waterhole.

We decided to stop at Karlu Karlu (Devil’s Marbles) for the night. At some places it is spelt as Karlwe Karlwe. It is fabulous collection of gigantic rounded granite boulders many of which balance precariously on each other.  This area is of cultural significance to 4 different grouups of indigeneous people.

At the campground on the last count there were 26 caravans/tents/motorhomes. A pity some are parked against the backdrop of the rocks. I had expected something totally different – just a couple of rocks.

There was an incredible number of red huge boulders in all sorts of shapes and combinations.

I so enjoyed walking around them and climbing up some.

I do not like heights and surprised myself when I came down this lot of rocks.

I just love this place.

The rocks seem to be shedding layers like an onion – around the boulders slivers that had fallen off lay on the ground.

Someone got a bit annoyed with the number of photos I was taking here.

As I cooked dinner with the mango marinade we had picked up at Red Centre Farm hubby serenaded away on the accordion.

In the evening the rain set in again.

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