Through The Centre
Trip Start Jan 27, 2008
114Trip End May 12, 2008
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Soon it's time to roll up the swags and head off. Or as Macka would put it "OK lets get the f*** out of here".
The roads are noticably worse in the Territory and we are all slowly shaken to bits as we head NW from the Simpson Desert towards the centre of the universe (well the centre of Australia)
We slip and slide our way back to the main road - that is to say a wider, straighter track. We follow this for two hours, with a halfway stop for a brew where the road drops into a floodway, a dry creek with red river gums for shade - "How Australian is this!" says Macka as he puts the billy can onto the hastily improvised fire - his sense of national pride restored. Even though its remote I find a PET bottle dumped in the creek when taking a pee. I dutifully litter pick and bring it back to show Macka. "That's f*****".
There is a short stop as we cross the new Ghan railway. We get a few minutes of facts and figures, number of sleepers etc, as the car straddles the track before pushing on.
We finally hit the black top at Kulgara roadhouse. After a mandatory picture of a Stuart Highway destination road sign bearing a big number I head to the roadhouse. Unable to find a Big Dobber or other similarly amusingly named ice cream I make do with a Mango and Cream bar - "it's nice" (in a Borak voice).
We are soon speeding up the Stuart Highway. Its monotonous. Driving the whole 3000km would require several boxes of matches to be deployed in eye sockets. After 80km we turn left and head west down the Lassetter Highway towards Yulara resort - just another 244km away.
The resort is tastefully located 15km form Uluru (Ayers Rock) - but ALWAYS Uluru to Macka. We have a covered area with a kitchen - imagine a large bus shelter with hot and cold running water and you've got the picture. There is a pool - bliss. At sunset we climde a small dune to watch the sun set over the Olgas. And guess what... The silhouette looks just like Homer Simpson laying down!
Everyone except me sleeps on the tarpaulin - I choose a spot on the sand about 30 feet away. There is another tour group at the next bus shelter and they make such a racket I put my headphones on to help me sleep. We have a 5am wake up too - lovverly.
I walk barefoot to the toilet block in the middle of the night where, in the harsh light, I'm alarmed to encounter my first deadly spider of the trip. Its a red back. It scurries under the urinal and suddenly I wish I had my boots with me for the walk back to my swag.