Burton's Perth to Cape York Alice Springs to Mt Dare Day 10 & 11 9/10 April 2011

Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 14:24

Mike & Amanda

Trying to stock up in Alice Springs on an Easter Monday is difficult. Not much was open. I do like Alice though. This is our second visit and it always presents as a half bush town, half city, very friendly and everything is just about within cooee. We ambled between Coles and Woolies trying to find somewhere to buy lunch to no avail. A few slices of ham, fresh rolls and cheese from Woolies and the very vacant chairs of a closed forecourt cafe provided a pleasant and very economical lunch. The wandering security guards glared as if to say move on. I won't describe our shopping experience...it was long and expensive followed by a more pleasant visit to Liquorland, just as expensive though and I had to show ID, surely I look over 18?

Amanda's win was the egg packing technique. She felt like Edison inventing the light bulb, something like 100,000 practices before the final success. All the plastic storage devices from camping stores fail...the final solution is to leave the eggs in their original carton and to pack a couple of thin household sponges inside the tops. A couple of holes fit them to the egg cones. Then the whole carton is placed vertically inside a hard plastic container like a Tupperware super oval. This combination resulted in 23 of 24 eggs surviving the journey so far, and believe me, these are the roughest tracks we have been on....

Clothes washed, food and drink stocked we headed south on the Stuart Highway boring bitumen to the Kulgera Roadhouse where we refuelled before heading east on the dirt towards Finke. The Kulgera Roadhouse was an eclectic collection of artifacts boasting the logo - "first and last pub in the NT" and an interesting display called the "old bastards shed". The Finke road was your standard gravel track, a few corrugations, some bulldust, very minor washaways. We filled up at the depressing Finke, an aboriginal community with lots of 'Prescribed Area' signs, dogs and blowing rubbish. Paid $2.20 a litre to fill up.

Southeast to New Crown, Charlotte Waters and finally our destination, the iconic Mount Dare. The track deteriorated more with much evidence of recent flooding such as gutters and washaways. Care had to be taken. It was fantastic to see the iconic hotel appearing just as we'd seen it in countless four wheel drive magazines. We met Karen and Jeff the managers who made us feel right at home. There was only two other small parties here camped out the back in the bush campground. We ordered a meal for 6:30 before setting up. The flies and mossies were horrendous so we were very glad to retire to the pub and peruse all the memorabilia, paintings, photos and items for sale. There was even a well equipped four wheel drive accessory section in the corner selling MaxTrax and the like. It was early in season and only a few parties had arrived to cross the Simpson. We enjoyed a steak, the kids chicken and a few Crownies before a large number of people arrived overwhelming Karen performing solo in the kitchen. We retired for a reasonably early night. Everything had been inundated with rain over the last two seasons and was green and overgrown, the swarms of mossies coming as a bonus!
Mike & Amanda
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