Drive Around The World (Australia)

One family, one car, one year, one planet

Day 10 and 11 – 16-17 April 2007 – Watarrka and Glen Helen

Day 10 and 11 – 16-17 April 2008

Watarrka (Kings Canyon) – 320 km

Glen Helen – 269 km

Running total – 3,539 km

Soundtrack: Albert Namatjira – Not Drowning, Waving

We said our fond farewells to Uluru and Kata Tjuta, headed back east along the Lasseter Highway and then north along Luritja Road to Watarrka (Kings Canyon). Once again, accommodation options were limited to the King’s Canyon Resort (and the Kings Creek Station that was more rustic but seemed to have a large school group in residence, which didn’t bode well. The campsite offered to us at the resort was exposed and dusty and, again, no bargain, so we opted to spend a bit more for a bunk room consisting of four beds and an Arctic force air-conditioning system which had one setting – full bore. Realising we ran the risk of hyperthermia we negotiated with staff to shut the thing off.

After watching another desert sunset spectacular we opted for dinner at the resort’s restaurant, with a significant number of fellow travellers and a couple of brave dingoes looking for food or trouble.

The next morning we obtained our permit to travel along the Mereenie Loop Road towards Namatjira Drive, named after that famous Aboriginal landscape painter, Albert Namatjira, who was born at Hermannsburg in these parts, then into Glen Helen. Again, another resort, but really a campsite in front of an impressive historic building that served as a reception, pub and restaurant, all situated at the foot of a beautiful escarpment. I was tempted to make use of the restaurant, with its white table-cloths and menu of local produce, but we (the parents, really) opted for a camp meal of stir-fry. After all, those vegies wouldn’t last forever in the car fridge.

We discovered that Chris Aronsten was playing that evening and, after dinner, we had some drinks and listened to Chris’ originals and covers with a folky bent to it.

Much to our children’s horror, Chris played a swinging number called Venus and The Sun, the title track to his CD we bought for posterity, and Sandy and Danny got up to jitterbug to it. We had taken swing lessons for some years but rarely had the opportunity to strut our stuff. We thought it would be fun, but our children stormed out of the pub in utter disgust! To them, we had embarrassed them beyond belief. Indeed, Raffy maintained his rage into the next day. Of course, now we have some additional ammunition – “Be careful or Mum and I might dance in public!”




  davidltaylor wrote @

Hi Guys, thoroughly enjoying the commentary. I’m getting greener & greener with envy. It all sounds so good. (With the exception of the dancing). I’m on the kids side. Everything well in Argyle St., weather cool & some showers. Luv to you all, looking forward to the next post. David.

  drivearoundtheworld wrote @

Thanks David – plenty of water in Darwin! Are you going to meet us somewhere? DSMR

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