Monday 22nd June 2015, -1.5 – 25 degrees
Ti Tree to Erldunda
We’re woken at 5:00 by the talking thermometer telling us that the temperature is minus 1.5. “Good morning the temperature is minus 1.5″ she keeps on repeating it just in case we haven’t got the message. Of course I should clarify that it’s -1.5 inside the cupboard!
There is a beautiful outback sunrise. We fly into Aileron at 8:30 to see the huge statues which I must admit are worth seeing. It’s all red dirt, cream grasses and short grey trees. Handmade road signs tell us of the return of Jesus and Say No to Fracking Gas. Woody is muttering something about the Parma.
Thirty kilometres before Alice and we cross the Tropic of Capricorn.
Alice dear Alice we were last here thirty one years ago prior to that I was here in 1968. Gee it has grown. It’s a neat orderly city with everything that one expects to find in the way of shopping. Rocky outcrops and gum trees are dotted about. It is a true desert city with blessed geography. The Macdonnells loom to the south and the road, rail and dry Todd River squeeze through the impossibly narrow Heavitree Gap.
All stocked up and sushi for lunch we take the Stuart south again. We are treated to a Namatjira canvas of ridges and ranges and mesas in every warm shade from cream to deep maroon. Grasses, saltbush, acacia and gums. Ghost gums sprout white from rocky ledges.
Erldunda road house is the busiest we’ve seen on the whole trip. The car park is good, very good and they have a happy hour in the bar for those with energy.