Back in 1973 I was a crew boss for Petty Ray Geophysical Company, working in the Great Sandy Desert. Normally on our breaks, the company sent us to Perth, but we had passed an escarpment with caves during our cross county trek looking for oil and I asked to be dropped off at the site. My crew thought I was crazy. As you can see from the old photo, they left me with a large container of water and “Good Luck, Mate!”
I spent the week exploring the caves and found a variety of paintings depicting aboriginal song lines. The silence was astounding and the nights spectacular. Mid-week the crew drove several hours from base camp to check on me, and sit around my campsite. As I flicked a scorpion into the fire, they judged that I had not gone bush nuts, so they left me in peace.
So here Michele and I were returning to the Outback to experience camping of a very different style. Though not far from Alice Springs, we were privileged to enjoy extraordinary peace at the Squeaky Windmill, beautiful bird calls from Galahs landing out front, (as well as Australian Ringneck Parrots, Western Bowerbirds and more) and a couple of wallabies at the watering hole.
A day trek out to see the McDonnell Range took us to a road stop that had a lovely river cutting through a gap. Other swimming holes are located at other range gaps yet the waters there were still, cold and had algae near the beach edges.
We did not venture in.