This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

1999 Travels July 1

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THURSDAY 1 JULY     ALICE SPRINGS

That damned cold wind was blowing again!

After breakfast, John made pasties. I caught up on my back diary entries – must get back in the habit of writing these up, every day, before I lose detail from the memory. When John had finished making his pasties, I made some pastry for tonight’s tea.

We ate a couple of the pasties for lunch – so yummy. The man makes a mean pasty! Have enough of them for lunch for the next couple of days.

We took the gas bottle to Boral to get the O ring fixed. Looked around places trying to find a 12amp fuse to fix the solar status panel. John’s fiddling around with that has caused the red light in the fridge on/off switch – which is really handy to have – to go off again. Tandy undertook to get some in for us; hope they are here by Tuesday.

At the Post Office, there was a letter from R. I wish she’d use the mail system we have set up, via home. It is a pest having to check so many times – in case there is a letter from her.

I got some more books from the Library. Put film in for processing.

We were walking up the Mall, to go to the bank, when a man coming out of a shop paused, stared at me, then said he knew me. It was the father of a former student – with whom I’d had to have more dealings than either of us really wanted! He is a teacher, so he was on holidays. With some friends, had just come up the “Ghan Track”. He said the section around Dalhousie, Mt Dare and Chambers Pillar was really rough and deep sandy. We talked travel for a while – John went off to the bank, where he wanted to pay money off Mastercard. Two of the friends arrived, and John came back and told them where to get gas gear repaired.

What is it that they say? That if you sit in the Todd Mall, everyone you know will eventually come by! Might take a long time though?

We continued shopping. Bought wine, beer and some postcards.

Drove out to the historic Telegraph Station, north of town. This was where the settlement of Alice Springs began, when a repeater relay station for the new Overland Telegraph Line was built, in 1871. A waterhole in the nearby Todd River determined the location, as it was thought this was a spring – hence the name. Later, it was found to be just a waterhole left after rain.

07-01-1999 04 alice springs.jpg

The waterhole at the bottom of the rock slab was thought to be a spring

The Telegraph Station operated until 1932, by which time a township had grown up to the south.

07-01-1999 03 Telegraph Station Alice Springs

A restored building at the Telegraph Station

We walked around looking at the old buildings. Admired a couple of tame camels that were in a yard, and got a bit up close with one of them.

07-01-1999 01 camel.jpg

My new friend

07-01-1999 02 old telegraph station crane

John was intrigued by the way this hoist worked

Walked up the Trig Point Hill for an overview of the place, then went back to Truck.

07-01-1999 telegraph station.jpg

The Telegraph Station from the top of Trig Point Hill

There was a group of grey-crowned babblers fossicking about in the carpark and we watched their amusing antics  for a while. We had noticed today that there were a lot of birds of prey – mostly kites – circling over the town and the river.

07-01-1999 05 Todd R at Telegraph Station

The Todd River – wide and dry – at the Telegraph Station

Went and collected the repaired gas bottle from Boral and got the empty caravan gas bottle filled.

I made a ham and egg quiche for tea, having made the pastry earlier. It was nice but we are having a dreadfully pastry-heavy day! Not good for us.

Today is Territory Day – 21 years since the NT gained independent administration – self government. Thus, it is fireworks night, according to the NT Times newspaper. As the forecast is for minus 1 degree tonight, we shall not be venturing outdoors to look for fireworks! Tomorrow is supposed to only reach 15 degrees. So cold.

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