Published: June 10th 2012May 20th 2012
20th May Off to the Outback
Up at 6.30am and off by 7! We have now learnt that it is better to get up mega early so we can get a cuppa and dressed before the MH sets off!
All I can say is we drove for sodding miles! (that is putting it politely), we had a couple of horrid petrol stops that were all rushed, saw lots of old bikies and eventually arrived at Julia Creek where we had intended to stop for the night. Well the whole place was deserted, we did locate 1 shop and 1 takeaway place that was empty except for a young lad who was sweeping – he started chatting to me and told me this and drying dishes were his chores and he hated them! The only place we could find to park the van was right next to a Hazardous Waste Dump and I must admit at this point I kind of had a wobbler. The result of which was we decided to carry on driving and try and find a roadside rest area.
We did indeed find one and before it got pitch black, it was in the middle
of nowhere and the nearest town was Concurry about 66 kms away. But it was not next to hazardous waste, it had reasonable loos and no one else was there. It was a classic horror film setting!!
The stars that night were fantastic!! Deb pulled out her her and pillow and lay on the ground looking at them, the rest of us didn’t risk it but stood gazing in wonder! The sky was like a huge star filled dome and the milky way was huge – we really wished our camera could take good night shots but it can’t!
This was the night lots of insects tried to invade the van but Howard rushing around with wet toilet paper managed to sort them out. We watched another dvd and Howard told us we had driven 600 miles today – no wonder we were all getting spaced out – 600 miles of nowt but flat scrub and stunty trees!
21st May More Outback
Drove on to Mt. Isla, a big dodgy mining town full of posters saying thinks like stop violence and with plenty of probation offices and women and children’s refuge type places. This
was the only place to stock up on supplies and petrol for our journey into the unknown, so we did.
Later we had another petrol stop in another dusty little place where one man and his bull were sat on the curb having a cuppa! Totally surreal but he was more than happy to have his photo taken.
The scenery was more flat scrub but with lots of termite mounds today – as Rob put it it was just like one of those films where a man sits with a handle winding the scenery which never changes and you’re in the vehicle not really moving!
The highlight of the journey was when a massive wide load/house was coming in the opposite direction and we had to stop and squeeze off the road!
Howard and Rob both saw a live kangaroo bounce across the road, the only ones I have seen have been dead roadkill.
We had a quick lunch stop at Camooweal where Howard had a camel burger – that tasted like an ordinary burger and then we were sent off on a diversion due to road works. This meant driving slowly along a bumpy
Just another day in the Motorhead Motor Home!
red dust road for a good few miles.
We stayed the night at the Barklay Homestead Roadhouse (the first and last pub in the Northern Territories). Here we had a swim in yet another freezing pool, which even Howard braved this time, Deb chatted up a couple of local old boys and big flocks of pink ghawls (like parrots) flew over us.
Dinner tonight was yet another microwaveable box meal.
222nd May More of the same
The man was out again winding the scenery handle until we drove past a small settlement with 2 giant bronze coloured Aboriginal statues on the hill. Then much to my delight we turned off the main road and arrived at the Devil’s Marbles – a sacred aboriginal site. These were giant red marble shaped rocks that were just there in the middle of nowhere, we got out and had a look around and I actually felt as if we had seen something for once.
We carried on to Alice Springs which looked like a nice little town, there were lots of Aborigines here and while Deb and I dived into the Information Centre to find out about camp site
( you could not free park anywhere in Alice) Howard chatted to one lady called Holly who was doing some paintings which she showed him.
We left the MH at the big riverside car park which had plenty of room for a large vehicle and walked around trying to find a McD’s or Hungry Jacks for some food and free wifi. An Australian lady we asked for directions warned us it wasn’t safe to walk around once it got dark and to only use taxis! Howard tried to get money out of an ATM which refused to give him the cash despite saying it had – grrrrrr and as it was late we couldn’t do anything about it. Hungry Jacks would only allow ½ hour free wifi which split between us all and being slow meant no one really got anything done.
However the campsite – McDonell’s was very flash with super clean modern facilities which even included a giant bath should you be so inclined! We paid for 4 adults and 1 teenager (slowly twigging no one checks). We looked round the site, had photos taken in the cardboard cut out things, found the jumping pillows –
kind of bouncy castle type things and as there were only 2 girls in there had a go ourselves – as soon as Matt went on the 2 girls made a beeline for him and tried to bounce him off!! Before we got discovered by security we moved on to the tv room and as we were the only ones there we put Bikie Wars on! The second episode was much better and now we are gutted we won’t see the rest – I did manage to take a few pics of it though, especially of Jock Fraser just for Debbie!!
23rd May On to King’s Canyon
We visited King’s Canyon, a dramatic red canyon with high walls and a nice walk through the gum trees along the dried up stream bed to reach a look out point. Again this area is sacred to Aborigines and the Cat People use it for ceremonies.
We checked into a camp site, I was sent in to pay and couldn’t lie about the number of people! So there was much grumbling when they heard the price – oh well someone else should do it!!
This campsite has live entertainment
You've gotta love it!!
tonight and we were advised to get in by 5.30pm to get a seat, so we are going to try it out. Debbie got done up and off we went, the entertainment turned out to be one man playing a guitar and no body there! The drinks and food were expensive so it was back to the MH us and yet another box meal, while Deb, Matt and Rob stayed to watch the rugby. Howard and I gave it up as a bad job and stayed put and after a while a flustered Debbie returned. It turned out that as she was walking back (to get more wine from the van) she heard people making shooing sounds and then someone shouted out to her there was a dingo chasing her! She turned around and saw it and said all the instructions we had read on the warning boards went right out of her head and she did everything your not supposed to i.e. flapped her arms and screamed!! Fortunately it ran off or I would now be writing the episode a Dingo Ate My Sister in Law instead of just a Dingo Chased My Sister in Law lol!!!
also told us that as we were on Sydney time still we had turned up an hour early for the entertainment and the place was now packed with pensioners wearing silly hats and doing wacky dances!!!
I should put in here a note that every campsite we have stayed at has been full of pensioners or Grey Nomads as they are known here who during the ‘winter’ months take off in their Motor Homes and travel around Australia and they have all been lovely and really friendly.
There are more photos below