Day 19 – 23rd July – Still at Alice Springs

Because we planned to have a casual day we slept in for the first time for a while. A good morning to do it too – it was minus 2 degrees! The day was lovely and sunny with almost no wind and ended up in the low 20’s. Very pleasant indeed. Actually back into T-shirts for a short while. Both Linda and I did loads and loads of washing in an attempt to get the dust out of everything. I also spent some time completely cleaning out the van from top to bottom. Even in our sealed van the dust still got in — although part of the blame was us accidentally leaving the van door open whilst driving for a very short time (only minutes) on a dusty road at Coober Pedy!!! Live and learn.

Before lunch we all went into the CBD to do essential shopping. Bruce needed to get in touch with a Caravan repair place for getting the springs of their caravan fixed. They can have a look at it tomorrow morning around 8.30. He will be pleased if they can fix it as their caravan has a slight lean on one side. Bruce remarked how he had walked past the local Court House and said there was quite a lot of agitation etc. from many of the aboriginal people outside. Later, on tonight’s news, we saw that it was the commital hearing for Liam Jurrah – the Melbourne AFL indigineous footballer up on assault charges. The yelling etc. was between the two warring families. Very sad really.

Some of the exhibits

After lunch Ian and I drove out to the National Road Transport Hall of Fame. It was an amazing display of all types of trucks and vintage cars and machinery, with the odd newer type truck as well.

“BIG BERTHA” – first cattle road train

Some of the more interesting exhibits was Kurt Johansson’s truck called BIG BERTHA. Johansson is considered to be the ‘father of the transport of cattle by road train’. This truck was more or less manufactured by him out of various surplus wartime vehicles sometime in the early 1950’s. He was the driving force behind the establishment of this very large complex – the Transport Hall of Fame.

One of the exhibits was the 4WD landrover which was used by the son of Lasseter in an attempt to find his father’s fabled gold reef. The seat fixed on to the top of the vehicle was said to be able to give the passenger the same view as from the back of a camel – and the ride felt about as comfortable!!!  

Land Rover used by Lasseter’s son

Some of the exhibits had dummies in or around the vehicles so when we entered the Kenworth Truck Museum section there was a very modern Kenworth sleeper cab which had been split down the middle so that you could walk up on a platform and get the feel of sitting in the cabin with all the controls and behind was the sleeping section. But much to our surprise there was someone actually sleeping on the bed there. For an instant we thought it was a dummy until Ian saw he was breathing — But he was asleep! When we left the Hall of Fame we mentioned to the chap at the office and he thanked us for telling him. He seemed to know who the chap was and we got the impression he should not have been where he was. The actual Kenworth Display was amazing. Some of those new trucks are just huge!! The whole set up was very well done and very interesting indeed. Also on the same site is a N.T. Railway exhibit specialising in the Old Ghan Railway, but we did not have time to do this.

This photo is a model of an emu fully sculptured out of truck parts. Very clever indeed.

The Caravan Park here provides some interesting evening entertainment and tonight’s event was a talk on 4WD driving and safety. It was very interesting. It dwelt mainly on off-road activities but was still worth listening to. He showed before and after slides of some parts of the desert near here. We certainly are seeing the Red Centre at its best following 2 years of wet weather. He said some of the wildflowers are amazing at the moment. We have certainly noticed how heavily covered all the land is – certainly does not look like a desert.

Love to all, Janese and Ian




One response to “Day 19 – 23rd July – Still at Alice Springs

  1. Gee we are not having such an interesting time as you are there! It is great to have it all written down , reinforces the memories and let’s us all enjoy it. I wish I had written down all my experiences and travels might have had a bit more RSI by now though . Spoke to Geoff tonight , they head to warmer climes (they hope) tomorrowm. XxJ

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