Saturday, July 04, 2009

Ewaninga Rock Carvings and Crocodile Burgers

Diane and Gerry had a busy day on Friday. We took them to the Ewaninga Rock Carvings south of Alice Springs, Emily Gap to the south east and then went for dinner at the Overlander Steakhouse, one of Alice Springs' most popular restaurants.
The first photo is of the girls at the entrance to the Ewaninga Rock Carvings Reserve inspecting the route map. It's a very pleasant walk with a salt pan and several collections of petroyglyphs that
were carved by Aborigines using hard stones, probably quartzite of which the region has numerous outcrops.

The second photo shows some of the petroglyphs although they aren't all that visible with full sunlight on them. The circle in Aboriginal useage usually refers to a community or group of people. Some of the other shapes are figures of people and kangaroos.
On our way back to town, we detoured off the Stuart Highway towards Ross River where we visited Emily Gap.

Emily Gap has numerous ochre paintings that have to do with three caterpillars, although I have no idea how the photo of the vertical lines at left relates to caterpillars.

There's nothing at the site that looks like a caterpillar, although much of Aboriginal art is based on their Dreamtime or religious mythology and isn't always clear.

There was a cold wind developing at Emily Gap and it seemed to be flowing through the gap, so we didn't bother to stay long enough to debate what we were looking at. I took a few photos and headed back to the warmth of the car.

On the way home we decided to detour to the Overlander Steakhouse as our visitors wanted to try some local cuisine such as emu, kangaroo, camel or crocodile. They decided on the crocodile burgers, but neither really enjoyed it and said they'd probably not eat it again.

We'd called into the Bojangles Saloon for lunch earlier in the day, but had arrived too late for the lunch menu ... the kitchen was closed!

Diane tried an Australian beer (as did I, even though I've had 45 years practice ;-)) so, without lunch, by the time we'd walked about Ewaninga and Emily Gap, we were all pretty hungry.

This morning we arose at 5:30 am and put our visitors on a bus for a two day tour of Ayres Rock and Kings Canyon. They go to one of the destinations the first day, return to Erldunda which is about 200 km east of Ayres Rock where they stay overnight. The next day the head off to the second destination.

It's the same trip that friends Michael and Linda Fairhart and Sofie and Maureen did earlier this year and all reports are that it's a good trip.

I'm off to Darwin for the week on Monday and our visitors fly out to Perth on Tuesday.


Friday, July 03, 2009

Friends Visit from Al Ain

We are always delighted to have our friends visit. This weekend we have the pleasure of Gerry Jones and Diane Evans' company.

Gerry and Diane work at the Al Ain Women's College for the UAE's Higher Colleges of Technology.

They had flown into Darwin and spent a few days there and at Kakadu (east of Darwin in Arnhem Land) before heading south on The Ghan Railway. They arrived Thursday morning and on Thursday evening we went for the hill walk at the back of our house. There are numerous walks, but the one I usually do, sometimes accompanied by grandson Tory, is the 20 minute one. It's a horse-shoe shape. We enter the left side of the horse-shoe just up the road from my house and walk back to nearby Terry Court with another five minutes walk to return home.

In the early evening or early morning, the view across the Central Australian landscape and of the McDonnell Ranges is awe inspiring and stunning. Typically the sky is stark blue providing a panoramic background for 360 degrees as far as one can see.

At the time of writing the ladies are at the Alice Springs Desert Park. On return we'll have lunch at Bojangles Saloon (as Diane wanted to have a drink in a traditional Australian pub) and then head out of town to show them the Ewaninga Rock Carvings ... ancient Aboriginal artwork (petroglyphs).

I'll post more photos of Ewaninga (pronounced "youwaninga") etc later.