After four days we are on the move again.
As several people from “down south” have told us how wet, windy and cold it is there we have decided not to go south just yet so tomorrow we head NW across the Tanami Desert. It is just over a thousand kilometres to cross the desert and will probably take us three to five days. There is a lot of mining activity in the Tanami so the track is not as isolated as it used to be. However it is still a remote area that needs to be treated with respect. There is of course no mobile coverage so until we get near the Western Australian coast there will be no update to this blog.
The car has been serviced. The bull bar welded and bolted to the front so that it is very solid. The owner of a large panel beating business went out of his way to repair the lifted roof rack track. He said that he sees lots of vehicles with damage caused by roof racks and road corrugations, the two just don’t mix. We have also fitted the new trailer coupling and received mail, thanks very much to Beth. To top it all of we even washed the car.
I can now find my way around the Alice pretty well and know were to find most of the businesses, certainly those associated with cars and camping. These two photos of Alice are taken from Anzac Hill. A very prominent landmark on the SE corner of the town. Some things remain the same in nearly every large town in this photo you can see Harvey Norman, Supa Cheap Automotive, Clarke Rubber, Laurence and Hansen and there are plenty more. In the middle of the picture is the railway station and freight yards.
This picture is looking west towards the Heavitree Gap which is the western entrance to the town.
Alice is a great place and we have thoroughly enjoyed our stay here. We will be back as we could spend several months here and still not see it all. There is a host of places in both the East and West McDonnell Ranges that we want to explore. Whilst I was picking the car up from the panel beaters this afternoon Vicki went across the road from the caravan park to the Araluen Cultural Centre. These are the traditional owners of this area and currently they have a desert festival on. She saw a lot of work but the highlight was an exhibition of original works by Albert Namijira.
The Tanami Road is supposed to be fair in some sections but corrugated in others. The mining companies keep sections of it in good condition for their road trains. Whilst we will carry an extra sixty litres of fuel with us, to be on the safe side I will fuel up at Rabbits Flat Roadhouse (the most isolated roadhouse in Australia) which is about half way along the track. This is only open Friday to Monday and I am told diesel will be well in excess of $2 a litre!