Almost a week on and many kilometres of vast, southerly and westerly heading roads, my (sometimes) road fatigue softens in awe and wonder of this expanse of country that is so many things of paradox. The harsh, dry and arid landscape somehow still delivers home to a flora and fauna that show tremendous adaptability to the conditions that (ironically) appear to support it. This leads me to contemplate my own resilience and just how well I fare, in what I might consider harsh or undesirable surrounds! I have nothing on nature…
From the Barkly Homestead through Tennant Creek, termite nests peak and rise from the landscape, dotted along the roadside. After some time – and to our entertainment – they begin to appear in clothing. One, an idle workman resting on a shovel, an ‘Ocker Aussie’ with beer belly and tinnie in his fashioned stick hand… right through to a ‘Queen of the Desert’ and in between many a try hard that would have provided (if nothing else) entertainment and a break to a long journey and a memorable holiday snap to be sure.
Along the way, Devil’s Marbles offers us a reprieve from the roads; only a hundred or so clicks south of Tennant Creek. I have to say personally this place touches me to the very core in its dramatic change of landscape and marble like formations and again I feel awe and wonder in Mother Nature and her ability to have you feel connected to something.
Mat and I decide early (and early in the day) that this place is well worth a stop over to explore and soak up her energy. The walks provide a lookout and a perfect vantage point over the scape that stretches from this elevated vantage point to seemingly precarious balanced stones and beyond to softened forms of ochre rockery that stretch on as far as the eye can see.
We delight in her night sky, in the form of her very present Milky Way and Shooting Stars. Mat sees a shooting star like he has never witnessed before and describes it similarly to a sparkler burning out. It is here where you are more aware of your senses, purely through your isolation and lack of everyday distractions.
Next stop, thanks to our ‘On The Road’ freebie campsite guide, we followed our noses to Henbury Meteorite Campsite, located within the famous conservation reserve. Arriving at the location presented us our first experience and stretch of unsealed travelling (only 11 kilometres) along the Ernest Giles Road. The car, the van, the new suspension and passengers fared well. We turned up to picnic facilities, a pit toilet and wood barbecues and again more of nature’s isolation.
The stop has a scenic loop around the crater site and allowed Mat and I a bit of exploration and much mind boggling contemplation of this other worldly landscape formed by a meteor that plummeted into earth some four and a half million years ago.
Another night under a starry sky and an appreciation of the Great Outdoors and its serenity. We were only joined by a couple of other campers, so really lapped up the ambiance with an open fire and camp oven and a canvas that only nature can truly paint to pure perfection.
We packed up the next morning, hooked up, started up, watched our two fellow campers race out of the park in fear of getting caught up in our dust trail…looked at one another, Mat prompted my first caravan reversing lesson…and then he relocated to our new primo position within the campground and settled in for another night.
To our delight we were the only campers this night and took advantage of the solitude to test out our shower off the back of the van with only the night sky as our screen.
Next morning, next leg of the journey, see you in Yulara, Uluru…
Love and Light xo