Saturday, July 12:
It was an early morning and a warm start to our day. By the time Layla played one last game of cops and robbers and we had camp all packed up it was already 25 degrees. We hit the road headed for the Stuart Highway toward Alice Springs. It got very warm on the road, especially since the air conditioning on our 'new' car didn't work. The windows were down and we were enjoying the 30 degree warmth on our last day up north. We made a quick stop at Bitter Springs Thermal Pool. It was right next to Mataranka Thermal Pools so we were looking forward to a dip in the 'warm' water. Bitter Springs was a float down the river amongst palm trees, spiders, and tropical bird calls. It was a great dip but didn't match up to Mataranka, so we compromised with another quick stop at Mataranka before we left for good. We finally got on the road, in our swimsuits, at about 4:00 which meant it was going to be a close call to make it to Elliott to the caravan park before dark. We drove fast and hard and made it to Elliott in the dark at about 7:00 only to find that the Caravan park was deserted and looked a bit too creepy to park in overnight. We made the decision to drive on to Renner Springs in the dark…not a good idea with all of the wildlife on the road: wallabies, kangaroos, cows, eagles, and bats! We made it to Renner Springs, a gas station on the side of the road, and set up camp for the night, had a quick dinner in the dark and called it a night listening to road trains and a snoring neighbor long into the night.