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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Mission Accomplished!

AUSTRALIA | Tuesday, 26 April 2022 | Views [116]

As a day of remembrance, Anzac Day is never a particularly busy day. I was warned that I likely wasn’t going to get anywhere yesterday. Keeping my hopes high, I got on out there with all of my gear, including 10 litres of water. A ham and cheese croissant for breakfast tasted good, and is a real novelty out here. Stuff may be pricey here but when you’re stocked on provisions there isn’t a lot to spend money on if you’re not driving. Joshua and Archie, whom I sat with the other night, got two flat tyres in one day and got some help from some bush mechanics.

After more than an hour of waiting on the dusty, fly-blown Great Central Road, a Kiwi couple named John and Sina stopped and said they were going to Warakurna but had no room. After talking to them for a minute they decided they could load some stuff they had on the back seat into the back of their ute. The Northern Territory (NT) is an hour and a half ahead of Western Australia (WA) time, and Warakurna, despite still being in WA operates on NT time. The roadhouse at Warburton is heavily fortified with cameras everywhere but at Warakurna it’s more peaceful as I pitched my tent on a grassy patch. After setting up my tent and sleeping gear I went for a walk in search of a geocache near Giles Weather Station. It’s a really novelty being out here, and I’m actually ahead of schedule on this journey. The other day, Alex and Felix were expecting me to be in Laverton for the long weekend. Yesterday I was able to arrange a lift with an elderly couple named Brian and June, who are from Melbourne. They only stopped at Warakurna because they were very close to running out of fuel, but the roadhouse doesn’t open until 9:30 AM. As I was on my computer last night, I heard a heap of noise and then noticed five Indigenous guys reaching for something under a metal grate at the roadhouse. My tent was pitched very close to there, so I went to see what the guys were doing, but they were reaching for a container with cigarette butts. Immediately, it had me on alert. Since I had the key to the ablution block, I locked all of my gear in there and made sure it was sealed tight. The compressed air hose was running as well, so I’m guessing at least one of them was trying to get high on that! There is so much you can’t get out here (unleaded petrol, paint, glue, etc.) because many of the locals will look for anything and everything to get high on.

Last night I didn’t sleep very well due to having to keep an ear open. My back was killing me, and I had a dingo near my tent as I was trying to pack it up.

It took me a few seconds to realize it was a dingo, and this was after my tent was packed away. Brian, June, and myself all had to wait for the roadhouse to open at 9:30 AM. A coffee always makes me feel better, so I made one as I soaked up the desert air. Australia is more like another planet than another continent and terms of the landscape, wildlife, and flora. After getting a ham and cheese toastie, we were off and I was prepared to complete the most difficult leg of this incredible journey. Giles River we crossed about 30 minutes into the trip east but “river” is somewhat of a misnomer out here since water is extremely scarce. The landscape is otherworldly out here. 

We crossed the border into the NT and then about an hour later we stopped at Lasseter’s Cave.

Harold Lasseter was a prospector who made two attempts to find a reef of gold, but perished not far from here in the 1930s. Most visitors who get to the NT make it as far as Kata Tjuta and then turn off, so it’s a great feeling seeing some of these lesser known parts. Kata Tjuta greeted us as we made the turn off the Great Central Road.

The colours are majestic. At roughly 2 PM we rolled into Yulara. 15 years ago I was here and it seems that not a lot has changed. When I asked about pitching a tent without a vehicle, and they said $43. Ouch! When I did the Rock Tour with Leith back in ’07 he said “I don’t like Yulara because they overcharge for everything.” and it seems they still do. Getting clever, I was told that if I ask around, I could pitch my tent on an already occupied site for half the cost, so I asked around. My back was absolutely killing me today, therefore it wasn’t a lot of fun whilst carrying all of my gear (which includes 10 litres of water). A lady named Maddi invited me to camp with her. With a feeling of euphoria for accomplishing this goal, I set up my gear and then went to the pub for a glass of wine. At $11 per glass I won’t be drinking much, and as the only place in town that sells takeaway alcohol, wine is $35 a bottle! Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll wait until I get to Alice Springs to pick up a bottle. Sunset at Uluru was what I wanted more. I wanted to re-visit one of my favourite places in the world and watch the colours change on one of the world’s largest monoliths.

The Rock is actually much closer than it appears in the photo. Three gorgeous German girls would give me a lift back to the campground and then I'd be in awe as I cooked some "din din." 61 countries and territories later, Uluru remains close to my heart. This journey is far from over, but I've completed the most difficult stretch. I left Perth exactly one week ago and I'm saying mission accomplished to what I've pulled off so far. 

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