??Journey or destination??

Exploring life experiences at home and beyond – Destination Happiness


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Three – magic to some

The challenge is listed as

In a nutshell, a three-picture story is a way to help you think about storytelling with images. To create a three-picture story, gather:

  1. An establishing shot: a broad photo of your subject.
  2. A relationship: two elements interacting with one another.
  3. A detail: a close-up of one part of your subject.

Not sure this is exactly the right pattern but these photos hold magical memories.

The amazement of Uluru appearing on the horizon

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  Capturing the hues – close

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Up close and personal with the story of Uluru

anothetr

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Gasp, hold breath…Total awe!!

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Having always wanted to see Uluru , last year my wish came true. I still can remember the excitement as the monolith came into distant view…The first photo shows the bend in the other wise straight road where  as you sweep round and  the rock fills your screenshot and mind with amazement! The second photo is of Kata Tjuta in the distant horizon. Both photos were taken on my iPad as the car sped us closer to the site (and sight lol).

Approach

juta


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Off to Katherine

Again the threatening clouds dropped nothing. W leave Kakadu today. I had hoped to see a storm here but I have seen so many amazing things I can’t complain.

Today we drove in the direction of Katherine. Brian had one walk he wanted to do . He walked the steep path and I stayed in the air conditioned car 🙂

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The trip out of the park was green. The land even where burnt off has tall eucalyptus trees and palms in between them. Yesterday I learned that the palm leaves are used in strips to make dilly bags , rugs and wall hangings. They are dyed in varied colours using berries. We saw some brumbies grazing and eagles eating carcass of a young dingo. We passed green billabongs edged with tall reeds. Although it isry season this area is so ugh more lush tante environment we witnessed in Central Australia. The bright red landscape is replace too , with a browny red soil.Even saw a cloud that looked a bit like a gecko. Then we drove through he brick gates signifyingthat we had left Kakadu National Park.

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Approaching Pine Creek we saw a huge brushfire to the west. Black smoke swirled with red billowed up high into the sky. Turns out it is in Nitmiluk Park but it’s a huge park so it is no where near where we are headed…thankfully!

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Pine Creek has a population of around 700 people and it is he mining history starting point for Northern Territory. Gold was mined here in the early 1800s. Ate lunch here just after 2 pm then headed to Katherine our stop or the night. The hotel has a nice pool and w made use of it , refreshing after our long, busy, hot days. Had Chinese Food for dinner.

We hope to go on a gorge boat trip tomorrow. The owner here will tryo book t for us in h morning when e cruise company opens.

Glad I have finally caught my blog up. Being tire at night hasn’t been conducive to writing but also in many of our stays we just haven’t had reliable internet. I start posting and it cuts in and out so sending is inhibited.


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Saturday Kings Canyon to Alice Springs

Left the campsite and waited in line to fill the van with diesel. Funnily at Uluru we paid $2:17 per litre and we were amazed. Here it was $2:33 and by now being used to all items having a generous cartage markup we didn’t even raise a brow.

The drive was a long one . Brian wanted a photo of the edge tailed eagle and with my keen eye I found him some and got some good photos. We had hoped to get as far as the Macdonnell Ranges for the night but decided when we hit Alice Springs to stay there the night and use the afternoon to see Alice Springs.

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We drove up to the top of Anzac Hill and admired the view of the city switch the vast stretching East and West Macdonnell Ranges. We then went to the Telegraph Park , home of the spring after which the town is named and the first telegraph station. We were lucky to have as our guide a man who was a stolen child . He told us not only the history of the station but had very engaging stories of his life there he had been brought here along with 110 other children when he was one and a half. He then lived there and a variety of other missions (moved from here when Darwin was under threat) . After that we drove past the School of the Air and I posed for a photo outside …it was closed for the day 😦

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We then found a caravan park for the night and planned our last day (tomorrow) . A celebration BBQ was cooked ..it’s now easy to do the gas thing hahaha

<a


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Uluru, Kata Juta, Kings Canyon , Kathleen Springs catch up photos :)

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Waterhole Uluru

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Approaching Kata Juta

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Brian ‘selfie’ at Valley of Winds walk. Kata Juta

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Start of Kings Canyon rim walk. I adopted the ‘look only’ approach :))

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View from rim

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Selfie hahaha

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Waterhole home of of Rainbow Serpent – Kathleen Springs

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Saw these wedged tail eagles everywhere

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Anzac Hill views of West and East Macdonnell Ranges

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Ready for school 🙂

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Simpsons Gap

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Ellet Creek Waterhole…very cold 🙂

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Sacred site – Ochre pits


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Kings Canyon

A late start for bush walking and climbing at 9 am but earlier than most days 🙂 We arrived at the canyon and Brian took off armed with water , apples, lollies and cashews to complete the rim walk. I insisted he take the snacks ha ha. I walked far enough only to see the incline he walked up , looked up to the top of the rim, acknowledged its a long way to the top and headed back to the shade shelter where I am now blogging from.

Even from this vantage point low on the ground the sights and sounds are amazing!There is a breeze ( albeit hot) blowing and every now and then as it channels through the canyon it produces an eerie moaning. Reminds me a little of the sound made when blowing into an empty can.The pitch varies slightly in each moan. There are birds chirping loudly and the crickets are joining them in song.As I sat listening to the concert a small lizard of about 15 scampered near my feet then shot off at speed into the low scrub. The silence is broken by the occasional bus or car, laughter , overhead helicpters and the crunch of shoes on the fine red gravel of the paths. Looking straight at the canyon in the silent times ( which are of the most) its easy to believe I am the only person here. My own picnic at hanging rock experience..but I shall not wander off 🙂

The landscape here is so different to that of the Ulura area. The smooth yet weathered look of Uluru and Kata Juta is replaced by layered rocks. The rocks here at the canyon are layers of rock laid down when the area was actually of a marine nature then ‘newer ‘ layers represent the current type of environment. The brown layers have a purple sediment between some layer. This contributes to a different brown type appearance than the colour at Uluru. The erosion leaves an irregular craggy appearance and grass and stubby shrubs and small trees grow on the exposed faces of the canyon in parts.

The drive here for the last 160kms showed green and brown grasses, flowering shrubs nd green leafed trees so much fresher and watered in appearance then around Uluru. They hide the red soil in the most from view. We pulled over at one time cause there were melons it seemed everywhere. These melons were paddy melons, an introduced species that is deadly to livestock .Earlier on the drive close to Uluru mushrooms had sprung up roadside along with small green tufts of grass, after the heavy rain of the night before . The red soil was compacted with the water .

Brian returned from his walk complete with some fabulous photos. We grabbed a paddle pop each ($7) and headed of to Kathleen Springs. After a picnic lunch of leftover from last night’s BBQ. We headed off on the walk that would take us to a waterhole.

The Luritja people believe this to be the home of the rainbow serpent . It is a sacred site. The water appeared dark but on closer inspection it was actually the reeds at the bottom darkening the look. There is a seat overlooking the waterhole for reflection. Before the silence was broken by some reed throwing , loud whistling children, you could hear the rustle of reeds, the calls of birds and a frog’s croak . Looking up at the rock layers of the rock face you old imagine the Luritja people here paying homage to the serpent. Before arriving at the waterhole you walk through a sacred site called Ipitilki . There is a rippled rock displayed as a sign left by Inturrkunya ( the carpet snake) . Just before this sign, as if on cue ( maybe it was) a small death adder snake slithered across the path. Just as we almost made it back to the van the heavens opened with heavy rain. All the locals are excited as apparently here like at Uluru not a raindrop has been felt for five and a half months ( perhaps they should invite me to visit more often hahaha) . Bought I&J beef patties to BBQ ever hopeful of the weather improving. 🙂 Learnt how to BBQ in the rain haha


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Thursday

Today was our last day at the rock. Brian wanted to climb the rock , not my idea of fun but I had a lot of books on my ipad could read while he waked. Armed with the dodgy camera – to risky to take the good one ha ha – he walked to the area where the walkers were starting. In the short space of time between parking ( and we parked close as we qualify up here as a BUS in our campervan) it was closed – rain predicted…blue sky but maybe it was raining in Perth or Adelaide. Disappointed Brian and happy me (was scared for him walking) headed back the walk I had missed the day before. This time it was a cool time only 34C lol. After the walk we drove on to Kata Juta ( Olgas) these too were amazing and so massive!

 

While they looked of the same material as Uluru they had grass growing over them in many parts. By the time we arrived there it as near 11:30am and already 36C . I decide I could see the Olgas and that was sufficient for me. Brian chose to walk to the first section of the Valley of the winds walk. I sat instead under a shelter with a roof made of grasses which actually mad the dry heat almost bearable . They have beautifully crafted seats made from wood with no two the same. They are complete with gnarled wood polished smooth . I chatted there to others also waiting for walkers. One little boy had the right idea. He said , ” this place needs air conditioning.” I agreed with him and thought moving walkways would also be a good idea. Perhaps I should forward these ideas to the Parks and Wildlife people hahaha. Let’s face it, with the hot weather here who wouldn’t want those suggestions carried out. 🙂
We did a picnic lunch ( everything is always so close at hand in this van) then drove the three and a half hours to Kings Canyon resort. We picked up meat now we know how to work the gas we were determined to BBQ. On arrival we asked to stay an extra night over the one we had booked. The man was accommodating despite the park being near full and gave us a site where we could stay both nights as the one we had previously been allocated would have someone else coming in tomorrow. Then he dropped the clanger…there is no Internet except their paid one and no cell phone coverage. Massive panic…how could I let the kids know we had arrived safely . Then I remembered those things used in the dark ages to call people…the thing that you needed to put coins in…the public telephone. Called Tim and let him know we were here and were staying the extra night. Phew!!

Then we drove to our site only to find someone else already in it. Returned to reception where they gave us the original site and said they will move the newcomers to another site tomorrow so we can stay put 🙂 hope no one else is in our site tomorrow lol. Then it was BBQ Time. I decided to cook since Brian had done all the driving. Fought with the BBQ again, fiddled with connections then woohoo it was all cooking with gas…literally hahaha. Cooked a feast up, sausages, steak , rissoles and onions . Served it up with a salad…so domesticated 🙂
Then all the ‘locals’ came out flashing cameras in my direction. Camera flashes came from behind me. Squeals of “Look over there”, filled the air with excitement. “Quiick , get me the camera” ,others called to their friends. I must admit I had just finished cooking which is an unexpected event for me ( newsworthy to capture on film.?? Hardly, I thought. I was sitting at my table in a pretty black floral tunic with black crop leggings, a gold necklace with three large rings attached ( Tiffany fake lol but I guessed maybe they hadn’t realised) and diamanté encrusted thongs having ditched the now red stained pink and white joggers-perhaps photo worthy …but I’m a stranger so I didn’t get their excitement. Did they think it was Abbey Lee from Dance Moms was in the campsite???
I turned to see these camera wielding fiends to ask why they were photographing me. I turned to behind me…mind you Brian was watching that way already from his seat position.there sulking around was a DINGO!
There I was sitting in a fold up canvas chair unable to drag it with any ease in the gravel. I needed to push the table away if I were to escape but that too was hard to move with its legs stuck on gravel. What do you do if a dingo is near?? Instinct said run. Here I was with my iPad at hand to google what to do but in this place there was no Internet or cell phone connection ( actually more terrifying to me than this dingo to be honest). Brian’s response -‘it’s walking on don’t worry’ . But I could read in his eyes the story he was already contemplating the story he would sell to the Woman’s Weekly him contemplating the dress shoes and hair style he would wear for the photoshoot to go with the story , the suitably forlorn face… ( hmmm or is that what I was planning had the dingo been coming from the opposite direction hahahaha) .
Then as my life flashed before me I noticed the camera flashes were moving up the street as the dingo stalked a new prey…or just went to check out new bins 🙂 You could tell where it was during the night least while others were awake cause the camera flashes followed it like hungry paparazzi . Least I can now say I saw a dingo.

Tomorrow we , when I say ‘we’ though I mean Brian , are off to Kings Canyon to walk the rim. It starts with 500 steps up in incline equivalent to the Uluru walk. I plan on blogging in the 3 hours or so it takes to walk the rim .


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Happy 25th anniversary to us (Wednesday 26th Sept)

Woke early and drove out to the rock for sunrise.2% rule dictated that there was cloud cover . Anyway we walked ( yes I walked wearing joggers hahaha) up to a viewing platform and waited and watched as the sun broke through the cloud barrier. After seeing the monster go to sleep last night as the light changed , it did seem like the monster slowly woke from its slumber, stretched and then began its watchful sentry position overlooking this part of the world. I could never before have believed the way an inanimate object could actually seem to display personality.


Had breakfast then began some walks around the rock. It’s true size is more easily able to be comprehend this close. The first walk led us to views of rock art in several caves . It was fascinating to view things I’d seen online for real. We saw a waterhole, now dried up from the drought . The vegetation remained green here. It was a cooler part than the sun drenched rock paths though the term cool was not true . It’s really hot around 36C . When we bought water to bring on our trip prior to leaving Alice Springs Brian mocked my choice of quantity. Now he is understanding. I have never actually consumed so much water in my life I think 🙂 the recommendation is about a litre an hour when walking and it’s about how much you seem to consume without counting.

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Our next walk was becoming hot and unbearable . It was to another waterhole I wanted to see. But at 37C I completed about half the walk and turned back to the shade centre nearby. Brian continued on and to my disappointment apparently it was only about 200ms further from where I had stopped. But I had already walked back to the car , and at that temperature no way was I walking back again.

Thursday we are going back so I can do it in the cooler part of the morning. Headed off to the cultural centre ( me with hopes of air conditioning,but not to be ha ha ) . We walked through the information section . Here were explanations of beliefs relating to the rock and surrounding areas. Then we went to the art gallery. Brian chose an aboriginal painting made by an elderly lady. The paintings are done at a respite centre. Wonder how much of the exorbitant cost goes to the artist and how much stays at the gallery. I’m guessing it’s not the artist that reaps 😦 exhausted and hot we returned to the campground to rest before our Sounds of Silence dinner.

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We glammed up and at 5 15 headed to the coach pick up for our tour. The coach arrived right on time and off we headed to the other resorts collecting other patrons. The sky was a stunning purple grey colour . I had read on the weather channel about a month ago tonight would storm. I was optimistic though cause the coaches had collected us and I just guessed they too knew how to check the weather radar. But no ! At the last resort we were told the dinner had to be cancelled due to the weather and we could rebook or have a refund. I could have cried ( but I had my thick Max Factor mascara on and no way was I wearing panda eyes. :)). We decided to choose a refund. The decision was based on that we could stay an extra night at the rock, but it could rain again as per predictions. That would mean we would not get to see all the sights I had carefully planned our time for. We decided we wanted to see more of NT more than we wanted the dinner. So, we asked the hostess for the best restaurant in the resort complex and there we headed. We stayed on the coach and it dropped us there, but it turned out lots of the other cancellers had also decided on this restaurant and walked there while we sat on the coach. The restaurant was totally booked , the explanation was ‘ all the sounds of silence people had made bookings’ . The only table would be one at 8 45 and it was about 6 pm at that time and with such an active day I knew I’d be asleep by then! I pulled my trump card out ‘Its our 25th wedding anniversary and I planned this 9 months ago’ combined with my suitably sad face ( no act in either). The hostess whispered “i can put you in at 7 15 but if anyone asks say you had made a tentative booking for that time” Happy to say that we accepted the table and headed to the bar for a drink while we waited.

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The restaurant was amazing. The food was delicious and incorporated some bush tucker into each dish. I had for entree the tomato with boccini , Brian had the tempura prawns. For main I had pork with bush plum sauce and hazelnuts in a sweet toffee dressing served with mashed sweet potato while Brian had the sirloin with tomato jus and potatoes. Desserts were amazing. I had the macadamia and chocolate pudding served with sugar coated macadamias , chocolate sauce and ice cream. Brian had blood orange sorbet. The hostess had frequented our table several times times, took photos for us and checked everything was right. We had been treated like royalty. tater dessert the hostess returned to our table again with a white platter. On it was a ‘Happy 25th anniversary ‘ and two peppermint chocolate balls on it.

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The night that had started out so disappointing was made so special by this lady. She said when I had told her the importance of the day she just couldn’t not but help us celebrate. I’m sure good karma will flow her way ( and an email from me to the manager ha ha) .And, Brian was happy cause we saved $100 hahaha
Happy anniversary to us. ❤


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Uluru vacation…Griswold style :)

Monday we left The Ghan at Alice Springs. Despite sleep being a little less than satisfactory on the whole I really enjoyed the experience. That was actually lucky cause if I hadn’t I would have been anticipating the trip during this leg of my journey ha ha 🙂
On reflection traveling The Ghan made me realise it’s the journey not the destination in the old conundrum, well….least in this case. In the 25 hours and $$$ we spent on tickets we could have saved a lot of money using a plane to Alice Springs and been there in a few hours or even flown to foreign countries in the same time this epic trip takes but the time we actually spent talking , the scenery we saw, the laughs we had about the train ‘cabin’ , the chats to others about their lives, the wild camels ( well Brian missed those as he chose sleep haha) all contributed to the trip.
We spent the night in Alice Springs. We asked around if there was a cake shop in the area but each time we asked the question was met with the strange quizzical look. We ended up finding a cafe that was serving cakes so we ate in rather than taking it back to the hotel. Oh and this time my ‘it’s our anniversary worked a treat. We had booked a cheap double room but on arrival the lady said she was upgrading us to the deluxe king…luxury.!!

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The next morning we arrived to collect our van ready to hit the road Griswold style. We watched the compulsory DVD about the van then after paying our money we went outside .there was the van. It was so much bigger than we expected! We unloaded our gear from our suitcases stashed it safely in the lockers , cupboards then hit the road to go to Woolies for food supplies. We realised the van height meant we had to park outside but what we didn’t realise was we also needed two car parks long wise for the length , and of course there were none. Then we saw it! A space that nosed into another space. It had wire up near it so we knew this was the best place we could park. We were excited by our find. After parking we headed off to buy groceries. This was all non eventful and we returned to our van to unpack it. Our once just for us car park now had a cement truck pouring cement near that wire!! OMG,  we walked over quite sheepishly expecting to get told off for parking there…but NO, the cement guys apologized for having sprayed some concrete water on our van and were actually armed with rags about to clean our van off, which they did despite our embarrassed requests for them not to worry. Brian moved the van to a new spot and we loaded it up. It was now close to half past 11, well behind on our schedule. We had lunch cause we hadn’t had breakfast and then hit the road.

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Saw Mt Connor in the distance after hours of driving and new we were getting close.

Excitement was mounting then we rounded a bend and there on the side horizon it was! Uluru…it looked huge and majestic just perched there with the Olga’s to its left. I was beside myself snapping photos . We stopped in to check in at the campground but all I wanted to do was get to the rock before sunset….which we did! Set up the table and chairs and dips and at he’d the colours deepen as the sun faced behind clouds ( not as I had booked this scene hahaha) . Then. Decided we had enough time to drive a lap around the rock before the park closed so off we headed. People had told me the draw it has, I’d mapped it’s dimensions on a google map of Terrigal but NOTHING could prepare me for this amazing site. It’s colour was changing from a red to a somber purple and it just seemed as if it were sinking down to sleep. It looked as if it were settling in for the night eyes closing with every drop in light.its just something you can not imagine. It felt like you needed to slink away quietly so as not to disturb its slumber now. And so we did. We headed back to our campsite to barbeque on our van’ s BBQ. Brian fiddled with it, no go! I took over and still no go. Watched the DVD and it seemed we had connected it right but nothing. In desperation as starving travelers we microwaved some lamb steaks and sausages… Not bad cause I’m the microwave queen lol. Washed up our dishes after eating ( why was this fun here???) then it was time to put the bed together and get some sleep. It was heading to 11:30 and we were going to be up and on our way at 5:30 to watch that monster under the sun’s rays of a new day.

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