This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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1999 Travels August 23


I woke up to the certainty that I was getting a head cold, or flu. Headache, sinus pain, sniffles, sneezes, generally feeling rotten. Where did I pick up that bug? We have hardly been around any people for weeks. Was it the air conditioning in Birdsville?

We emptied the plastic jerry can into the fuel tank.

As we left Tobermorey, the skies ahead were dark grey and looking very threatening, but that passed without rain or a storm, as we proceeded west.

08-23-1999 01 plenty storm.jpg

Very threatening skies west of Tobermorey Station

I felt progressively worse as the day went on. It was really hot, too, which didn’t help.

We had planned to go to Gemtree, then down the Pinnacle Bore Track we’d done before, and east to Ruby Gap, to camp for a couple of days, before returning to Alice.

I felt so awful, and really couldn’t face more camping or touring, so we decided to push on through to Alice Springs, on the Plenty and then the Stuart Highways. We would be able to make better time once we hit the bitumen at Gemtree.

Because we would be late, and because I couldn’t face the effort of getting the van out of storage and setting it up, we decided to try to get a motel room.

At least the unsealed Plenty Highway, from Tobermorey to Gemtree, was much better to drive on than the Qld road had been yesterday.

We stopped at a very big, unusually shaped, termite mound, briefly, for a look round it, a bit west of Tobermorey.

08-23-1999 02  Plenty Hwy big termite mound.jpg

Big termite mound by the Plenty Highway

Apart from that we only had brief toilet stops and a short stop for lunch for John – I was not hungry.

08-23-1999 03  Plenty R bed .jpg

The dry bed of the Plenty River, near Jervois Station

We arrived in Alice Springs about 4.30pm. It was still very hot. We had to hunt around a bit, but John eventually got us a room at Heavitree Gap Resort. Very nice it was, too, for $64.

The shower I had was superb! I hadn’t braved the dirty bathroom at Tobermorey, yesterday.

John went out again and bought a KFC meal.

I didn’t want food. I was running a temperature and felt awful. It was wonderful to be in a cool, proper, bed again, but I slept fitfully.

John had a TV watching session after tea. It is a while since he has had that.

It is only two and a half weeks since we left here for our circuit trip, but seems longer.

08-23-1999 Birdsville to Alice

The final three days of the circuit – Birdsville to Alice Springs