From Kings Canyon we headed out along the dirt track (I love a dirt track) towards the West MacDonnell Ranges. Funnily enough I could see a road train coming down the mountain (as she comes...coming round the mountain as she comes...) and I was wondering how it was going to turn out. There was a stop/go person, but not any stop/go person, an Irish female stop/go person. When the road trains come through with supplies they send her ahead to stop the traffic. Along the way we came across a couple of American guys broken down by the side of the road. I personally think it's great that a couple of blokes set out in a Holden Commodore Wagon on a route where we had a Landcruiser, 2 spare tyres, 50 litres of water, an air compressor, a tyre deflator, jump leads, a puncture repair kit, a snatch strap and a satellite phone. Apparently they'd been there for two days as a guy that had stopped said he had a mate with a tow truck and he'd send him along. I told them I had a mate with a tow truck and I'd send him along. Suckers! We stopped off at
one of the lookouts along the way and German couple said they were worried about the two American guys. Why? We stopped off for fuel at the Ormiston Gorge Resort. Now I have to say the word resort gets thrown around a bit liberally in the NT. I think the general criteria is a Diesel pump and a sticker with you can put on your back window. The road is called the Namatjira Drive after some indigenous painter. You can certainly see where he got the inspiration as you head the ranges. Rock clusters formed by meteors and a blue range of mountains in the distance. As you know by now Becs and I like the more solitary campsites. We have criteria which works. No water, no toilets, no showers, 4WD only but most importantly no caravans. We decided that the Serpentine Chalet Gorge fitted the bill. Apparently the Serpentine Chalet was a popular resting place for travellers in the 1950's. I'll be honest I have no idea how they got there. Anyway we found a great campsite, although I have to admit that the flies were bad. We have fly nets but I have obstinately not worn one as
it seems unAustralian and a bit whimpish, but they were impossible. After a quick set up we went down to check out the Serpentine Chalet Dam. No idea how they managed to build that! When we got down to the bottom there was a bloke in a tent who was obviously doing the 228km Laparinta (although it seemed he was nude, not sure how he coped with the flies). Can I say it was the toughest 200 metres I've done so god knows how he made it. Becs beat me at Scrabble. Sri Lankan Beef Curry with Raita (love curry).
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