Thursday, 25 September 2014

A Change of Plans...

Had the air-conditioning on all night and headed out of the van before sunrise to go take a shower and stepped into a wall of heat. It never seems to let up.

A quick check of the weather forecast shows my next stop (Katherine) heading for 39deg today and Darwin at 38deg. During a conversation with an Aboriginal guide from Kakadu he tells me that what I thought was my biggest concern (the big wet) really isn't a problem if I'm heading north, however, he also tells me that the build-up to the wet has started and the temperature and the humidity is set to soar over the next few days and doesn't give up till the wet begins in a few weeks.

Having suffered through enough heat I make the decision to head south and visit Uluru instead. I'll wait till Port Augusta and make a decision whether to head west to Perth from there.

A short run today of only 500k's down to Alice Springs. Here's what you run into just south of Tennant Creek...

Not long after passing this sign I hit strong easterly winds ripping over my left shoulder and put up with heavy buffeting for about the next hour.

There's not a lot out here in the centre. Out here a petrol station and a pub constitute a town, and even these are hundreds of k's apart. 

I rip past a sign to the Devil's Marbles (remember there's no speed limit) and before I know it, there's a second turnoff. Screech to a halt and turn left to see this just a few seconds off the highway...

The photos don't convey the size of these things, they are huge, and in spite of looking like a bunch of boulders dumped in a pile, they were once all one big rock being worn over time by rain water (imagine that, rain water out here).

Next stop Wycliffe Wells, self proclaimed UFO capital of Aussie. Not a lot here other than a petrol station and a caravan park (albeit a very run down one). I guess the aliens took everything with them.

Zipping along the highway and peering off to the right I see a huge aboriginal standing on a hill so detour off the road to check it out. What I find is amazing, an aboriginal hunter standing on the hill overlooking Aileron, and a female and child down in the town with a goanna (apparently dinner) being dragged along by the woman. To get an idea of scale, look at the motorcycle at the back of the shed to the left of the woman and child...

And the next stop along the way is.....

If the guff on the info panels are anything to go by, I should be getting much cooler from this point on (doesn't feel like it at the moment).

As I get to the outskirts of Alice, police have set themselves up in force with a team operating a speed camera and a booze bus in the northbound lane. Seems to be plenty of takers, at least it's not me.

The heat here is still unbearable. A call to Mrs Snappa finds me a room at the Ibis Styles Resort and as luck would have it, the guy on the desk also rides a V-Strom. He upgrades me to an executive suite with parking right by the back door, shouts me a free drink at the bar, then proceeds to set me up with a mechanic at the Suzuki dealer to sort out the fouled injectors on the bike.

Some perspective of where I am

Today's route