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Published: August 27th 2013
Red dirt highway
In central Australia, these are generally the types of roads, there are, we love the colour
Thursday 22 August
Palm Valley to Kings Canyon via Hermannsburg
Amazingly, we were on the road by 8.18 this morning, we did not hang around when we got up, Andy got the kettle on, quick cereal for breakfast, hooked up and off out of Palm Valley.
We had not done all of the walks, we have left some for next time, Palm Valley is well worth the 18k trip down the track.
Driving back up the 18k track, we follow the graded road, through the dry riverbed, over the electric cattle grid and before we knew it, back out onto the Larapinta Drive. We turned right as we wanted to get into Hermannsburg to top up with fuel, buy the Mereenie Loop pass, download emails etc. and also upload a blog because we knew there would be Telstra access.
By now we are so behind on the blog, guilty for relaxing a little and not feeling the need to write everyday, but suddenly it has caught up with me, although we do have a couple ready to publish.
We probably should have had the Mereenie
Kings Canyon Rim Walk
I was surprised to find this at the top
loop pass before as we had gone into Palm Valley via Ormiston, but nonetheless I paid up my $10 and purchased the pass, only to find out later that you could purchase one at Kings Canyon for $5.00! Those few things done and from Hermannsburg we turn right onto the Larapinta Drive and head toward Kings Canyon, just a short drive at 200k's today.
The dirt track takes us through the Gardiner Ranges, is not too bad, rough in places, but you just have to watch the occasional ruts, potholes and bull dust, so the drive will require some concentration.
Yet again some amazing scenery, the colours of green vary from light to dark and is interspersed with wild flowers of yellow, white, pinks and mauves. I wondered what this area looked like when the country was in drought, there does not seem to be any overgrazing here, we have seen in some areas where there is a lot of cattle, barely any green ground cover and lots of dust.
Signs tell visitors to be wary of the camels, wild horses and road conditions, we see plenty of wild horses, but
Lawrence of Arabia snuck in to this picture
not a single camel! Funny really as we find out that there are over 700,000 in outback Australia (don't know who counts them!) and to date we have only seen 10 of them.
On the other side of the Gardiner Ranges we stop at the lookout, in the distance lies the spectacular view of Kings Canyon, rising up from a very flat looking land around it.
Arriving at the Kings Canyon Resort we check out the prices and what is available, I had wondered if to stay here or move on to Kings Creek Station, we have heard about both and just decide that the resort is first, it looks nice enough so we check in for 2 nights ($42 per night powered site).
I have the site number and map so instruct Andy where to go, we are soon set up and I look at the very spectacular view outside the back window which is of the fabulous Kings Canyon.
After a shower we head off to the Thirsty Dingo for a coffee, alright we did have a plate of beer battered fries too, they were way
From nearly the top, over looking Kings Canyon
too good to resist temptation and we only gave in because the waitress walked past with a couple of plates.
What a lovely relaxing afternoon, we also bump into people we have seen or met at Ormiston Gorge and Palm Valley and no doubt we will see some of them at Uluru as well.
Gypsy has attracted attention again, a lady came up and asked if she could have a look inside, she had heard a lot about the Vista RV and was thinking about getting one and was so excited to see one for real. She tells us that she and her husband have a camper trailer, they bought it so that they could see if they enjoyed camping, her friends suggested she did not spend too much money to start with just in case, but now she has used the camper trailer a few times, she is realising what she wants out of camping and is looking to tick the same boxes that we wanted to tick. She brings her husband over and we talk through the key attributes of Gypsy, I hand her a leaflet and they go away happy.
Time for sunset and one of the best view points is actually right behind our camp spot, so we don't have too far to walk.
We treat ourselves to a candlelit dinner in the restaurant tonight, we don't often push the boat out when we are on the road, but we felt it would be appropriate to celebrate our wedding anniversary in such lovely surrounds (I know it is a few days late, but nice all the same).
We took our coffees and went to sit in the Thirsty Dingo Bar, it was a lovely atmosphere, some great music was playing in the background, we did a bit of blog work and then headed back to the comfort of camp and retired for the night, just making sure that there was nothing left lying around camp for the dingo's to enjoy.
Friday 23 August
Friday again already, and this month seems to be racing past, we must be enjoying ourselves too much!
Our morning was already planned so as soon as we were out of bed, we had breakfast and headed up to Kings Canyon.
The day had started cool, although the sun was up, the breeze was cooling things down somewhat, but that said, anything could happen to change the temperature, so with camelbaks full of water, we set off to do the Rim Walk, this is a 6k walk around the canyon which should take around 3-4 hours.
The car park is already quite busy, it seems that there have been plenty of early starters, we soon follow, it is 9.30 when we leave the car park and make the short walk to the start of the climb, on the way making sure we read the safety notices and note that we have all the boxes ticked.
The first part of the walk is really quite steep, so we take our time to walk up just to make sure we don't exert all of our energy too soon, lots of people seem to be doing the same.
We soon make the top and find that the walk is nothing like I had anticipated, I thought that it would be fairly barren and on the same level with a walk around the
Come on sweetie, up and over
edge of the canyon, but it is nothing like that. We find there is vegetation, and the sandstone takes on all shapes and sizes, the walk is signposted so you follow the brief arrow picking your way through the worn down sandstone for an easy path, sometimes having to climb through some gully's.
We chat to some of the walkers, most taking things nice and steady but we see one guy who seems to be making light work of it as he very nimbly runs up and down some of the rock face far too close to the edge, but he seems confident much to the surprise of some of the other walkers.
One couple we met and have seen them in a few places on our journey, I am not going to say anything about them except that during our conversation one of them revealed that she has a pet rat in her backpack. Yes, that's right a pet Blue Rat! She opened her back pack, she could feel him moving around and said he had woken up, I peered in and there is this tiny little face peering out at me, I
The reason for the scarf, well Caroline's sweat shirt was we purposely left our hats in the truck, as it was windy up there, but it was very hot, about 30 degree's.
give him a little stroke and he is soon settling back down to a nice little nap after his owner makes some adjustment to his temporary sleeping accommodation.
The owner is fully aware that they should not really have a pet here, however it is too hot to leave him in the car and there is no way that they can leave him in the tent otherwise he will become Dingo fodder. This was the most sensible solution and I tend to agree, this looks like one happy and very comfortable rat, we don't know his name, but we think Basil might be a good one for him.
Chatting too much again and time ticks on, we walk on and find ourselves in the Garden of Eden, this amazing little crevice in the rock structure is like a little oasis with water, palm trees, plants, birds and frogs etc.
Some wooden steps take you down into the valley, across a bridge and up over some steps on the other side.
Eventually we come across the 3k marker and walk on, in no time at all we suddenly see
It was like being on the moon
that the car park is 1k away and the track starts to descend back to the valley below, another sign directs walkers to the Giles Track, which says that it is 22k's and a 2 day one way walk, I don't think we will be doing that one today.
Taking the magnificent views in as we walk down, just reaching the bottom as our watches said 12.30, we had taken 3 hours exactly which is not bad considering we chatted a lot and stopped to take the views in along with plenty of photographs.
The day had turned out quite warm, so we were relieved to get back, we had just about gone through our quota of water too.
Back at camp we take a well earned break, a cup of tea and a sandwich followed by a nice hot shower.
Later that afternoon we went for a coffee to the Thirsty Dingo and some internet time, you have to use Pie Wifi, it is not too expensive but very slow. We also decided that we should treat ourselves to dinner again, well we had a great deal
of exercise today so it was a well earned pizza, I can thoroughly recommend the Desert Heat!
The Thirsty Dingo was quite busy and once again a great atmosphere, listening to some great music, but time ticked on and we headed back to camp for a good nights sleep and some sweet dreams.
Tomorrow we move on.
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