Alice

Today was a great day, we left Tennant Creek. To be fair, Tennant Creek has a lot to offer and I hope the residents enjoy their town. Last night the locals were a bit restless so it was time we left anyway as we need to spread our tourist dollars around. Heading south along the Stuart Highway our first stop was the Devils Marbles. This is a formation of weathered granite rock that appear to be placed atop of each other. Pam can be seen trying to rearrange several for a more pleasing effect.

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Pam doing a bit of rearranging

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Continuing on south we were heading for Wycliffe Well as this has cheap fuel. I knew this because I had download the Fuel Map Australia App. I didn’t refuel at Tennant Creek as the fuel price was around $1.39 and at Wycliffe Well it was report to be $1.24 for diesel. Checking the fuel as we left Tennant Creek it was saying I had enough fuel for around 200km. Wycliffe Well was 120km away, I had 20 litres in the jerry can as well so off we went. We were driving in to a bit of a head wind and the car didn’t want to get into top gear it just stuck to 7th gear most of the time and the fuel gauge was dropping but all was good we made it to Wycliffe Well without the need to use the jerry can.

Wycliffe Well claims to be the UFO Capital of Australia. The whole roadhouse is covered in alien figures and flying saucers. Inside you can buy allsorts of alien paraphernalia. The walls feature newspaper cuttings from around the world of sightings. They do a very good bacon and egg toasted sandwich but don’t bother with the coffee. It is gross and they charge $5.00 a paper mug. The fuel price is worth going for alone.

Freshly fuelled it was back into the headwind which lasted for about another 200km. The outside temperature was barely making 20 degrees but the wind must have dropped it to half that. We were feeling the cold having just left the warm north. We didn’t have much traffic going south but we passed wave after wave of caravans heading north. The country was mostly flat with low scrub. Leaving Wycliffe Well my eye caught a glimpse of a form on the road verge, a second look I thought I was seeing a photo from the cover of a book I’m reading, “Donkey Dundee” and yes it was a wild donkey happily grazing by the road. If it had of been a bit further on I would have had to stop and take a walk in the fresh air.

Getting closer to Alice Springs we passed an aboriginal community at Aileron. High on a rocky out crop stood the statue of an aboriginal warrior holding a spear. The statue dominates the skyline so we turned off for a closer look. There in the community was the Anmatjere Art Centre and a statue of an aboriginal woman and child. Unfortunately, the photos weren’t good but you will get the idea. Pam then called me as she had spotted some wild camels grazing across to road. We were able to tick off another wild animal sighting from our list.

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We made it to Alice Springs about 4:30 just as everyone was returning from the prelude to the Finke Desert Races which are on tomorrow. The Tatts Finke Desert Race is an off road, multi terrain two-day race for bikes, cars, buggies and quads through desert country from Alice Springs to the small Aputula (Finke) community. The race is held each year on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June. “Finke” as it is commonly known, is one of the biggest annual sporting events in the Northern Territory and has the reputation of being one of the most difficult offroad courses in one of the most remote places in the world. Finke is unique and the most fun you can have with a helmet on!

Finke Desert Race link

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