Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Uluru to Alice Springs

We headed into Yulara in the morning to suss out a few things, then went to Ayers Rock. We decided that if it was open, we would climb the rock. When we got there and I looked up to where other climbers were, I was a bit nervous, as it is very steep. I took a deep breath and we headed up. The first bit was scary as there was no chain to hold onto and my shoes, although new, were not as grippy as I would have liked, and I was scrabbling along with my hands and feet to reach that chain, and thinking about how I wasn’t going to like getting down!!
However, I did get up to the top, and was very pleased to be able to say that I had got there. I was glad I had Randall as a support person though.

When we came back down, the bottom bit wasn’t as bad as I thought which was a bonus.
We headed back to Yulara and did some washing next to a tap. Randall got the generator going and put the washing machine on the back of the ute so we could get a couple of loads going.
The next day we decided we would do the walk around the rock. We have done it before and knew it would be enjoyable, which it was.

Randall has no fear or shame – we went into the caravan park recreation room, plugged his computer into their power and did some much needed catch up!
We picked the best days to visit Uluru - the sky was so blue and it was quite warm.
We stayed one more night at our camp spot then decided to stay at Curtain Springs. We had passed it on the way in to Uluru, and thought it looked a nice spot. It is a fuel station, accommodation, pub, camping place.
I bought a roaming Internet package - $5 for 100 mega bites. I logged in and had a quick look at Facebook, then went back to the van to sort out tea. When I logged back in it said that I had used all my data! I tried one more time, and lost that lot too!! I gave up after that!
Randall and I have been trying to improve our photographic skills. Below is a picture I took at Curtain Springs of a plane trail in the sky at sunset.

That night when we had gone to bed, Randall got up to get a drink, only to discover that the fridge wasn’t working and judging by the state of the things in the freezer, hadn’t been for some time. So, up we got to try and sort out what was wrong. Randall wasn’t going to go to bed until he sorted out what was the problem.

3 hours later, he worked out that it was an isolation switch that was causing the grief, not the actual fridge, which was a bit of a relief. Luckily we had our Waeco fridge in the car as well, so we emptied out the caravan fridge into that, and only had to throw a few things out. We didn’t get to bed until 1am.
The next day Randall made a temporary fix of the fridge, so we decided to do our first bit of rough road, and headed towards a couple of campsites along the Ernest Giles Road. When we got to the start of it, we pulled over, and prepared the caravan (so we thought) for a bit of rough stuff.
When we next stopped, there was a fair bit of stuff dislodged inside the caravan, which we picked up and tidied up. I checked inside the fridge, which, at that stage, was going again, only to find that half the jars of mustard and horseradish cream were out on the bottom of the fridge. Randall hates all that kind of stuff, so you can imagine what he said when I discovered it!!
We stopped at a bush camp which was 8 kms off the highway. It was lovely and peaceful, but not a soul around, so we had lunch and then kept going to the next stop – a site where meteorites had crashed into earth 4,700 years ago.

 A check of our damage from the road was not good. The pay TV box and Vast satellite TV box were both badly damaged. They were both in a specially designed under bench shelf, which gave way when a rivet broke. And the fridge was not working again! We got chatting to a few people who were staying there, and Randall got a 12 volt joiner that would fix the fridge from one of the guys there. It worked, so hopefully no more troubles for the fridge.

In the evening, we sat around a communal campfire, which was nice, along with 3 other groups of campers.
The sunset was amazing that night. It must be because we are always outside that we manage to see some amazing sunsets and sunrises. This is a sunset at the meteorites.

When we packed up this time we were very careful about securing everything in the van, and when we arrived at Rainbow Valley, south of Alice Springs, all was in order.
We needed to check the satellite and pay TV box, so we set up the satellite dish to check them. The pay TV box worked although the casing was badly damaged. The satellite TV box had things rattling around inside it, and unfortunately it blew up in a puff off smoke and did not work after that. We were glad to catch up on the latest news watching Austar, as we had not been in touch with the outside world for quite a few days!

Rainbow Valley is a lovely area, named for the rainbow colours in the rocks of the escarpment. We stayed two days, as we were sick of the stop start of previous days, and did a couple of walks around the area. There is a clay pan in the distance that Randall thought was full of water. It was kind of shiny, but it couldn't possibly have been! On closer inspection the next day we saw that it was most definitely dried up mud.

I enjoyed sitting in the sun and reading for a while. Believe it or not, I haven't done that for a quite some time!

After two nights we packed up and drove to Alice Springs, only about 80 kms away, where we checked into a caravan park for 3 nights to recharge our batteries and other stuff and get back in touch with people again.


  1. Darryl said, 'a bucket of red would have fixed everything Randall'!

    Living your blog, Lu and I have a wine/coffee(depending on day and time) and have a read. Makes me think I should do mine again.

    1. Glad you're enjoying it Gis and Lu! It's a great way of remembering everything that happens on the trip.