Day 26. Wednesday 23 August.

Departed Trephina Gorge well after the early walkers had disturbed our slumber. First stop was the Ghost Gum – another opportunity to marvel at nature’s gifts in Australia.

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Next stop was Corroboree Rock, standing tall by itself in the landscape. The notice board said that this was a sacred place for the indigenous people, akin to a church, and there was, again, that sense of something spiritual.

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So to Alice to restock. Coffee (excellent) at Page 27 café where the French hiking family were doing likewise. They reported on how marvellous their overnight hike/camp had been in splendid isolation. After the groceries had been sorted, D went off to replenish the cellar (had to wait until 2 PM) while T caught up on FB. Noticed that a friend, Tracey, had arrived in Alice on Monday so on the off chance, made contact via Messenger. Sure enough, she was still there, so we met up for coffee. D & Tracey’s husband Ian had been on staff together at CDSS (Australian Defence College). Ian had the distinction of being in Army transport, and of being from the First Transport Squadron, as was D, so he has cred in spades. It was great to catch up after many years.

5And passed a wonderful display of engineering, including a couple of custom lash ups – the oil filler and petrol cap in particular had D green with envy. T wondered if there was a flatpack kit vehicle in that eBay package in the tray.

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On the long and straight road south. Planned to keep going until just before dusk – or Erldunda. Slightly delayed by a helicopter mustering cattle across the Stuart. In the event, pulled into a rest area (a Stuart Hwy roadside stop!!!!!!!) about 20 km north of there, to join many other happy campers and Tim from Wagga had a campfire to share. It’s all a bit like the Sunday morning Macca radio program. Were delighted to see a young French couple in the sort of rig we were in in 1973 and they are having their ‘grand tour’ year.

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