The Red Centre capital in Alice Springs was amazing; featuring rock formations that would rival any, anywhere in the world. After driving through desolate country for what seemed like an eternity, it really was an oasis in the desert. Crikey it even had a Harvey Norman which enabled us to get a $400 Laptop (bargain!) and led to the birth of some content on this site. This vibrant, bustling city was a great place to unwind after our epic Uluru experience. We found a fantastic spot near the Yeperenye Nature Park which is jointly managed with the Parks and Wildlife Commision and the Central Arrernte Traditional Owners. This place called us and we have no doubt the universe led us here, more can be seen on that story in our That’s Blown it post. Just 15 minutes on the Ross highway lies Emily and Jessie gaps, which hold significant traditional and cultural value. We were able to see some ancient Aboriginal cave art depicting caterpillar dreaming and creation stories.
One of the secrets of eating healthy on the road, whilst factoring in savvy shopping is only shopping at BIG mainstream supermarkets. Alice Springs was a place to do one of these massive grocery restocking exploits. Now, getting into a shopping centre car park with a van in tow can be a mission at the best of times and this was no exception in Alice Springs. The Rowe crowd went wild when we secured a park and hi ho hi ho it’s off shopping we go! You would probably think this is the end of this boring little anecdote, but you would be wrong, here comes the twist; wait for it!!! So, full trolley in check and I mean FULL we begin to wheel it to where we are parked about 100 metres away, within the shopping complex carpark. Screech! What The?! Oh I see the trolley has proceeded to lock up, thwarted by the ole dodgy wheel syndrome, right? WRONG apparently these trolleys are unique in that they are microchipped to limit the distance they can go from the store. Now, we are about 50 metres away from our car and unable to move our loaded trolley anywhere! This was rather unexpected. After consulting store management on some potential helpful advice, we quickly realised that none was going to be forthcoming. Although some might think we are poor white trash, we politely let them know how arrogant and rude they were as they scoffed and laughed remarking “You didn’t leave your trolley unattended did you?”. It’s at this point we consulted with some local Aboriginal people who at first looked surprised that we were engaging them. About now in Alice Springs we realised the divide between black Australians and white Australians was at a level we had never experienced before. It wasn’t long before we were laughing with the group of Arrernte (Central Aboriginal People) who came to our aid. They helped us acquire a mysterious trolley that could go between checkpoints without locking up. We were extremely grateful for their help that day. The moral of this story is be aware the trolleys will lock up, so park close.
Back at our camp spot between Emily and Jessie Gap and Annie and Kitty were keen for an explore. YES mum didn’t give NO dad all the facts on this day, “we’re just going for a short walk” they said. This is Kittys account of the area and their expedition that day.
Just outside of Alice Springs, near Jessie and Emily gap we found a terrific spot. It was surrounded by mountains, trees and beautifully coloured dirt and all just up a dirt road. One day Mum and I decided to take a walk, there were many spots to walk. Mum and I had our eyes on a tabletop mountain about 40 metres high. When we first got to the bottom of the small hill, we saw it was covered in small stones. We knew it would be hard to get up, but we did and eventually made it to a rock wall; we had to climb it to get to the top. We looked around and saw a natural staircase PERFECT!! So we indeed climbed it and got to the top quite easily. What a view! It was great; we enjoyed it for about ten minutes and then it was time to climb down. We knew where the staircase was right…!?! We saw a gap similar to the staircase but it was a whole lot harder this time…. maybe because it was the wrong staircase!?! We really had to use our actual rock climbing skills to get down the rock face, but we made it off! Now the easy part, sliding down on our bottoms. We made it happily to the bottom, it was fun – a true adventure!