Sunday, August 10, 2008

towards alice springs

Two days later we finally arrived at Alice Springs late in the afternoon. After days and days in the outback traffic lights and roundabouts seemed almost alien. There is only one caravan park in Alice which allows dogs, and pretty grim it was too. Surrounded by German Shepherds and packs of dingo hybrids, and caravans stuck together with gaffer tape it felt like a refugee camp, but we needed water, diesel, and the luxury of internet and telephone access.

Next morning we headed west to the West MacDonnell ranges. Mostly National Park but we have fine tuned dog smuggling and were determined to see what is reported to be one of the most stunning parts of the NT.

First stop Simpson's Gap, a waterhole at the end of a currently dry river and the habitat of the rare black-footed rock wallaby ( one unverified sighting by Ness ).

It was surprising to see water after days in the barren desert. It is 9 years since this region has had any rain to speak of, so the waterholes in the MacDonnell Ranges are hugely important for plant and animal species.

Standley Chasm was equally stunning, with cathedral height walls.

We found a dog friendly lookout point over the Ranges in which to camp and decided not to return to Alice dog ghetto.

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