This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

1999 Travels June 1

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We had a quick and efficient departure from Erldunda, then joined the regular flow of vans, campers and travelling vehicles along the road to Yulara.

The country seemed far more interesting than I remember from last time – 1993. Maybe my appreciation of the outback has grown?

We had some stops along the way. First for coffee – from the thermos I carry. Then, for a photo shoot of Mt Connor, looming brilliantly to the south. I remembered how, last time, I first thought it was Ayers Rock – a common error, I believe.

06-01-1999 Mt Connor.jpg

Mt Connor

We stopped at Curtin Springs Roadhouse to top up the diesel. John was getting worried about fuel consumption, even though he thought we had a tail wind. At $1 a litre, it was very expensive, so he only put in 20 litres, being certain it would be cheaper at Yulara.

Closer to Yulara, for about the last 25kms, there were small gangs of aboriginal workers out cleaning along the roadsides. The whole area looked quite spotless.

06-01-1999 first view seen

The first sight of Ayers Rock

The Ayers Rock Resort – the only place where one can camp – charged us $26 a night, for a powered site, which is the most we have ever paid. The seventh night is free, though not that many stay that long.

We were given a good site – maybe because we are unusual and are booked in for a week! We have been here before and believe we will have no trouble filling in a week. Our site backs onto a reservation, so we have shade from the trees there and around the site in general, and only side neighbours, who will no doubt change several times during  our stay here.

This is another place where people do not allow enough time to see what is here. But I guess it looks deceptive on the maps too, and on the brochures. One sunset view of the Rock, one quick drive out to the Rock and to look at the Olgas; it will only take a day, and one can even climb the Rock in that time, if they want. There – seen it all! There is little real appreciation of the changing moods and light there is out here. And so many travellers, even in this day and age, think Ayers Rock is close to Alice Springs, rather than about 450kms by road.

We set up, then went to look at the group  of shops that is in the heart of the Resort complex, because I couldn’t remember what was there. And I wanted to go to the Visitors Centre.

I bought maps of Watarrka (Kings Canyon) and the West McDonnell Ranges – graphically presented ones, excellent.

Got today’s Australian – fresh news! Bought food at the supermarket, mostly fresh stuff. The prices were, I thought, not too bad, given the distances involved in getting produce here. Got some cash out – we were running low, having been in so many places lately that didn’t “do” cards.

There was, obviously, heaps of souvenir stocks at the shops and many costly items, as one would expect here.  An example was $279 for a hand knitted pullover that I thought was rather poorly made. There were some nice T shirts and polo shirts, but they are a bit expensive – will have to think about those.

John put in some time repairing the back door lock on Truck, which had decided not to work. He eventually fixed it and was quite pleased with himself.

We showered while the tourist hordes were out watching the sunset! There are several coach camping groups in the campground and I did not want to be competing with them, later, for bathroom space.

Tea was vegie soup, steak with onions, fries, eggs for John and tomatoes for me.

We watched some TV – the signal is good, here.

I got tired early and went to bed. John stayed up playing his computer game until 4am! He has had a break through in the game.

06-01-1999 to yulara.JPG

Erldunda to Yulara

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