A quiet night, despite the proximity to the Stuart Highway – and our only near neighbours were a couple of ladies, who parked a respectable distance away. What’s not to like about a campfire in the Outback at dusk?
A long drive – straight and straightforward. At the border T chatted to a traveller who was returning south after a month doing a volunteer stint with a school at Warmun in the Kimberley. She has been going there every year for the past 9 to provide music education. She drives 7 days straight from Victoria, sleeping in her station wagon vehicle. The community now has a variety of instruments, thanks to an insurance grant after the 2011 floods swept all away. She said she plays everything, being self-taught on trumpet and drums. As a school music teacher in her career life she had strings and keyboard licked. Reminds us of someone else back home who has such skills. To cap it all off she gave T some fresh carrots, declaring she was now a ‘bit over carrots’. T thought this is the start of our next dinner (one onion, 2 potatoes and some bacon still in fridge).
When we got to Erldunda Roadhouse and had connectivity, T booked into visit Bruce Munro’s light installation Field of Light – not without some difficulties. We’d been warned by a fellow traveller in Mungo that no, you can’t just rock up to this gig. He had waited a week to get a booking! T was pretty excited that tickets were available for tonight. That then dictated that we do the next 250kms to Uluru for the night.
The campground and hotels are full, but we squeezed a last minute site when T declined the offer of a cheaper spot at the ‘overflow’ parking where the visiting Circus is staying!
7.45pm bus pick up and arrived at the installation location, and after a short ‘safety’ brief we were on our own. The ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ as we stepped off the bus from overseas visitors marveling at the night sky – not the installation! Some things we just take for granted. Then we were let loose to wander the sandy pathways through the vast field. The terrain seemed to dip and rise gently (maybe it did) and with lights of varying heights, the effect was that it seemed to extend for many kms. It was a bit of magic (the long drive was definitely worthwhile). Earth and sky were one: 50,000 light bulbs and how many stars? Took lots of photos, but they simply couldn’t capture the scale nor the colours, which changed every 5 seconds.
Photo courtesy of the Field of Light website
Now it’s Saturday morning and T figures that we can actually stay in the West Macdonnell region for another several days….those carrots will keep us going, if we can get milk and bread ( and a few more potatoes) at the Ayers Rock supermarket. The resort here is NT’s 4th largest town and of course there’s an IGA.
We’ll head for the bush, so no connection for another 4 days or so.