Day 6, Devils Marbles & Tennant Creek.
Day 6 started early, we were starting to get used to unpacking and repacking. Did breakfast and settling up with the hotel and were ready for our pickup on time. It turned out to be a bit late but in the meantime we met a fellow traveller who had stayed at Ibis Springs overnight as well. The 4WD Coach appeared eventually and we were introduced to Jamie our driver and guide for the duration and said G'day to the passengers already on board.
The coach was large enough for 36 people including staff and turned out to be very comfortable. Towed behind the coach was a large support trailer which carried our cases. Once we were all on board, Jamie introduced himself and gave us some background on where he'd come from and why he was now our guide. He is from an original station family, and was involved with tourism as a buffer against the vagaries of the cattle industry. Quite fascinating and he commented further as we headed up the highway toward morning tea and comfort stops at Aileron Man roadhouse.Morning Tea Aileron RoadhouseAt Aileron Roadhouse our tour companions and coach
Like Jamie, the owner of the cattle station had been looking for ways to encourage travellers to stop at the road house and had hired a sculptor to produce a huge aboriginal figure that was to stand behind the facilities. That the roadhouse was there in the first place was a tribute to the ups and downs of the cattle industry and the need for extra income. We met our first stationary roadtrains here. Cattle trucks and petrol tankers 3 compartments long. The cattle were being sprayed with I presume, water to ease their long travel and the increasing temperatures. Morning tea time over, we headed for Wauchope and the Devils Marbles Pub for lunch which was prepared by Jamie and Co.
The Devils Marbles Pub and Roadhouse, was a welcome site, clean and friendly and stopping off place for some more impressive road trains. Jamie advised us to make the most of the facilities as they would be the last before we got to Tennant Creek for the night.
Now to the Devils Marbles. My perpetual complaint, not enough time, wrong time of day, light too harsh. Despite all that these rock formations are quite spectacular and I made some quite reasonable pics even if they are much the same as thousands of others.
Devils Marbles NTDevils Marbles NT The main memories of the drive from here to the night stop over were of vast flat plains, small odly shaped termite mounds and black kites of the feathered variety. It was still light when we arrived at Tennant Creek. The Eldorado Motel room was clean and comfortable and we sorted ourselves out before heading to the entertaining area to chat with the other guests before heading into the dining room. Here, there was a sense of chaos, it seemed to me that they were not used to everyone turning up at the same time. Once that was settled we had a very nice meal and retired for an 7am breakfast the following morning.
That's the lot for this day. Tomorrows tale will be of the trip to Katherine.
Cheers - Peter.
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