Day 20. Thursday 17 August.

First task is always to write the blog for the day, a job T has more and more taken on, nudging D to an advisory technology role.

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Last night there was a beautiful sunset light on the hill behind us. Then again, every evening has a glorious sunset. Someone had kindly left a stack of firewood on the creek bed, so we were able to enjoy a very pleasant camp fire with dinner – after the ferocious flies had departed after dusk.

Into Alice, to come to terms with: what next? Decided to stay two nights and try to catch the Henley on Todd on Saturday and then head west again. After checking in, went in search of the Mitsubishi dealer to book a service: nothing available until 29 August! We’ll defer that to Adelaide (that’s the current thinking). Then it was looking for a tyre dealer to repair the slow leak in a van tyre: either they couldn’t do it, needed us to bring tyre to them, or no availability until Tuesday! Finally found a laid back dealer happy for us to bring the van to him in the morning.

Alice is a bit like Anchorage, Alaska that we passed through last year (it’s an earlier post on this blog). This is clearly a town full of those passing through on adventure tours, a very visible indigenous presence and shop after shop of canvases calling to the tourists. Visited a few galleries, and amongst the bulk found some really lovely art pieces that ‘spoke’ to us. T remarked on the prolific output of indigenous art, given the relatively low proportion of the population who are indigenous. But we later reflected that this aboriginal art form is actually fairly recent – the early 1970s (as opposed to traditional aboriginal art in rock paintings and so forth that goes back ten of thousands of years).

Ended the afternoon with a beer in the mall, then a short walk through the Thursday night markets which, perhaps because we were there early, were fairly low key. The Swiss Indian food stall had us intrigued.

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