Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 10 & 11

Was too exhausted and also busy to blog last night... Bad me. I could not blog as i went like I sometimes do, as the dirt roads are just too rough. At one point, David's camera launched its self into the roof of the car, causing a dent in the upholstry and I was lucky to catch it on the way back down.

We started the day later than we have been, I did manage a few hours sleep so I was happier then I have been too.. :-) Cleaning up and had to get some supplies from the servo and our permit for travel on the Mereenie loop. This permit is only $5.50 but only allows you to transit Aboriginal land. The only place you can stop are the two lookouts that they have set up. Find with us as the road is only recently opened and rough in places. This rain recently has affected this state too and many places are cut off still.


Turning left on to Namatjira Drive we stopped at Gosse Bluff 'lookout' but is was grown in. Up the road a bit were some lovely rock formations, so we stopped there instead. There was a higher lookout farther on, Tylers Pass Lookout.
Lookout on Namatjira Drive

Tyler Pass Lookout

Car eating holes on Namatjira Drive

As I was not feeling at all well, we missed Redbank Gorge and stopped at Glen Helen Gorge Resort. They are friendly people and have a little store where you can stay before seeing the other gorges. Glen Helen Gorge was flooded but stunning.

Feeling only slightly better, we headed off to Orimiston Gorge were we saw many Long Nosed Dragons. More colorful than the Kings Canyon ones, these had red cheeks. Cute.

Long nosed dragon at Ormiston Gorge

Ormiston gorge

Next stop was the Ochre Pits which are amazing then on to Ellery Creek Bighole.
Ellery creek big hole

We missed Serpentine gorge as David and I have climbed there a few years ago and as I had to find a doctor we were now rushing to Alice. Saw a Sand Montitor on the path back to the car which was amazing but he vanished before I could get too close. Rats. ONly got a 7D shot.
Missed the next two gorges as they are best at midday and it was around 1400hrs so the sun is not shining down the gap.

David drove me into Alice Springs and he found a dentist. The dentist had no one in the waiting room, the dentist was gossiping with the receptionist.. no one was around. I asked for a quick consultation and they said no, they were booked out completely. I could ring at 8am and try for an emergency consultation... if I had the number. Hmmm Well thanks a lot.It seems people need to be dead to get help in this town. :-(
My husband did some searching and near the Todd mall is an alley where there is a medical centre. We went there asking for help. Yes I could get help IF I allow the student to see me, otherwise, no appointments. Well a student is still better than nothing at all... OK SO I had to sign all sorts of indemnity forms. Around three I think. The girl was lovely but very unsure. She couldn't remember the names of nerves, forgot things and even asked me if she had forgotten anything to ask me. I didn't mind, as long as I got pain relief.
The supervising doctor eventually came in, she was apologetic, asked the student all these questions, she was being trested herself. Poor girl was a bundle of nerves.

The doctor had to ask me supplemental questions and what did I want from them? As it was a dental issue, why did I come to the general practise? Good question, no dentist will see me. What do I want? Pain relief. Will I see me own dentist in sydney...or doctor?? OHH yes...

FINALLY I got something to help. I had to wait for sleep time. OK.. But I was allowed to still take the day time pain killers.. just keep it down to 7 a day.. OOOOKKKK..

David took us to ANZAC hill, the lookout where the war memorial overlooks the city of ALice Springs. I love shooting this memorial. I get annoyed when people use it as a leaning post but most do not see the plaques. :-(

Being throughly over being in the car, we checkied in to the Heavytree Resort. Comfy hotel but suffering a plague of beetles and mice.. EEP.. The rooms are clean except the onslaught of bugs!! You have to sweep them out of your bed, shoes, bags etc etc.. They can't do much as the rain here has brought good times for all the animals, the native and the introduced.

After a $10 steak at the dodgy tavern, tough steak.. we did the nocturnal tour of the Desert Park. This is HIGHLY HIGHLY recommended. I have seen the park in the day twice before and it was impressive but the night tour is a tiny group and quite fun. You go spotlighting in the special closed enclosure. We saw lots and lots of Marla, a few Bilby, David spotted a Bearded Dragon in a tree, and we spotted a huge Spiny-tailed gecko. ( Diplodactylus ciliarus) It was so large that the keepers were not sure that it really was a Spiny-tail. we moved on to a small billabong where we spotted some burrowing frogs. THAT was awesome. An echidna took exception to our presence and departed before we could get shots. rats.

Brilliant short little tour, if you go on a cloudy night, you will see more animals.

Back to the hotel to bed. Drugs taken and I actualy slept with one wake up around 2am for nurophen. (Allowed by dr)

Day 11

A quiet day around Alice, I was annoyed at first at the missing of breakfast, but it all worked out. D took me to the Reptile park which certainly soothered my nerves. A nice little retile zoo, only small, but a good selection of animals. They teach snake safety and show people different lizards that they can handle. One lady was completely pertified. She was brave and allowed the Olive python's tail to be on her shoulders, she was shaking and crying but determined to do it and she did. I think she was making a big step forward.

Captive thornies

I did enjoy the animals and they have two thorny devils in captivity. That makes two zoos that I know of that have them.

Frank the Spencer monitor

David's turn for fun was after breakfast. I managed to sneak into the Red Kangaroo bookshop and found some awesome books.. One even on Road kill identitfication. I HAD to have that. SO now I have to scat and tracks book that I have lusted after. David found an specialist book on ALice Springs local reptiles which was pricey but as it was a small print run it is to be expected.

David took us to the Old Ghan museum, last time, 7 years ago, it was closed. :-( We had to go to the Truck museum which is a good museum in its own right. Both are interesting but I did not want to go to the truck museum again, it was good but not twice. ANYWAY they had taken over the train museum and therefore was open and even fully landscaped. Nice place for a picnic I think, that is you are interested int he Train's history then go. It costs $12 pp
The old Ghan museum
We headed back into town as it was not late afternoon. Koen split up to get some tourist shopping done, and David took me shopping. YAY! We got some CDs from a closing down shop, I just got some random cds. NO idea what they will sound like.. But shrug. SOmetimes you win with a random selection.
David sourced me an underwater camera. I had wanted an Orange one but as he had found one blue one for $100 less who can complain.?? $100 is a BIG Saving




We had dinner at the Tavern again, this time it was lasgana which was nice.
A guy from the reptile place came to the tavern to do a show for the backpackers that were there. SO we stayed.
Hmmm

He was a showman, the animals were flapped around a bit more than I would like.. but nothing too bad.. What caused me a bit of a concern was that he free handled a collettes snake.
I don't really care if the snake knows you, to teach snake safety and then free handle a venonomous is irresponsible. :-( He had some other lovely snakes, a red bally, and a mulga snake, both of which he did not free handle. Now Tim wil tell you, that although Collettes snake and the red belly and docile snakes you never free handle these reptiles. The Mulga was cranky and was a good demonstration of how you stay still and the snake will ignore you. Pretty snake.

Back to the room and the underwater camera was played with in the pool. We kept laughing hard the photos are good value. :-)

OK Now to sit down and find time to upload photos. The telstra here is good but slow so it times out. :-(

There are photos on my flickr stream from my iPhone.

tomorrow!! The Ghan!! Assuming it is running. :-(

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