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WEST FROM ALICE SPRINGS

June 9, 2015

31 ST MAY 2015

Well we are in the road at last. We arrived in Alice on 22nd & booked until 27th but things changes slightly, very unexpectedly. I landed in hospital for 4 nights. I am telling what happened as a warning to others who might be taking the anti-inflammatory drug Mobic and like all of those drugs should be taken with care, eg ALWAYS with food. Mine was eaten in porridge & I had only taken 4 over about 8 days. Results: were 2 bleeding Peptic ulcers forming in that short time frame.
Was into hospital 12.15 & in theatre for an Endoscopy at 4.30pm. The medical treatment with Gastroenterologist, surgical registrar down to med students was second to none in this hospital in the middle of Australia. Blood tests every day to check on haemoglobin levels which did drop at first but once bleeding controlled & final test on Friday had risen meant that I was discharged.
The nursing staff, all RNs were from Vietnam, Maylasia, India, Somoan (I think,) Ireland, UK, Australians (were outnumbered)
Chinese or Korean. Some were doing a “bridging course” so they had an RN with them all the time. Any difficult indigenous patients had a person called a “patient support” person sitting with them all the time. There was one young male you pulled a double shift just with this one 70 year old lady who could only speak a few words of English.
Anyway, all’s well that ends well. Did a huge grocery shop as soon out of hospital, called into see our travelling companions & sort out where ^& when to meet on Tuesday, as they were checking out from as they were leaving Saturday am & were not leaving until to-day, Sunday. Back to van to do a final wash, put food away & into bed as had not had a lot of sleep in hospital.
After filling up with fuel we were our way,with first stop at Royal Flying Dr John Flynn’s Memorial.

I would normally stitch the above 3 photos but for some reason my program has decided to die on me & no service to go online to check it.

Now driving through the beautiful West Macs. Depending where the sun is shining the ranges take on different hues. One side of road has sun while other side has not, depending on the time of the day.

As we had not been into Simpson’s Gap previously it was our next detour as was only 8 ks off the road. It is only 17k from AS.
Am just going to post all photos from here- too hard to choose.

I would normally stitch the 2 photo on the left, horizontally but not this time so use your imagination!

Bruce made a funny remark on the way out about the wallaby still sitting on the rock “He must be rock solid”!
Shall include a photo from my 2011 trip into Brachina Gorge where we had a ring tailed wallaby beside us one evening. They are so beautiful.

Could not get over the rocks to take a close up of the flowering tree above but would love to know what it is called. It has bunches of tiny white bells with red centres. The Ghost Gums are evident everywere-should get of bed one night now with a full moon & see why they have their name!
The colors in the rock are amazing .
It is certainly Albert Namatjira country & you can understand how he felt about his country in just seeing his wonderful paintings.
Once again posting a couple of photos from 2013 telling a little about the great artist and one of his home a Hermannsburg.

To visit this place it is on the circuit which can be travelled west from Alice Springs with wonderful spots to visit around this road. All sealed as far as Hermannsburg community then gravel around the western loop to meet a sealed road again at Redbank Gorge. There is a lookout called Tyler’s Pass where we spent a night just to observe , where we reckoned there would be great sunset/rises and we were not disappointed.

Back to this trip passing Stanley Chasm as we decided not to go there again but will show a couple photos of this beautiful place. This is not a place for a free stroll up the gorge- there is a fee which in 2011 was $7 pp but I believe it has gone up considerably. Not possible to bypass the paying office as path blocked from car park.

We had a cuppa in at the Simpson’s Gap then lunch at 1.30 when we got to Neil Harvey Lookout. #44 in Camps 7 our camp site for the night. Had curried prawns & rice- yum. There is not a lot of room up here with the only spot big enough for us had a couple in a van parked right in the middle but they very kindly moved a small way for us to park- thanks guys.
No sooner pulled up & the clouds started to cover the range with a slight mist falling. Needed to walk off the lunch so stoped for a chat- as you do- to a couple of ladies.They are from Hughenden in NW Queensland. I asked them is they knew a woman whom I had gone to boarding school late 1950s but I could not remember her married name!.I had seen her in 2010 at our 50th reunion took photos etc so checked them for her married name- only Christian names. Knew I had her married name as well as their property up there so we exchanged email addresses &FB names & I shall contact her when we back in service. Found all I needed on my email contacts. A small world as we all know.

Got

This is the 2013 photo
1st JUNE, MONDAY
A slight drizzle with rain during the night but sun shining this morning with a low cloud over Mt Sonder but we left in full sunshine.

We continued a short way up the road & decided to have look at the Ochre cliffs again. The colors in these are what the Aboriginals use for their face painting etc.

Have posted a photo with information about the Larapinta walking trail.

There were a couple of trees with flowers along the walk. The one below had berries but no flowers. Now into Spinifex country ,very prickly ,as well as very sick looking cream Erimophola.

Our next stop was into Ormiston Gorge for another look as well a decent walk—needed the exercise! We were about to take off & who should walk up to the car but Lesley & Erich so we set off together.
The walk up to the lookout is steps plusas ascending tracks for a very short distance ,having cliff on one side & vertical drop the other but wide enough to be very safe (if you do not look down, which I do not).

With Erich bringing up the rear. We often could not see him but knew he would be waiting for a special photo somewhere behind us.

These are the reason for the “Ghost Gum Walk” . They are very majestic trees and they seem to grow out of literally nothing in the cliff face. Because of their white trunks, they are very easy to distinguish in the distance and you will always find them beside & in river beds. Looking down into the river below.

Two beauties.
There were some Grevillea Wickhammi in bloom as well as another bunch of yellow flower which we thought to be a Hakea? A few tiny ground plants with flowers as well then there were many webs shining in the sunlight with fallen flower petals caught.

From memory of flowers in WA 2 years ago I think the single mauve flower could be a wild tomato but please correct me if I am wrong. Do not have a flower book with me.
At the bottom at last and then had to wander back through the sand as well as finding a way over some boulders & hoping there was no water on the other side & have to back track but this did not happen.

This walk took us about 90 minutes & we were ready for lunch. The breeze was not down in the river bed therefore it was rather warm. The colors in the rocks are continually changing, with the only water creature a small white duck. The life savers tube- I wonder if it will ever be used??
We had a very good toasted sandwich with an iced coffee (Bruce iced Chocolate) which was the nicest iced coffee for long time. Not cheap at $7.50 each but that is to be expected out here & certainly am not complaining.
Called into Glen Helen resort to top up with fuel ($2.10/lt) . Saw Chris & Val’s vehicle there but not them- maybe in the chopper which took off for a gorge flight! Turns out they were sitting out the back eating area, where Bruce did not look.
500 mt up the road we did a stop at Mt Sonder lookout to see it there were any vans beside the Finke river where we were thinking of spending the night as it is a beautiful spot. Decided to continue on to Redbank Gorge to join the other companions where they had been since Saturday., and were waiting for us.

It is 4 ks in to the gorge & the road was corrugated for some of the way but arrived to set up & over look the gorge- but no water view! We had not yet the tyres down yet &this was a rough 4ks.

All in this blog for now as I am going to tart a new one once we leave the sealed road and start the trip through the “desert” along the Gary Junction Road.
Hope you enjoy the read & please leave comments be it likes or dislikes, as I do not mind either way.
Cheers Kay & Bruce

[john flynn memoriaal, simpson’s
gap,camp #44,The Ochres, Ormiston Gorge, Glen Helen resort, the Finke Rv,
Redbank
Gorge.]

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