Saturday, September 24, 2011

A glimpse of Alice Springs

 Highest point between Adelaide & Darwin
It was Saturday morning and as the caravan was booked in for its second service in Alice Springs we decided to bypass Alice Springs and visit East MacDonnell Ranges for the week-end.  We checked with the information centre on the road conditions and were told the road was bitumen to Trepina Gorge (125 kms) other than the last five kms which was dirt.
 Marker of Highest point between Adelaide & Darwin
First impressions of Alice Springs – large residential area which appeared to just appear from nowhere, large gap in the ranges to the south of the town makes an impressive sight, groups of locals “sitting around”.  We have been amazed that the local people seem to congregate and just sit – whether this be on the pavement, under a tree, in a dry river bed, in the park.  They rarely acknowledge anyone and often don’t appear to be conversing with their neighbours. 
 Inscription re highest point
We travelled out of town and made a first stop at Jessie Gap which is a gap in the high MacDonnell Ranges.  We walked the short distance through to the gap and then to see the Aboriginal rock art which was pretty amazing.  We continued on driving with the ranges on both sides of us.  The hill tops to the right had like a fortress wall and we thought how helpful this would have been to the Europeans if situated in Europe as they would have been able to protect their castles in years gone by.
 Boring landscape!  Northern Territory
The road continues on eastward but we branched off and took the Trepina Gorge National Park road.  Within a short distance we came to the dirt and as we prefer to take the caravan on as few dirt roads as possible we slowed right down.  It was a little corrugated and very dusty.  We soon found that we had to cross two creek crossings which had both rocky and sandy areas and surprisingly had water in them.  Again, something we prefer not to do with our caravan as it is not what is considered an “off road or outback” model.  Fortunately we were able to cross with no problems.  When we arrived at the camping area designated for caravans and camper trailers we were the only ones there – this was just wonderful.  It felt as though we had the full National Park to ourselves.  The camping area had environmental toilets, gas BBQ’s, tables, water etc but no showers.  We felt we were in luxury as we have the shower in the caravan so what more could we want.  Later in the day two other small groups arrived and stayed overnight.  It was extremely hot – 37 degs on the temperature gauge.
  Burning off beside the road north of Alice Springs

 Landscape north of Alice
The gorge had a number of walks so on Sunday morning we left early to avoid some of the heat, and took the rim top walk.  The walk took about 1 ½ hours up the rock face to the rim, down then up the other side and back down into the gorge.  There was very little water in the gorge but to get back to the camp, of course, we had to walk through what water there was.  Again it was very hot on our return.  We had a leisurely afternoon (actually watching a DVD during the heat of the day) and then cooked roast pork for dinner.  Flies are always a problem when cooking meat so decided to try cooking the boneless roast in the cast iron pan on the outdoor BBQ.  Surprisingly this worked very well, and we enjoyed a lovely roast dinner with roast vegetables in the “middle of nowhere”.
As the day cooled down we were able to enjoy walking further around the park.  There were many birds, but as always we are always vigilant about the possibility of a snake.  So far so good, and unfortunately we have not been able to even photograph a snake.   Monday morning we headed back, across the creeks, into Alice Springs to deliver the van for service. 
 Welcome to Alice Springs
The East MacDonnell Ranges seems to be the least popular by visitors but we really enjoyed it.

 Gill at welcome to Alice Springs
 Welcome to the Outback Way sign
 Jessie Gap, East MacDonnel Range sign
 Jessie Gap, East MacDonnell Range
Rocks at Jessie Gap
 Jessie Gap rocks
 Information sign Jessie Gap
  Rock Art at Jessie Gap
The top of the range like a concrete boundary
 Rock boundary without a castle!
Welcome to Trephina Gorge sign
 Rocks surrounding the camping ground Trephina Gorge
 Mountain in Trephina Gorge
Small stream to crooss with the caravan on!

 The rock incline on our walk Trephina Gorge
Trephina Gorge camp
 The hills as the sunsets taken from the caravan
Cooking dinner Trephina Gorge
 Trephina Gorge
 On our walk Trephina Gorge
The track was well marked
Peter adding his rock to the pile
  We took the orange Trephina Gorge Walk
 Looking down at the gorge
 Rock formation we climbed around
 Enroute on the Trephina Gorge walk
Looking down towards the gorge
Close up of rock sides to the gorge
 What a great sight as it was getting very hot
 Walking up the dry gorge
Close up of rocks Trephina Gorge
 Note the colour variations Trephina Gorge
Our caravan at the Trephina Gorge National Park
Swag table went unused
Cooking roast pork the unconventional way
The rock was necessary to keep the tinfoil in place
 Bugga a few burnt spots but it tasted fantastic and the burnt bits
were not really burnt bits at all, they were just pieces that had been
maade slightly crisper than the rest just how Peter likes them!


No comments:

Post a Comment