We left Chambers Pillar about 9am and headed back the way we came to the Stuart Highway, then a few km north to the turn to Rainbow Valley. We were only slightly held up by a group of Army road trains bringing gear in the build a sewerage system for the Aboriginal community near Maryvale. The army stop/go man described us as “a civvy with a caravan coming through”
|Army road trains at Maryvale|
Our next deviation was to rescue a spiny dragon sunning himself in the middle of the road. Fortunately David saw him, so we after driving over it, but not on it, we turned around and removed it from the road, releasing it into long grass.
|The thorny devil in the middle of the road, surrounded by tyre tracks.|
It was even hotter than the previous day so we waited until it cooled a bit to walk around Rainbow Valley and Mushroom Rock. The later it became the brighter the colours, and you could see it changing. There is a large claypan in front of the rock formation and when it fills with water the reflections are fantastic. It wasn’t our day for that.
|Mushroom Rock, above and below|
|Flies Flies Flies|
|More shots of Rainbow Valley at different times|
|Can't help myself. This time nicely positioned in the centre....|
We had an unusual couple join our campfire: Jim from Lightning Ridge and his girlfriend Virginia from France. He had an army background, and she was involved in market research, but had attended university in Ireland and spoke excellent English. She was an interesting person who likes economics, so David was in his element. In the morning she challenged him with “Why have you got a Waeco fridge and not an Engel?” Quite puzzled, the penny finally dropped: Marx and Engels (economists, for the ignorant) For those readers who don’t camp, Waeco and Engel are 2 popular brands of camping fridges.
However there was a fantastic sunset that day, which was very adequate compensation. The next morning we returned to Alice Springs and finally got to visit the Old Ghan Museum.
After a week in Alice our next stop is somewhere north, probably Wycliffe Well.