Archive for August, 2016

Usually we travel in our own van, doing what takes our fancy in our own time, so joining a tour with 16 others for 15 days came with some questions – will they be old inactive pensioners, will they have something in common with us, will we all get along OK. The OzTours 4WD Series 800 truck with coach fit out, picked us up first and with a “mail run” around Alice all the other passengers were boarded and we were on our way down the Stuart Highway.

The name badges were handed out and the process of getting to know our fellow travellers began – they all looked like we’d share similar active adventure interests so far so good.

The usual safety and admin briefings were over and our first stop was a typical roadside memorial – this to the tragic accident during the Cannonball Run race where the Japanese drivers misjudged speed, ran into officials and many, including themselves, were killed.

On to the Henbury Meteorite site, multiple strikes and only 4,000 – 8,000 years ago, so in the Aboriginal dreaming stories today.

Further south we ventured, stopping for lunch at the NT/SA border. No Border Force here.

On the road again further south to our first night in , shock horror!!! – TENTS. No nice caravan with toilet and shower, no fridge, no leisurely lay-in after a night of watching iView.
The first attempt at pitching the tent was a bit of a chore but it stayed up. The wind howled all night, some fellow travellers snored all night – giving us the hints of who NOT to pitch a tent next to for the rest of the trip.

At least we had stretchers, mattresses, sleeping bags.  The showers were dreadful, barely warm and no water pressure – maybe this was psychology as they sort of got better as the trip progressed.

Out here it’s tents or nothing for most of the time – at least we got a beautiful sunrise for the next day.  Tomorrow we were off to Cobber Pedy and an underground bunkhouse – buts that a whole different story



I didn’t know I had an addiction until I had to do without any internet connection for weeks – but being back from the desert I got the sweet hit of reading the news, catching up on emails and having the encyclopaedia in my pocket once more.

We have a census to complete, a bronze medal and a Government in Canberra again – I wonder what else happened.

Our journey continued up the Stuart Highway with brief stops at Woomera, Coober Pedy, Marla and Erldunda – brief because we are coming back this way on our big OzTours trip.

Kings Canyon was our last stop before the Alice – and what a natural wonder – the Rim Walk has gotta be one of the best walks in the world – on top of the escarpment there were bee hive domes like the Bungle Bungles and an oasis with large clear pools surrounded by lush trees. These were significant sites for the Aboriginal peoples.

. . . and on to Alice in prep for the trip into the desert. We did take time for a great cycle ride out to Simpsons Gap, a 66km ride, all on sealed track winding through the desert.

There were some pretty tricky gates to get through, I got tangled on the first one.

A sense of expectation then as our tour departure drew near – see next post