Tuesday, July 18, 2017

DAY 14 - BARKLEY HOMESTEAD TO THE DEVIL'S MARBLES


We were up early this morning; in fact we were actually up before sunrise (pretty much a first for us).  The unusual thing about this is that it wasn’t even a fishing day.  Normally that is the only time Steve gets out of bed before sunrise…  Sunrise in the NT though is only around 6.30am so it really wasn’t that early of a morning.  


 Love this photo of our van at Barkley Homestead at sunrise with the moon high in the sky.
It was actually really nice to sit and watch the sun rise together and we took a few photos to mark the occasion.  The plan was to be on the road again by 8am.  It didn’t take us long to clean up the van and pack everything away for travel.  We had a quick breakfast, of muesli, yoghurt and berries and we were already hitched so it was just a clean-up of our dishes and we were ready to go…
We had a good 2-hour drive to the 3 ways on the Stuart Highway, and it was a lovely drive, so different to yesterday.  The scenery was quite spectacular,  lots of lovely earth colours, rick red soils,  greenery, trees, wildflowers,  flowering gums,  just a very pleasant drive. 
Love these tuffs of grass on the edge of the road
We even came across a lone cyclist riding along the highway
Eagle's nests in the tree


We arrived at the 3 ways service station and re fueled up again,  this time although the fuel was still expensive, it was no where near as expensive as Barkley.  I think we paid around 171cents per litre.
We had planned on stopping here for a cuppa, but once again no picnic tables, so we decided to push on to Tennant Creek and maybe see if we could find a park there with a picnic table for a stop.
Tennant Creek was only another 20 kms down the road.  By the time we got to Tennant Creek, we realized that it was their show holiday.  There were people everywhere in town walking to the show…  Once again, we couldn’t find a park or a picnic table so in the end decided to just keep driving another 80kms and just have it once we got to the Marbles.   In hindsight, I think that was a good decision, as the camping area at the Devil’s Marbles was quite full by the time we got their around 12.30pm.




We had hoped to stay hitched for the couple of days we were staying, but that was not possible.  Still it didn’t overly worry us as we planned on stopping for a day and having a break day to just sit chill and do nothing.   We were fortunate to get a couple of camping spots fairly close together.  John and Barb got one with a big table underneath a shady tree just outside of their van, so that has become our meeting spot this  camp stop, with us setting up to have lunch there and then tea again tonight.


Lunch together
 Steve had a couple of repairs to do in the van this afternoon.  On the rough road yesterday a few things had become unhinged, like our bed,  ( a pin had to be put back  in the hinge on the bed) and then we had to re screw in the wooden frame for our pantry basket. 
Meanwhile I decided to start reading a new book that Ian had lent me.  I think I only got through about 40 pages before I fell asleep.  I slept for a good couple of hours.  I must have been tired because I slept through all of Steve’s drilling and screwing of the wood, in the van.
I awoke around 4.45pm, and we decided to go exploring the Marbles. 
 It wasn’t long to sunset now and the sun on the Marbles really brought them alive in colour…  The whole area is absolutely stunning, and the walks around the marbles wasn’t as difficult as I had imagined that they might be. 
Reflective on the Marbles
 We took lots and lots of photos,  how could you not.  We got tit witness the sunset for the top of the marbles and words cannot even come close to describing how beautiful it all was and what a perfect day this had been.  I think one of our best days yet… 
Barb and Kathy at Sunset at Devil's Marbles
 There is quite a reverence about this place,  a quietness and peacefulness that even with lots of people here can still be felt…

 
 John had cooked an amazing stew to feed us all for dinner, so once again we all had dinner together under our tree.  Both Barb and I had battery operated decoration lights and we strung these in the trees to give us some light for dinner.  It wasn’t bright enough for Steve so he went looking for one of his LED spot lights to hang in the tree.  (I must admit, it was nice to have some decent light to eat our dinner)
 For desert, John made us pancakes, and Steve grabbed the ice-cream out of our car fridge, so we had pancakes, maple syrup and ice-cream.  We are definitely eating better on the road than we do at home.  
 Whilst we were finishing our desert another young couple came past us with head lamps on, they were heading up the path to go for a night walk amongst the marbles.  Barb offered them to join us and finish off our pancakes, and they surprised us by saying yes and joining us.  They were a lovely young couple, originally from Melbourne, but now living in Alice Springs.  She was a high school teacher, and he is a mechanical engineer working on high efficiency solar power.  He was working on cooling system for the solar cells. They were very interesting to talk to and they probably chatted to us for 45 minutes of more.  This is one of the things  I love about this caravanning lifestyle… it is the interesting people we met along the way. 
We sat chatting until around 9.30pm and then went our separate ways.  The stars in the night sky are amazing out here, and Steve and I spent some time together just enjoying the wonderland of the heavens.  Makes you realize just how insignificant we all are in the great scheme of things…..
And so ends the perfect day…. Feeling very blessed indeed.

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