Sculptured rocks of Devils Marbles

Trip Start Sep 21, 2012
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Trip End Oct 27, 2012


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Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Devils Marbles Day 26

I was up nice and early at 4.50am to have my last hot shower before the free camp tonight at The Devils Marbles. We were all packed & on the road at 6.45am this morning.

A quick petrol top up of fuel at Alice Springs before hitting the Stuart Highway once again. Our 1st stop was at The Tropic of Capricorn where the desert meets the tropics. Quick photo shoot before we were on our way again. Next was an old well ruin from Ned Ryan from 1835 another quick photo shoot here.

Next was the small town of Aileron. Its big Aboriginal statue standing on the hillside welcomes you into town. Across from the petrol station were some aboriginals sitting under the shade of a gum tree & behind them was a rather large bull kicking the dirt around showing who's boss. We topped up with petrol again here. The man behind the register was very friendly & helpful giving us free maps & postcards. Then telling us to go to the arts centre & harass his old lady who was painting. We headed up there to take a photo of the large aboriginal lady with her daughter & a goanna. It's a huge statue complete with all the genitals.

On the road again till we hit the quirky petrol/caravan park of Wycliffe Well a very bizarre place which states to have the most UFO sightings in Australia. I think it also could have something to do with the great beer they also advertise here. If Aliens did arrive here they would soon leave thinking there is nothing alive on earth. Just vast landscapes as far as the eye can see. We refuelled again with petrol & ate a pie and a drink. They have put a lot of effort in this place with alien paintings & sculptures.

Nothing for kilometres on the Stuart Highway & we come across a lonesome bike rider. In this heat, nothing around for hours riding a bike. He can have that life not me.

We quickly went thru the town or more like petrol station of Wauchope with its old rusted out cars in front & a huge truck with a very wide load of mining equipment on it broken down.

We arrived at Devils Marbles approximately 1pm found a fantastic spot with the huge pile of Devils Marbles behind our caravans making our vans seem like toy cars. Unfortunately it was hot. Stinking hot only a slight breeze so it was out with dads shade awning, chairs & drinks, to try & cool off.

An hour of sitting was enough for me, Jay climbed the large pile of boulders behind us & gave us a wave, which set me into photographic motion. So many wonderful sculptured rocks everywhere around as far as the eye can see.

At the other end of the camp ground the local dingo was cooling himself under the shade of the tables. I didn’t even see him till some other people warned me he was there. I don’t think it really mattered he was too hot to be bothered to move anyway,

All afternoon we wondered around the rocks taking photos of every angle possible. A couple of funny photos with rocks. The kids trying to push a large round boulder onto Jay & I.

Jay set up his thermometer & we found out it was 49.5o in the sun & about 41.5o in the shade. Hot, very bloody hot & we felt every bit of it.

It was then sunset so more photos trying to get the best shaped rocks into the sunset pictures. Coloured sky with silhouette rocks or bright red rocks coloured by the sun setting. All was just as beautiful as each other.

Night came quickly & the stars were out in numbers. Everyone but me saw a shooting star & a satellite move across the sky. I was on the other side of the caravan trying to photograph a star trail with not much success as some backpackers kept on shining their extremely bright light over the rocks where I was shooting, spoiling each photo. Usually after I had sat for 6mins on a photo.

Then came the howling of the dingos such a surreal & spooky noise. It was then off to bed to try & sleep with all the noise & heat.

This is a gorgeous spot to camp the night but the loos are disgusting the worst I have ever seen but you put up with it for the location, location, location.
The Devils Marbles - or Karlu Karlu as they are known by the local Warumungu Aboriginals - are a collection of huge, red, rounded granite boulders.Actually, they vary in size, from 50 cm up to six metres across, and they are strewn across a large area. Many of them seem impossibly balanced on top of each other, just like the two marbles in the famous picture.How did they end up that way? The Devils Marbles started out, many million years ago, when an upsurge of molten rock reached the surface, spread out and settled into a solid layer.That one block of granite then developed horizontal and vertical cracks and split into many rectangular blocks.Over the following millions of years erosion did what it always does: it wore away the edges.You can see the later stages of that process all across the reserve. Some parts still hint at the original rectangular shapes, some blocks have their corners worn of, some are totally rounded.Every marble looks different. You can walk around for ages and find new and interesting views.
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