Travels with the Winnie: Days 36 & 37

Day 36 – Alice Springs to Standley Chasm 24/6/17

We dropped in at Standley Chasm on our way to Hermansburg, and decided to stay. The car park acts as a campground, with toilets, showers, drinking water and even a washing machine that guests can use for free. We had morning tea, then went on the 1.2km walk to the Chasm itself. We arrived around midday, said to be the best time because of sunlight on both walls. I took lots of photos and we stood around waiting for about half an hour. It was impressive for the whole time.

We enjoyed the drive along Larapinta Drive, with mountains on both sides of the road. The drive into Standley Chasm was winding and scenic.

After the walk we had lunch and a rest. We set up our chairs outside and did some reading. Around 4.30 we had showers, not wanting to wait for the evening cold. We have a fairly easy meal tonight of stirfry meat with onions, capsicum and tomatoes. We don’t have any potatoes or carrots, but do have greens. Anyway, we have potato chips with our diet cola as nibbles, so that could count (not).

We’ve been invited to sit around a campfire tonight by one of our neighbours. There are about 6 motorhomes/campervans/campertent and one tent camped here tonight.

Light streaming on Chasm walk
sunlight in the Chasm
the light in the Chasm is because we arrived in the middle of the day
Winnie at Standley Chasm (1 of 1)
our campsite in the carpark at Standley Chasm


Day 37 – Standley Chasm to Hermannsburg 25/6/17

We woke quite early and had cups of tea. It was cloudy and the overnight was a bit warmer than we have been used to, though we were still comfortable under our warm doona. I went for another walk to the chasm before breakfast, Stephen had a walk up the road after breakfast.

Standley Chasm on a cloudy morning
Rock Wallabies kissing on a ledge

We had a nice time around the campfire with two other couples, but did not discover much commonality, beyond all being part time travellers. It was very peaceful after the day tourists had gone.

branches out of a branch (1 of 1)
an unusual gum tree at Hermannsburg
The Cafe at the Hermannsburg Historic Precinct

We set off for Hermannsburg at about 10.40 a.m. We had the mountain range on one side and a lower, but still interesting range on the other. The bushland is beautiful and is probably the result of really good rainfall.

The camping here is very odd, we are in a locked compound. We feel a bit like refugees, except that we have our own key. The woman who gave us the key said something about the compound being necessary because of wandering stock, but that doesn’t actually explain why the gate is locked!

The day became more cloudy and rather humid, there is apparently a 20% chance of rain and it looks more like a storm possibility. However, it is still relatively cool – in the low 20’s now, and doesn’t feel too oppresssive. Mind you, we had the airconditioner on for a short while.

The historic precinct was interesting, if a bit rundown. It would be interesting to get an Indidgenous take on it as the literature we read was written by the Lutherans and painted their time here in a good light. Still, it’s impressive that they focussed on learning the local language, rather than just imposing their own or English.

There was some information about Albert Namatjira, but not many of his paintings. His story was tragic, despite his success as a painter. Still, he appears to have had a good marriage and built his own house for himself, his wife and their seven children.

Oddly, the 4G service here is much faster than in Alice Springs. Well done the local community to make it happen. Although the historical precinct is a tourist attraction it is far less busy than Uluru. We are the only people staying in the campground.


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