On the one and a half hour drive back to Alice Springs from Trephina Gorge we were able to work out our next move.
Poor Kerrie was still crook as a dog and feeling the hit of every bump in the road.
The big kidney stone is still not passing and the pain keeps coming in periodic waves.
Into the bargain she has a good old dose of the flu and her arm is still in pain where they butchered the canula insertion at Alice Springs hospital.
Despite this we are both happy and joyful at the prospect of getting going again.
We decide not to go north to Darwin and Kakadu as we were both hanging out for an ocean fix.
We’ve been in the outback now for about 5 weeks and we’re pretty much over it.
Let’s face it we are ocean people – always have been.
It was a great experience to see this part of our wonderful land and we’ll probably visit again one day but for now we need to get near the sea and away from the dust.
We’ve decided to head south to the Ayer Peninsular with a detour to see Ayres Rock.
We can’t be this close to it without seeing it.
So we head into a caravan park in Alice Springs for the night so Kerrie can get a few loads of washing done and then rest up.
It was a real treat to be able to use 240 volt power for the first time in a few weeks and to have the heater on to ward of the freezing night air. It was also good to have a long hot shower without caring for the water usage.
Now don’t get me wrong, these things are no bother to us. It’s just nice to have these little treats occasionally.
In the morning we set off south for the 450 km drive to Ayres Rock.
About 150km out Kerrie is in pain again and we pull over to reassess progress. Should we turn back to Alice Springs now before we get too much further away? If we continue there is no doctor or hospital until Port Augusta, 1200 km away, except for maybe an emergency stop at Cooba Peedy.
It’s Kerrie’s call. Only she knows the extent of the pain and wether or not she can bear it.
She calls to go on. Her reasoning is that they’ve already done all they can at the Alice Springs hospital and most likely we would just be sitting at a van park in Alice waiting for the stone to finally pass.
So on we went towards Ayres Rock finally arriving at the cattle station at Curtain Springs where this is a wonderful free camping area along with showers, a pub, shop and restaurant. It’s a working cattle station of 1,000,000 acres but it is a really welcome stop only 80 km from Ayres Rock. We decide to park up here for the night and see how Kerrie is tommorrow.
The magnificent Mount Conner is an integral part of the landscape here and this incredible structure, rising out of the surrounding flat desert, with its red and purple hues is a sight to behold. I would love to explore around this structure some other time.
Even the cold, biting wind cannot detract from the beauty of this lonely, lovely place.
Yes, we are over the desert, but we are still in awe of its uniqueness and the ever present colour contrasts of the deep blue of the sky, the heavy red of the soil and the greens of the Mulga, Bloodwood and the Desert Oak trees.
We look forward to our run into Ayres Rock tomorrow.