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Rosi & Jen's 11 Thousand Beach Odyssey Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do, then the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream...."

Journey to the centre - the red centre that is!

AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 26 August 2009 | Views [770]

The last 11 days have been absolutely amazing.

From Katherine we headed south first stop an iconic outback pub at Daly Waters.  We drank beer served to us by a german backpacker, listened to the dulcit tones of the 'chook man' on the electric organ and looked up at a billion beautiful stars.

From there we spent the next night at Devil's Marbles and were absolutely gob smacked by the enigmatic beauty of the place.  You drive through hundreds of kms of nothing and then all of a sudden these different sized glowing red granite boulders appear. At times they seem almost impossibly balanced.  They are in my opinion as spellbinding as Uluru or Kata Tjuta.  We arrived just before sunset which added to the glow and we camped for the night again looking up at a blanket of stars and wondering how we got to be so lucky as to have this life.

Two aboriginal guys who were traditional owners of the land came and told us campfire stories about the "Marbles" and what they meant to the local people. The aborginals call them Karlu Karlu.  In the Aboriginal mythology the Devils Marbles are the eggs of the rainbow serpent, and many "dreamtime" stories and traditions of the Warumungu, Kaytetye and Alyawarre Aboriginal people are linked with this area.  The traditional Aboriginal owners of the area regard the marbles as having extraordinary powers. Damage to them can have life threatening consequences for their custodians.

The next day we headed on to Alice Springs.  It wasn't what we expected.  We had been warned hat is was a scary violent place but we instantly fell in love with its artistic flavour and energy.  We headed out to explore and were impressed by the wonderful Alice Springs Desert Park which was a great introduction to the plants and animals of the desert, as well as the aboriginal culture, way of life and survival techniques. I would recommend anyone heading to Central OZ to stop and spend some time at the park as it gave us another layer of understanding of the outback.

We spent a day exploring the West McDonnell Ranges and their wonderful gorges and we were also fortunate to be in town for the annual Henley on Todd dry river Regatta.  This year it was all the more fun because the National Variety Bush Bash cars were in town. The put on quite a show and we had a fantastic day. By the time we left Alice we both agreed that we would love to come back and work there for a while. 

And now we find ourselves at Uluru.  For those of you who have never been here, nothing can really prepare you for the massive scale of this big fat red rock. It's absolutely enormous sitting in the middle of no where.  Whenever it's in your view you are instantly drawn to look at it.  It's endlessly fascinating and also forever changing.  We walked all the way around it, it took 4 hours.  Every bit of it is different from the bit before; the shape, the crevices, the flora, the colour.  It truly is majestic and sublime.  Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) are equally fascinating.  In some ways the seem even more mysterious than the rock. 

Last night we had Dinner in the Desert.  As the brochure states "Your journey begins on a lone sand dune. A path takes you to an uninterrupted, three hundred and sixty degree view of this vast landscape. In front of you is the fabled Uluru; behind you are the domes of Kata Tjuta and, possibly the most spectacular sunset you have ever seen. Here you enjoy sparkling wine and a selection of delectable canapés. As the sun sets, you feast on a BBQ buffet of authentic Australian delicacies examples include barramundi, kangaroo, emu and crocodile, bush salads and classic desserts, complemented by Australian wines.  Attention then turns to some of the world's best stargazing, as our startalker takes you on a tour of the spectacular southern night sky. As you wind down after dinner, you are offered a choice of tea, coffee or port.  At the Sounds of Silence experience you can dine under the canopy of the desert night, while your very own storyteller shares tales as told in the stars.

Entered into the Australian Tourism Hall of Fame, Sounds of Silence offers the best of the Red Centre distilled into four magical hours. An evening of dining under the sparkling outback sky."

And just incase you're wondering it was spectacular! Tonight I simply sit here in the quiet, there is a breeze and a bit of a chill in the air. And that's enough right now. It's lovely being on the road again.  I didn't realise how much I missed it.  There is an excitement about not really knowing what you'll find out there the next day.  It keeps you motivated and enthusiastic and hungry for more.  More beauty, more open space, more history, more nature, more adventure.

Tomorrow we head to Kings Canyon......  watch this space!


Tags: alice springs, caravaning, daly waters, devils marbles, kata tjuta, red centre, sounds of silence dinner in the desert, uluru, west mcdonnell ranges

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