18/9/21 - 21/9/21
Our journey southbound continued on for another 303km to Banka Banka Station, which is 100km north of Tennant Creek and is a working cattle station. The original homestead is used as a bar for happy hour for all of the tourist. Here we caught up with Ray & Pam (our fellow 'Breakdowners') and enjoyed happy hour with them, so didn't get to the bar for a drink.
Past Tennant Creek we stopped at the Karlu Karlu / Devils Marbles Conversation Reserve were we enjoyed and observed the stunning large boulders. Our business card has on the front a photo taken from here back in 2015. The nearest settlement is the small town of Wauchope, only 9km to the south. We were going to stop here for the night at Devils Marbles Hotel but on discovering a bikie group were staying, we went in to enjoy a beer and on hearing the bikies had partied until 3am the previous morning we decided we didn't need to swim in the pool that much, so moved on.
We stopped the night near the town of Barrow Creek. Barrow Creek is known for being the closest town to where Peter Falconio went missing in 2001. Here we were enjoying the isolation and solitude of our free camp and the stunning sunset against an escapement, when one other caravan pulled in over yonder.
Leaving Barrow Creek the following morning without any issues we stopped at Aileron. Aileron is home of the 17 metre figure of the Aboriginal Anmatjere Man, created by sculpture Mark Egan and was erected in December 2005. He strikes an impressive figure overlooking the town of Aileron and beside the closed Aboriginal Art Shop was also a tall impressive Aboriginal woman, child and snake. A great place to get out and stretch the legs.
The sunny skies were now in the rear vision mirror as heading south we were now facing dark, cloudy skies which tried hard to produce a few small drops of water, what is this??? We hadn't seen rain since the middle of May, some four months ago.
At Alice Springs we stopped for supplies. As we were heading into the supermarket, we heard screaming in the carpark. Two indigenous women were having a massive altercation, full on punching into each other, knocking each other into cars and down onto the asphalt, four police officers descended onto them both pretty quickly and broke up the fight. We didn't see what happened to them as we went on our way and did our shopping.
Pam had sent a message to check out the Alice Springs airport, which we did. Boy, what a sight to see, hundreds of aeroplanes, sitting idle due to Covid. We would have loved to have gone back into the West McDonald Ranges but we still didn't have the confidence in the radiator.
During our drive south, we have been listening to an audiobook, Tell Me Why by Archie Roach, who is from the stolen generation. A very interesting book and one we both would highly recommend.
Between Erldunda and the Kulgera roadhouse the skies were an array of flocks of green budgerigars, a stunning sight to see these birds in their natural environment.
After getting some fuel at Kulgera roadhouse we are finally saing goodbye to the Northern Territory, our winter state. After arriving here back on the 4th June, nearly 4 months ago, how we will miss the constant weather and our wonderful friends. Farewell NT……