Archives: Australian Outback 2007

Adelaide Family & Friends 14 March 2007

When we arrived around noon from Sydney back on the 25th, after spending the day shopping and packing for our trip into the Outback, Karen, Phil and Marty drove us north along the coast to Semaphore for fish and chips. The sand of the Spencer Gulf is the *softest* I have ever experienced – like walking in baking soda, or talcum powder! (more…)

Uluru to Ernabella 12 March 2007

Today we drove back into the Lands, to Ernabella, where Jim and Karen and the boys spent a great deal of time – it was the ‘base’ of their work. I finally found a piece of art there that ‘called’ to me, and only afterwards found out that the artist is a “daughter�? of Karen’s. Aboriginal people relate to each other and everyone strictly, and only, by family structure. So Karen and Jim were ‘adopted’ by a ‘family’, and thereafter were considered sister, or brother, or mother, or daughter, or aunt, or niece, etc., and that relationship endures forever.

We spent our last night bush-camping in Ichinpiri, a lovely spot just below a beautiful rock waterhole, which we explored the next morning.

Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park 11 March 2007

Friday night we stayed in a campground in a tiny campground cabin in Yulara (the resort town that was moved just outside the national park), and Patricia and I opted to sleep on the nearby grassy lawn in our swags. We then got up for an *early* hike through the Valley of the Winds in Kata Juta, which means “many heads�? in Pitjantjatjara language. There are 36 rock mounds over 35 hectares of land. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, but I have a few photos from Phil. This is a mysteriously beautiful place (more…)

The Road to Uluru – Outback Story #3 10 March 2007

The next morning Karen cooked the grubs (called Maku) crispy in butter, and Patricia and I each tasted two segments. We both wished our stomachs had felt better, because they were delicious – a bit like buttered popcorn and hard boiled egg.

Then we headed off to see if we could find the “Surveyor General’s Corner” the marker of the corner of Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territories. Karen had gotten a “mud map” from a friend in the village, and she and Phil (a retired Army Lt. Col.) had some lively discussions over which map would be better to use to find it. (more…)

Witchitty Grubs – Outback Story #2 9 March 2007

Wednesday night we spent camped out in the desert not too far from some kind of decaying animal. There is a plague of camels in the center right now and they come into the communities looking for water and then die. We didn’t actually see a dead one near our camp and didn’t smell it until after dinner when the wind changed direction. Tim said “Nevermind, you won’t smell it after you go to sleep,” and he was right. (more…)

Pitipalya Waterhole – Outback Story #1 9 March 2007

One of the quintessential days of our trip was the first Wednesday. We had been camping for two nights at that point and it had been really hot – each day got over 100 but on Thursday it was about 110. The villages had lots of people in them because they were getting organized to go out bush for “men’s business”. There were people driving around everywhere and then they would sit in their cars for a while and then drive around again; all very excited and worked-up. (more…)

From the middle of Australia :) 4 March 2007

Hello from the RED CENTER!

But I’ll back up for a minute…

Sydney is beautiful – I have named it the City of Bays and Beaches. We walked all over, rode buses, two-level trains, and took the ferry, saw flying foxes (HUGE bat-like things with fox faces) in the botanical garden, and swam in several beaches, thanks to my friend Socs, who was a *lovely* host. We have pretty much decided to get back there a little earlier to see more – the weather is like DC in summer: hot and humid. (more…)