Back in Alice Springs after 3 or 4 years and happy to be staying in one place for a few days. We need to be a little more creative about what sites we go to look at as most of the usual attractions we have already checked out on 2 other visits. We really need a good walk so set off for the Old Telegraph Station and trek on a loop that takes you overland and then back along the Todd River – which is dry at the moment. On the way we see some wild life but are most amazed by the hawks/kite that are hanging out in a group of about 20. They are quite large and magnificent as they fly directly over our heads.
The next day we decide that we would go to Palm Valley the road says 4 wheel drive but the start goes smoothly despite the annoying corrugation and its only 20 ks in from the sealed road. About 5ks to go things get a little more interesting, negotiating river beds, sand, rocks and water. After checking out a particularly difficult hill and with only a kilometre to go, we decide to park the car and walk. It is amazing to see these ancient trees in this small pocket of roughly a 2 kilometre creek bed. As long as there is permanent water they will be here. As we walk back and talk to people who did make it through they all commented about just how bad the road was with no warnings – just that you would need a 4 wheel drive. As we drive out I am thinking I can’t wait until I get back to that annoying corrugation. Anyway Shane can now tick that off his list but not sure if we will be lining up for it again soon – neither of us enjoyed being tossed about, lurching from side to side, watching the road for obstacles and expecting to bottom out at any moment so maybe it’s not for us.
Despite being shaken, not stirred, we head out to the Out Back Didgeridoo Show. From the very first moment you are taken to a different place. First you hear rain pouring down on a tin roof then the didgeridoo sounds fill the room and then all number of percussion instruments are introduced. It is a hear,see and feel show and we watch the Todd river fill on a big screen, showing the transition from drought to flood. As wild life join you can hear the bird calls, frogs all coming through the didgeridoo and then everything slowly drifts off as the river subsides and goes dry. We hear stories of Aboriginal dreaming of how the MacDonald ranges were formed. Stories of the outback, his own story. Each time he explains the music and when the music starts extra effects kick in with laser lights and fire places. He then invites audience to participate with drums, shakers, sticks and one guy even volunteered to have a go with the didgeridoo. I hop up to have a go at the drums and its a bit like rubbing your tummy and patting your head at the same time. We all get started and from where I was sitting it sounded pretty good and it was heaps of fun. we were all asked to come along and have a free lesson but neither Shane or I could not do the lip vibrating thing or breathe while blowing so we are just happy to enjoy the talents of others.
We are heading off to uncharted territory next as we have not travelled north of alice springs so that is very exciting.