Tuesday, August 1, 2017


It is hard to believe that our time out in Central Australia is almost over.  We left Kings Canyon this morning around 8.15 heading back to Mount Ebenezer tonight.  We decided that since the Kathleen Springs walk was about 22kms from Kings Canyon we would leave it and do it the morning we left to head back towards Alice Springs.   It sounded like it was a pretty easy walk as the brochure said that it was wheelchair friendly. 

Kathleen Spring
Amazing cobwebs out this way
Taken at Kathleen Springs
Permanent water hole
A walk down to Kathleen Springs
The walk to the Waterhole was about 2.6kms and there was a cemented path the whole way.  The thing I really enjoyed about this walk was all the wild flowers.  There were lots of inconspicuous little flowers growing a along the walk.  It wasn’t that there were masses of colour but just little unusual plants and flowers doting the track. 

 We also found some aboriginal grinding stones from where the women grind the different seeds to make grain, and some old used cattle yards and watering holes for the cattle that were driven through this area.  One of the other things we noticed was the abundance of bees in this area especially on the flowering wattle plants.  You could actually hear them buzzing as we walked by.
Aboriginal grinding stones

Cattle Yards
Watering the Stock
 The walk probably took us a little over an hour, and was quite pleasant as we went early in the morning before it got too hot, although the flies were pretty bad out here.  Maybe it was the colour shirt I was wearing also.    
A million flies could not be wrong...
We met quite a few other walkers along the track, mostly coming as we were going back to our car… On our way out from Kathleen Springs we came across a wild dingo.  I am surprised at the lack of animals in the wild out here.  We haven’t really seen any kangaroos, echindas etc  and we really haven’t seen too much in the way of lizards and goannas either.   The bird life is pretty prolific though, and it has been nice to see different birds to what we are used to seeing back home

From here we drove another 100 odd kms through to the Salt Creek Rest Area where we stopped to have morning tea.  This was the same spot we had stopped at on our way out to Kings Canyon, and as we knew it had a covered picnic table we thought we would head back there.  It is also where we had seen the beautiful Major Mitchell Cockatoos in the wild.   
  We were unlucky this time, as someone else was already there and using the table under cover.  Still there was another spare table there so we set up there and enjoyed a nice hot cuppa together along with the scrumptious orange cake we had made the previous evening in the Webber.  It had turned out pretty good and tasted amazing.  We cleaned up the whole cake between us.  
Our amazing orange cake we devoured for morning tea
Barb and John
Morning Tea at the Salt Creek Rest Area.
The bird life at the rest area was great again, with us once again seeing more Major Mitchell Cockatoos, along  with Minor birds, crows, peewees  and they were so tame, coming up pretty close to where we were.     

 Since we were all in our matching shirts and hats, we decided a photo was in order.
 Couldn't resist taking these photos of Ian either..

We probably were here for a good 45 minutes before continuing our drive onto Mount Ebenzer where we had planned to camp at the Roadhouse there. 

As we had been on the road now for a good three and a half weeks, and still hadn’t managed to have a camp fire, we were on the look out for some timber to collect in the hope that we could have a care fire this evening at Mount Ebenezer.   Steve called up Ian (as he was in the lead today) and asked him to keen his eye open to see if he would stop if he came across any good firewood, so after doing about 20-30kms, Ian stopped on the side of the road and had us all collecting some firewood for us to have a fire that night. 
Kathy collecting firewood
Barb and John collecting their share as well
Steve even pulled out his reciprocating saw to make the logs more manageable.

There wasn’t a lot of decent size logs and Steve did have to use his little ………….. saw to chop a few thicker logs, we drove off with enough to have a small fire to toast some marshmallows and for us to sit around….

We got to Mount Ebenezer around 1pm and booked into the camping ground behind the Service Station there.  It cost us $10 per night for a non-powered site, but that at least included toilets and hot showers so we were happy.  We could park anywhere we liked, so we set up our three vans in a triangle so all our doors opened out into a common area under a gum tree.  We set up our tables and chairs and had a picnic lunch together and then most of us went off and had a nap.

The Roadhouse here has a restaurant and had a special on their evening meal.  $18 for a Roast Pork dinner, and if you were staying in the camping grounds you got a further 20% off which bought the cost of the meal back to $14.40 each.   We decided that a roast pork dinner sounded good so decided we were going to eat out at the roadhouse tonight…  You had to be there by 6pm, as the last order was taken at 6.30pm. They had a real busy night tonight with 16 people turning up for dinner.  So busy in fact that they ran out of plates.  Apparently, it is a busy night if they get five people in for a meal.  The meal was really good, the pork was thick and very tender, and we got a plate full of vegetables and gravy.  You even got a double serve of potato, which two large roasted potatoes and a big scoop of mashed potato. 
Mt Ebenezer roadhouse - outside bar
Getting friendly with the camel at Mt Ebenezer

 We were very fortunate to visit the sun setting as we finished out dinner.  Such a beautiful sight with the sun on the horizon and the moon high in the sky..
Sunset with the moon high in the sky...

After dinner, we walked back to our vans, and then Steve lit the fire and we sat around telling yarns, toasting marshmallows, lots of laughs and in general just having a jolly good time.  We probably sat there for an hour and a half and finally called it quits once the cold started to set in.
Our campfire

Just enjoying a night with good friends around the campfire..
Perfect way to end an evening..
Ian and Kathy
She is always laughing - even when trying to take a serious photo
All around the camp fire
Just a perfect night together

 John had never tasted toasted marshmallows before so of course we had to introduce him to them.  Steve has of course perfected them, so I was happy to let him do the toasting for us.  John found them a little too sweet, but Barb with her sweet tooth, was happy to have his share as well. 

Toasting marshmallows over the open fire
Everyone with their toasting sticks
Steve and Barb toasting marshmallows
Barb in her element
Toasted to perfection

Everyone then headed for their vans.  It is hard to believe it is a Thursday,  in fact it almost feels like Sunday everyday.  We have not watched any TV since we left home or read a newspaper and it has been wonderful to escape the negative and enjoy the natural and beauty around us.  One could get used to living a life on the road…


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