I'm sure that by now you've noticed
Wothahellizat is for sale.
Does that mean we're sick of the
truck, sick of the lifestyle, or just plain sick?
No, in fact as I write this I'm
wondering about the whole idea. In the past few weeks we've
been camping in some fantastic places, it's been warm so the
shutters have been open and the deck has been down, revealing
mountain views through the rear windows.
I've been right into my photography,
and the truck has allowed us to stay right where the photos
have been, for weeks, in perfect comfort.
So why upset the apple cart?
Good question. Chris is English
and has a hankering to return to the UK for a while. I also
would like to spend some time (a year or so) in Europe. And
then there's north America; another year in the US, Canada
and Mexico wouldn't go astray either.
And the bottom line is that we
can't afford to all this without selling the truck.
Still, life's pretty good, and
we are doing what we want to do. So, if the truck doesn't
sell, we'll just carry on carrying on.
It could be worse :-)
Till next time then, and remember,
Don't Dream it, Be it!
Thu 8 Jul 2004
Today we finally drive into Kings Canyon, I get out a motorbike
and we ride to the nearby resort and campground. It's absolutely
chock-a-block, wall-to-wall campervans, camper trailers, caravans,
swimming pools, tennis courts, dogs, kids. Yuk!
$30 a night to camp with this lot?, I don't think
We return to the canyon and spend the afternoon
ambling along the short creek walk.
Rock on edge of pool at the bottom of the canyon.
Wattle flower on dead wood.
Sunset at the canyon
We have dinner in the canyon carpark, then drive
out of the park, it's dark so we just camp on the side of the road,
there's no tennis court, but at least it's quite.
Fri 9 Jul
Spend the day in at Kathleen Gorge which is located just inside
the Kings Canyon park. It's a small, but very pleasant, walk that
ends at a water hole.
First light in Kathleen Springs gorge.
The pool and rushes at Kathleen Springs
Many people come, look, and go, taking all of
5 minutes to "do" the gorge. They're obviously not nature
photographers. The area is teeming with interesting flowers and
A crusader beetle.
Blue rod flower.
The rare Cyclosorus fern.
Unknown flower, wattle and harlequin mistletoe.
An assassin beetle.
General view from along the track, and remains of the old stock yards.
Chris and I go for two walks, each lasting about
two hours. I take nearly 300 photos.
Piece of fluff caught on some grass.
An orange spade flower.
Pink mulla mulla, latrobe's desert fuchsia, grey cassia and a hairy mulla mulla.
Unidentified (by us that is) flowers, the little blue one (#3) is only about 3mm across.
Burnt bush against the red ground.
Parakeelya and desert raisin flowers.
Butterfly hangs from foliage.
Butterfly cocoon and a caterpillar does chin ups.
Spiders, moths, grasshoppers, the ground is teeming with wildlife.
By the end of the second walk I've had enough,
but Chris keeps finding flower varieties that we haven't yet seen.
We finally reach the truck and sit down with a
nice cup of coffee. That's it, now I can relax.
Chris looks out of the window. "What's that
on the bush?" she asks. I look, but can't quite make it out.
I look closer, and see that it's a huge weevil.
Out comes the camera, and my coffee goes cold
while I try to photograph it clinging to the swaying branch.
A huge weevil clings to a windblown bush.
We leave the park in daylight so we can search
for a better place to spend the night. The strategy works, and we
find a really nice camp in amongst the trees, just outside the park
Sat 10 Jul
The weather is still overcast with occasional rain. We have little
incentive to walk around the canyon today as we'd really like to
see it in the classic outback-Australian light, ie. bright sunshine.
Anyway, I've got 300 photos from yesterday to
catalogue, and I still haven't done a heap from Uluru.
Sun 11 Jul
The weather still doesn't look great, but we decide to do the canyon
rim walk anyway.
While backing the truck out of the bushes I find
a bulldog ant nest. I've been looking for these ants for ages, they're
the biggest and meanest ants you're ever likely to encounter. We'll
have to come back here so I can photograph them.
Early morning at the entrance to the canyon
Like many walks around these parts it's been set
at about three hours for the average person.
Six hours later we're still going, as always we're
so slow because I spend so much time taking photos. Chris doesn't
help by pointing out every flower along the path.
Ghost gum and rock formations near the start of the walk.
Here we see people walking along part of the track.
With eroded dome shapes the landscape is very similar to the
Bungle Bungles (Purnululu) National Park.
Gum trees at the top of the canyon.
A spearbush flower.
Gum trees at the bottom of the canyon, seen from the top with a long lens.
Twisted pine tree and rock dome.
Black headed monitor (or goanna).
The goanna surveying his environment.
A first aid kit looks more like a coffin, maybe it does double
duty if the first aid doesn't work.
Dead tree against the red rock.
Walk this way if you want to fall off a cliff?
A warning sign from the track side, and from the other side.
Note how the rock is not as solid as you may think.
General views of the huge cliffs that Kings canyon is best known for.
As you can see the sun did eventually come out.
At one point I hear someone behind me say "Last
one" to his mate. We get chatting and it appears that he's
just filled his camera's memory card and can't take any more photos.
As we're only half way around I feel a bit sorry for the lad, there's
a heck of a lot of great things here to photograph.
I've brought along my portable CD burner just
for this kind of occasion, and indeed have already filled one card
and burnt a CD for myself.
I offer to let them use my last CD. We offload
his photos, thus freeing up his card for the rest of the walk.
As he has no backpack we give him the soft CD
sleeve to protect the CD. This leaves mine, with 110 photos on it,
unprotected, but hopefully safe inside the CD burner's carry case.
Swimming in the pool in the Garden of Eden
We're getting a bit over the walk by now, we do
take a few photos, but really we're just going home.
Sorry, I don't know the name of this one either
Chris twists her ankle so I carry the CD burner.
While doing so I get thinking about the unprotected CD sitting inside
the case, and I become very careful about the way I carry it.
On our return I remove the CD and find that there
is in fact a rub mark in the backing material. This doesn't look
I insert the CD into our laptop and things seem
OK. But before long the photo-reading program stumbles while converting
a photo. The CD does indeed have a problem.
After much mucking around we manage to retrieve
100 of the 110 photos that were on the disc, and the ten corrupted
files were not the best shots anyway.
We were lucky, and learned a valuable lesson.
In future the CDs will travel in proper jewel cases.
I'd love to just sit around and rest, but sunset
is imminent, and I know the cliffs look great in the red light.
This little fellow looks something like a butcher bird, but
he doesn't have the characteristic hook on his beak.
Very organic-looking shapes in a ghost gum.
The canyon wall lights up at sunset.
A desert rose.
Mon 12 Jul
I spend an hour or so photographing the bulldog ants I found yesterday,
then we drive to a rest area for the night.
Bulldog ants, they are about 1" (25mm) long. Their bite
is bad, but their sting is really painful
The landscape is covered in flowers and looks
vastly different than we expected a desert to look.
As they say in the classics, the desert is blooming.
With all these flowers there's bound to be a few caterpillars
Tue 13 Jul
As we approach Erldunda we notice a calf on the side of the road.
We're sure it's the same one we saw a month ago on the way into
When we park at Erldunda I return to the calf
on a motorbike.
Judging by the amount of cow poo and the well-lived-in
patch of ground under a small bush, I'd say the calf has been here
for quite some time.
A few metres away lie the remains of another calf.
As I approach, the animal jumps to its feet and
moves closer to the carcass, taking a very protective-looking stance
over the body.
Calf and remains of what I assume is its sibling.
My guess is that the dead animal was a sibling
of the calf, where the rest of the herd are I've no idea, but this
little fellow seems to be keeping a graveside vigil.
Wed 14 Jul
We plod our way towards the Alice. Today we're aiming to reach a
rest area about 100k away.
We leave after an early lunch, and it's 5 o'clock
by the time we pull into the rest area.
Now that's slow even by our standards, but it
seems that, like yesterday, we can't go more than 20 kilometres
without finding something to stop and look at.
Often it's an eagle perched on a roadside tree
or on some road kill.
Dead cow on the side of the highway
They are fairly tolerant of cars (the eagles that
is) but I almost never manage to approach close enough on foot to
get a photo.
Today we've also seen a lot of camels. The first
mob seemed fairly wild and consisted of a group of females huddled
together and an aloof male off by himself.
Aloof bull and his harem
The next group appear to be farmed, they are grazing
in an open field behind a fence. I photograph them for a while,
it's interesting to hear the constant rumbling of bellies.
One hump or two, a camel tries to blend in with the environment
Within a few kilometres we get to the Stuarts
Well roadhouse. Next to the roadhouse is a camel farm, I guess that
explains the herd we just saw.
Live bull on the side of the highway
We make it another 25k then pull over for the
Tomorrow we'll go into Alice Springs (the Alice),
the "Capital of the outback".
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