We were idiots last night, and rather than pay the $30 for an unpowered site in Alice Springs, we drove out of town to the nearest rest area, which I thought was about 20km south… More like 50km. So, by the time we drove back in to town, we’d nearly spent as much on fuel – and we didn’t get a shower.

20130702_RCH_7874 20130702_RCH_7876 20130702_RCH_7877The MacDonnell Range continues to the eastside of Alice Springs, so we started on that trail this morning. We saw the first stop, Jessie’s Gap and realised that we were a little over the MacDonnells… It was amazing the first few stops, but now we were worn out. The aboriginal rock art there was pretty cool though, very abstract.

We did some quick restocking of supplies in Alice, then followed the Stuart Highway north for as long as we could.

There wasn’t a whole lot going on during this drive, in fact, I’d say it was some of the loneliest scenery we’d seen yet. I was struggling to stay awake – the roads were flat, straight and there was little variation on the scenery. Because the roads were so straight and flat, you could see a few kilometres in front, and it was really weird following cars that were going slightly slower than you – ever so slowly we’d get closer, and closer, then finally overtake, then they were slowly disappear into the horizon behind us.

20130702_RCH_7878 20130702_RCH_7879First break was Aileron. I thought there was one of those bars filled with the memorabilia of patrons, like money, ID and bras etc stuck to the walls/roof. There was a bar, but it looked like a typical modern bar (though, lots of very nice Namatjira-style paintings on the walls). The oddity of this place though was the giant aboriginal hunter (complete with Hollywood style lettering) and these two odd goanna statues…

20130702_RCH_7888 20130702_RCH_7887 20130702_RCH_7885 20130702_RCH_7883 20130702_RCH_7886A few hundred kilometres later and we were at Wycliffe Well, Australia’s capital of UFO activity (there’s some trivia for you!). It was the oddest rest stop, the walls were lined with newspaper/magazine clippings of UFO stories – mostly focused on this area. Then there were the souvenirs! Wow, they sure have a range to choose from! Anyway, it was all in good fun, and made for a nice break from driving.

20130702_RCH_7894 20130702_RCH_7896 20130702_RCH_7897 20130702_RCH_7899 20130702_RCH_7904The Devils Marbles (Karlu Karlu) were only 20km north of Wycliffe Well, which was awesome timing as the sun was beginning to set – the rocks were glowing with beautiful red/orange sunlight. The campground is the busiest I’ve ever seen (for a national park), cars were lined up next to each other like a shopping centre car park. But, the camp site was right at the base of the marbles. The area was a lot larger than I was expecting, and it was hard to know where to go to best enjoy them. There seems to be no organised trails here – just go your own way, climb the rocks and explore.

20130702_RCH_7906 20130702_RCH_7933 20130702_RCH_7942We didn’t have long before the sun set (in a typical outback blaze) and we were attacked by mosquitos for the first time in weeks.

50日目 7月 2日(月) デビルズ マーブル


アリスまで戻り、 東マクドウェル山脈に散策に行く事に。  東マクドウェル山脈も西マクドウェル山脈と同じような渓谷が連なっています。

まず最初は、アリスから30kmほどのEmily Gap峡を散策。 しかしここ数日でみた渓谷(壁)の中でも一番小さくちょっとがっかり。
おそらくここ数日で相当数の渓谷と壁を見すぎたせいで、感動が薄れてしまったよう。 でもここは、アボリジニの伝説で3匹の巨大な芋虫が立ち寄った場所のひとつらしい。 この辺りの山脈や地形は、この芋虫が移動をした際にできたものだと彼らの伝説で語られています。



デビルズ マーブルという有名な奇石群が、あるくらいで今日のドライブはそんなに寄り道スポットがありませんが、地図を見ているとなんとオーストラリアのUFOセンターというサインを発見。 小さな村ですが、道の途中だし立ち寄ってみることに。
でも不思議だったのが人口100人以下と思われる村になぜかこの店で数人日本人らしい女性が働いていました。 なんでこんな僻地で働く事になったのだろう。。こっちの方がよっぽど不思議。

ちょうど夕日前にデビルズマーブル国立公園に到着。 キャンプ地は、かなり満車状態!  かろうじてスポットを見つけました。

夕日が奇石にあたり、赤くとても幻想的。 奇石が1つ2つあるのかと思いきや、見渡す限り奥の山脈の方までずーっとゴロゴロとした丸い岩が、平野に広がています。 とくにトラックがある訳でもなく、好きな所を思い思いに歩け、登ってもよし、寝っころがってもよし、かなり自由な場所です。

どうやって作られたかは、ネットで調べれば多分でてきます。すごいですよー! 地球ができ始めたとき位から徐々にこのデビルズマーブルもできはじめた位古いんです。。。オーストラリアおそるべし!!!