Friday, October 30, 2009

The Road to Uluru

October 27

We had a long drive to reach Curtin Springs Station, our destination for the night, just outside the huge National Park that surrounds Uluru.

We drove under dazzling blue sky, through flat land stretching away in all directions, sometimes coated with bleached yellow grasses, sometimes dotted with fan-shaped mulga trees. From time to time we saw the columnar shapes of desert oaks, like an outback version of Mediterranean cypresses. The earth varied between deep, rich terracotta, screaming orange, and pale salmon pink. After a while you simply stopped taking photographs and tried to absorb it all.

Just before the right turn onto the Lasseter Highway to head directly west, we passed Stuarts Well, and were tempted to check out the dingo.

Another time, maybe.

There was the usual kangaroo roadkill on the verges, and at one point we came upon some wedge-tailed eagles gorging themselves. They moved away a little, but only one bothered to take flight as we passed. Ho-hum, just another bunch of tourists!

Curtin Springs was about as stark a little roadhouse as any we'd come to so far. Unpowered sites were free, and also offered a minuscule amount of shade.

The toilet block was corrugated metal, spelling and grammar optional.

Showers were $2.50.

Just as shabby - maybe even more so - as the roadhouse at Ti-Tree, this one also had its annoying resident bird. Here it was an emu

that had pretensions to being an art critic.

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