The Snail Trail

Travelling with my home on my back and in no hurry to get anywhere

Ellendale Lake, Western Australia


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Day 4 Photo blogging – Bliss

This has been such a hard topic for me – not because I am never blissful, but I don’t know if I’ve ever captured it on film! So I’ve stretched my mind and come up with the following…..Are they blissful? I’m not sure, but they did make me feel very happy.

In 2015 I finally visitedĀ some of Australia’s iconic landmarks.

Uluru, Northern Territory, was once known as Ayers Rock.

Uluru, Northern Territory, was once known as Ayers Rock.

Kata Tjuta, formerly known as The Olgas, is a short distance from Uluru.

Kata Tjuta, formerly known as The Olgas, is a short distance from Uluru.

And then heading north from Alice Springs are the famous Devils’s Marbles.

Bliss? Sitting around a campfire with fellow travellers at the end of the day.

Cape Keraudren Western Australia

Jose was our resident fire lighter!

AndĀ being visited by the locals at some wonderful camp sites –

 

Lake Brockman, Western Australia

Wild birds? Sitting on my knee? Gotta love it!

My idea of absolute bliss? Lying on a pristine beach, feeling the sun warm you to the bones and drifting off – not to sleep, but to that blissful state of being aware of what’s around you but not being part of it at all. Now that’s hard to capture with words, let alone a photograph!

 

Rosemary's Road Trip 2015


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Now That’s a Road Trip – Part 1

I went on a bit of a road trip in 2015 – about 11,500 kilometres without counting the side trips to tourist attractions and bush camps. I started at Collie in Western Australia with my new best friend, the blue parrot that landed on my shoulder and adopted me for a couple of weeks. And I’ll see out 2015 back in the Collie area at Stockton Lake. This is what my road trip looks like –

2015 trip

I thought it would be interesting to highlight my Top 20 places I visited this year, so here’s the first 10 (ten), in chronological order.

1. Stockton Lake, near Collie, Western Australia

Stockton Lake is about 7kms east of Collie. It is only $5.50 a night (concession) and the only facilities are toilets – no drinking water or power – so you need to be fairly self-contained. To be able to camp on the edge of the lake makes it all worthwhile!

2. Chapman Pool, Blackwood River, Western Australia

There are 3 great campsites along the Blackwood River: Alexander Bridge, Chapman Pool and Sue’s Bridge. Chapman Pool was my favourite, not least because I caught a couple of good sized black bream there! And what about the possum that invited itself to dinner! This was the best swimming hole, too. $6.60 a night (concession), long drop toilets, barbeques. No power or drinking water.

3. Denmark Rivermouth Caravan Park

I shouted myself a bit of luxury and stayed here for 5 nights – showers, toilets, laundry, power and water! The bonus was the boat cruise run by the manager of the caravan park. I don’t know what the going rate is but I was lucky enough to negotiate a good price at the time I was there (Feb 2015) It was while staying here that I was prompted to write my poem called The Parking Roundabout.

I can’t leave Denmark without including some photos of the spectacular Elephant Rocks and beach which is a short drive west of Denmark on the Williams Bay Road.

4. Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand, near Esperance, Western Australia

Lucky Bay is in the National Park at Cape Le Grand in the South East corner of Western Australia. It was my first beach stopover when I arrived in 2014 and nearly 12 months later I was back in one of my favourite campsites. It prompted me to write my poem Lucky Bay. This year I caught up with Richard again, having first met at Lucky Bay last year, and his friend Jay took us driving over the dunes at nearby Dunn’s and Rossiter Bay – spectacular!

Lucky Bay is $6.60 per night, solar showers, flush toilets, limited drinking water – and a coffee van visits the beach a few days a week. What more could a girl ask for?

5. Salmon Gums, Western Australia

Salmon Gums, Western Australia

Salmon Gums Community Caravan Park

You’re probably wondering why I would include a dry and dusty caravan park in my favourites…. well, I’ve stayed there on 3 different occasions now and each time I have met some wonderful people. It is only $5 a night for an unpowered site, there are spotlessly clean showers and toilets, a laundry and I’ve always had great company. My poem about Max, the Mad Rooter was written here after watching Max try to assert his dominance over Jock, the caretaker, Janet’s, little dog.

6. Martins Bend, South Australia

Easter 2015 was shared with my sister, Marion, at Martin’s Bend on the Murray River in South Australia. It was the time of the blood moon and I love the photo I snapped of the full moon through the trees over the river. We had a relaxing few days there at a very minimal cost. There were toilets and drinking water available. No fish jumped on my hook though šŸ™‚

7. Lake Hart, South Australia

Lake Hart is on the highway about 250kms north of Port Augusta on the way to Coober Pedy and only about 25kms as the crow flies west of Roxby Downs. It is a free roadside stop and is one of my favourites because of the vastness of this old abandoned salt lake mine and the spectacular photo opportunities it provided. There were no facilities there but a picnic table! Oh, and The Ghan passed by on its way north – that was pretty special!

8. Yulara – camping at Uluru, Northern Territory

My visit to Uluru, and the campground at Yulara, was extra special as I had my birthday there and celebrated by going to the Sounds of Silence Dinner. It became even more special when I met Roswitha, who was also celebrating her birthday on the same day. We shared a table at dinner and have maintained contact ever since, with Roswitha and her husband Klaus also joining us at our camp at Alice Springs for a few days.

And it’s impossible to leave here without including Kata Juta (The Olgas) as part of this special experience in the ‘heart’ of Australia.

Yulara offered a 3 night camping package for $84 with all facilities provided, plus it was only a walk to the Resort with its shops, restaurants and bars. The Sounds of Silence Dinner was $190 or thereabouts.

9. Alice Springs, Northern Territory

We stayed in Alice Springs for about 2 weeks as it was the jumping off point to visit so many nearby attractions. The Gap View Hotel offered camping out the back for $11 a night and there were showers, toilets, barbeques and a laundry. You could also connect to power for a couple of extra dollars (it was a bit dodgy, with leads running everywhere, but it worked!)

Gap View Hotel, Alice Springs

Happy Hour at the Gap View Hotel

Old Telegraph Station and Alice Springs Desert Park

Hermannsburg and Palm Valley

West MacDonnell Ranges and Standley Chasm

Alice Springs – a ‘must go back to ‘ place – I haven’t even ventured to the East MacDonnell Ranges yet!

Ooops! Can’t leave Alice Springs without my side trip to Amburla on the way north…..

Amburla Station

10. Longreach Waterhole, Northern Territory

The Longreach Waterhole is a few kms north of Elliot, in the Northern Territory. My travelling companions, Margaret and Nev, decided not to venture on to the gravel road but I am certainly glad I did. The waterbirds were a constant entertainment, there were plenty of places to camp right at the edge of the waterhole, there was a long drop toilet, a picnic shelter and best of all, it was free! I enjoyed a few days there before leaving to catch up to the others further north.

My next ten of my top twenty will be in my next post – probably a week before I connect to power again – so from my latest camp at Lake Brockman my friends and I will shut down the computer and see you in the great outdoors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sounds of Silence, Uluru, NT


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Sounds of Silence – Dining Under the Stars

Well that’s a birthday celebration I will never forget! A very special dinner under the stars as the sun set on Uluru. The candles were lit, the champagne poured, the tables set with crisp white cloths, the food was magnificent and the stage was set with the didgeridoo playing in the background……

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I wonder how I can top this next year?

Uluru Northern Territory


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Uluru and Kata Tjuta – The Heart of Australia

It is amazing to be here and I am in awe of the magnificent natural rock formations of Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

Uluru Northern Territory

There it is!

Some quick Uluru and Kata Tjuta facts:

  • Uluru is 348 metres above ground and 9.4 kilometres around the base.(5.8 miles)
  • Kata Tjuta is 546 metres above the ground and consists of 36 domesĀ spread over an area of more than 20 kilometres
  • Kata Tjuta is a Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal tribe word meaning ‘many heads’.

These are intensely spiritual places for indigineous Australians, the traditional land owners, and many white Australians also feel the spirit of these stunning landmarks.

Traditional religious philosophy, Tjukurpa, provides an interpretation of the present landscape, flora, fauna and natural phenomena in terms of the journeys and activities of ancestral beings and consequently binds the people socially, spiritually and historically to the land.

Quote from http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/447

The Cultural Heritage Centre tells the story of how some of the features of the rock are formed and I love these stories that form the basis of the culture and law of the Anangu people. This site I found has the most comprehensive rendition of the stories that are depicted in the Cultural Centre.

Aboriginal Beliefs Connected With Uluru

And this YouTube clip hasĀ Barbara Tjikatu, a tradtional owner of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta region, telling of the Creation Story and how some of the features of the rock were formed.

Here’s another couple of links that give some great information

About Uluru and Kata Tjuta

Uluru

Fellow Solo traveller Margaret and I camped at Ayres Rock Resort Campground and drove the 20 or so Kilometres to Uluru (formerly known as Ayres Rock) and then a further 50 to Kata Tjuta. Between us we took masses of photos and I hope I’ve chosen some of the best to show you here. Margaret’s have been identified with (MC).

As you move around this massive monolith there are so many different features and I hope we have captured some of the better ones. From a distance you can’t see the hidden crevices and fissures that make the variations so interesting.

NOTE: Our apologies to the traditional owners if we have photographed culturally sensitive areas of Uluru and upon request I will certainly remove any photos that may unintentionally offend.

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From Uluru we drove about 50kms to Kata Tjuta (formerly known as The Olgas). Here is some great information:

Kata Tjuta

There are 36 domes that make up Kata Tjuta and they cover about 20 kilometres. Kata Tjuta is a Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal tribe word meaning ‘many heads’ and you can certainly see how it got this name. I never realized these domes were so huge,

Once again, these photos are a combination of Margaret’s and mine and I’ll let them do the talking …

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Our Uluru experience is far from over! Today we are attending some of the activities the resort offers such as the Bush Tucker Garden, Indigenous Dancers and Didgeridoo Playing and to cap it all off tonight I am celebrating my birthday at the Sounds of Silence dinner watching sunset over The Rock!

Life’s Good!