SATURDAY 26 MAY ALICE SPRINGS
I woke with a headache and feeling generally out of sorts, due to poor sleep.
We drove into town where I collected the new battery for my camera, which had arrived in. That was good service. But it was a costly item!
Bought the weekend papers – great to have them again. Had another Subway lunch.
Then it was off to bowls in the afternoon. A local man and I beat John and M. John did not play well – I have yet to be convinced that these new bowls suit him. In a minor stroke of genius, I offered him the use of mine, for tomorrow, and I would stay at camp with my sore foot…..
Thinking he was doing the cook a favour, after her hard day at bowls, and because he really loves take away chicken, John went and bought Red Rooster chicken meals for tea. Mine did not look at all well cooked, but – for the sake of peace – I ate it.
We watched some TV for a while. The dreaded Imparja, with its nightly entreaty to children to brush teeth before going to bed.
I was missing the bush and the nightly campfires!
SUNDAY 27 MAY ALICE SPRINGS
In the morning, I had a major stomach upset. Knew I shouldn’t have eaten that chook! Spent most of the morning haunting the amenities block…..
John and M went to bowls after lunch. John did use my bowls and apparently played better with them.
I downloaded camera cards to the lap top and sorted and named them. It was the first chance I’d had to really look at what I’d taken over the past few weeks. I was pleased – think I’d taken some good photos, to date.
In the afternoon, there was an audience gathering by a tree near our van. There was a juvenile channel-bill cuckoo there, causing much interest, because it was way out of its supposed range and season and hence a novelty in Central Australia. Because it was a cuckoo, we wondered whether its unsuspecting surrogate parents migrated to this area, and it came with them? Normally, these birds are only present in northern Australia in the Wet Season – they are also locally called Storm Birds, for that reason. So this was one very lost bird!
I made Zucchini Slice for tea, for the bowlers, using the electric frypan as an oven. It took a couple of hours to cook, but turned out alright. I had a little soup, only!
MONDAY 28 MAY ALICE SPRINGS
I was still feeling poorly, this morning, but improved a bit later in the day.
I read, and did embroidery for much of the day. My foot was also still a bit sore.
John and M walked into town, intending to get some exercise, and to buy a piece of roasting pork for dinner. They both had a craving for same. I was distinctly uninterested in things food, right now!
There was a good walking/bike path from out here, through the Heavitree Gap and into town. They were away for ages, most of the afternoon in fact. It turned out that, as they were walking on the path through the Gap, a lady tourist from this caravan park, came off her bicycle. She broke her ankle – quite badly. John and M (both with First Aid training) dealt with her, called the ambulance and waited with her. Guess that was going to drastically affect her holiday!
It was a long walk anyway, even without that delay. So, by the time they returned, it was too late to cook the piece of pork they brought back. It was the last thing I felt like, anyway. No – make that second last, after chicken! I cooked them some fried rice and I had some soup.
I had an early night – hadn’t been a great couple of days.
It was quite humid and much warmer than the previous nights. Then, it unexpectedly teemed rain, for about twenty minutes, and there was some thunder. It was quite pleasant, at night, cosily tucked up, listening to the rain on the roof.
My leg ached a lot through the night.
TUESDAY 29 MAY ALICE SPRINGS
After breakfast, drove into town again. Although there are some brilliant tourist attractions in Alice Springs, ranging from historic items through to wildlife, we had already visited these on previous stays, as had M. We had also done all the main day walk attractions, like Simpsons Gap. So this period was rather tedious. We were here so John could play bowls, but there were not many days when there was bowls happening!
Decided that there were several aboriginal art galleries that would be interesting to look through. We avoided the very touristy oriented outlets that stocked lots of cheap artifacts and works of unacknowledged origin.
We ended up spending a couple of hours at the Mbantua Gallery, which had excellent displays, both of collected works and works for sale. The items were varied and – we thought – very reasonably priced. Found much to interest us there, but we were really strong and resisted making any purchases, for once. However, lived vicariously, helping M choose a work on canvas to buy.
This Gallery had just released for sale a couple of works by the same Litchfield lady whose works we had bought a number of, last year. There were no prices on them, though. I thought it was reassuring that they had acquired them in the first place.
In a nod to the really cold nights, I went to KMart and bought some track pants – utilitarian ones, not trendy!
John decided to buy a set of Skins, such as sports people had recently taking to wearing, to see if they would ease the aching hip that really needed replacing. The man at the sports store was really helpful in discussing what John needed, but would have to get John’s Medium size in – might be in tomorrow? However, we knew the NT of old, and figured that could mean any time from tomorrow (unlikely) to several days hence – or more.
John and I lazed around camp for the rest of the day. M went off to look at a couple of places she had not been to before.
WEDNESDAY 30 MAY ALICE SPRINGS
It was 1 degree last night. Brrr….
Back to the shops. The Skins had not arrived. There’s a surprise!
I found a fabric/patchwork shop, called “Polkadot”, that stocked some really interesting aboriginal design fabrics. Bought a length of one design that really appealed – to be put away at home against the day when I actually get around to learning how to do patchwork and quilting.
We extended our stay by another day, to wait for the Skins. Considered ourselves fortunate that we could extend on the same sites.
John washed Truck and the van. That took much of the afternoon.