Monday, July 31, 2017


An extremely cold start to the day today… our coldest morning yet.  We woke and the temperature outside at breakfast time was -5degrees and the sun had already been up for an hour.  Who knows how low the temperature really got, but -5 was pretty cold for us. As we were leaving for a week the following morning we decided to do a quick wash before we took off so that everything was clean before we left….

A visit to the Olive Pink Botanical Gardens
Our first stop today was a visit to the Olive Pink Botanical Gardens in Alice Springs.  It was pretty cold when we first got to the gardens, and they were mostly in the shade at this time of the morning.  There was also a stiff breeze blowing which didn’t help.  
Cafe at the Gardens
Hows this for a table setting
 The others decided to do a climb to the top of Annie Meyers Hill, which gave them a pretty superb view of Alice Springs and the MacDonald Ranges.  They also saw a few very dark, almost black rock wallabies whilst they were up there.  I decided to wait down near the café as I really wanted to do the walk around the gardens and I didn’t know whether I would manage both.
Top of the Annie Meyers Hill
First sign of wildlife
Panoramic view of Alice Springs
Steve on top of the Annie Meyers Hill
           Whilst they were up doing the climb,  I wandered into the café to keep warm.  They had a whole room devoted to the story of Olive Pink, the lady who started the gardens.   The “Australian Arid Regions Native Flora Reserve” (which was what it was known back then) was founded in 1956 after lobbying by Miss Olive Muriel Pink.  She was one of Alice Springs most colourful characters.  She was an unconventional anthropologist, an outspoken advocate for Aboriginal rights, a botanical artist and a woman ahead of her time in promoting native plants.  Miss Pink lived and worked in tough conditions while founding the Garden and establishing early plantings.

Time to splurge out on coffee, hot chocolate and cake
Barb's Pecan Pie
John's lemon tart
By the time the others got back, they were all ready for a hot drink, and of course if you were going to have coffee or as in our case a nice hot chocolate,  you also indulge in one of the many treats they had on offer.  Whilst some of the other’s had pecan pie, and lemon citrus tart,  Steve and I shared the most amazing lime bread loaf.

          After morning tea we headed off for a walk around the gardens.  These botanical gardens are not like any other we have been to.  They are pretty arid and definitely would be classed as a desert garden, but we still found it really interesting, especially reading a lot of the signs around the park which not only gave us the name of the plant but quite often how it was used by the Aboriginal tribe from this region.  I swear we will never look at plants in the same light again… I often find myself now walking along looking at a plant and wondering if the Aborigines use this plant as a food source or a medicinal source.
Barb checking out this beautiful tree with red bark
This chair was a memorial in the park...
I take it he was a solitary person who liked to just sit in the park...
 Some of the lovely flowerings gums

 These sculptures were a pleasant surprise in the Botanical Gardens...

 This emu one was really fascinating as it's beak was made out of old irons....

 Having a rest before we head to the cars:....

By the time we had finished wandering around the gardens it was almost lunch time.  We had plans to go visit the Ghan Museum today also, so we headed out of town to check out this museum. 

 They had a really lovely family picnic area and children's play area at this museum, and even ran rides of the little train for the children.
Children's play area.
For the chess enthausists
Cafe area
I was quite taken by this little fellow
Train rides for the kids and young at heart

 They had quite a good little gift shop in the cafe section and we all ended up splurging out and getting a Tea Towel that depicted our current lifestyle
WE all splurged out on one of these....
 The shop had lots of other gifts and knick knacks also...
Lots of old second hair vintage items as well...
John and Barb
Kathy checking out some of the books of the area..

WE did find it interesting, but probably didn’t measure up to some of the other things we had seen in town…
fter this we wandered outside to have a walk through one of the old trains.  Of course we took lots of photots…
 However, we did learn though that the trip from Darwin to Adelaide could take anywhere from 3 days to 3 months, depending on the weather.   At times the train drivers were even expected  to go out and hunt goats so that they could feed the passengers on the train.   
Old time favourites
We had a good look through the museum and listened to a video about the making of the line and some of the earlier trips on the train.
Watching the video
After looking through the museum side of the exhibition, we wandered outside to go and have a look through the train itself...
Checking out the communications
Kathy and Barb ready to board
Gallery Kitchen
Barb checking out the kitchen.
We had a new bartender


Then it was a move outside. Not sure how you would cope if your seating was outside and you had to endure the weather or a three month stay on the line...
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One of the many posters displayed on the walls.
We got back to the caravan park about mid-afternoon, had a quick bite to eat, collected and folded all our washing and then Ian Kathy and I headed out to the supermarket in town to get some extra supplies to do us whilst we were out at Uluru and Kings Canyon.  Meanwhile, Barb stayed home to catch up on her blog, and Steve and John both went their separate ways to visit shops like Bunnings, to pick up a few things so that they could tinker with the vans back home.

One of the things we wanted to stock up on was some meat, as we had planned on cooking a roast for dinner tonight.  I also wanted to make a cook so that we had something for morning tea when we were traveling the following morning.

Whilst tea was cooking,  Steve packed up as much of our gear as he could (took the shade cloth down, and packed away the stuff that we weren’t using or didn’t need to use anymore as we wanted to be away by around 8am the following morning…
Great last night meal, as we had roast lamb and chicken for dinner...
Definitely getting spoilt with meals whilst on this trip...
Carving up the roast meat.

We did have an interesting night that night and it made for great morning tea laughs the following morning.  Steve had a dream that a dinosaur was out to get him, and in the dream, the big claw came out to grab him.  He ducked to get out of the way and tried to get down to escape the claw, and in doing so promptly fell out of bed.  He hit the floor with any almighty thump and of course woke me up.  Initially I was very concerned for him,  as he didn’t seem to be moving.  I am calling out “Are you all right darl”  what happened, and he proceeded to tell me about his dream.  Well I completely lost it,  I laughed and laughed, in fact I couldn’t stop laughing.  Thankfully, Steve saw the very funny side of it also, and was also laugh his head off.  Neither of us could get back to sleep because every time we thought of it, we would burst out laughing.  This all happened around 4.30am in the morning...


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