Our third and final night we are back at Glen Helen homestead, but this time we are in the camping ground. No dining room and meals magically arriving from the kitchen.It is all hands on deck to help with the preparation of the evening meal. Chopping the veggies for the salad. Preparing onions and bread rolls because tonight Jake is cooking steak, eggs and bacon for hamburgers accompanied by the salad.Then after the meal we all help clear away. Then sit around the camp fire. We have bonded as a group and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly as we swap stories.
No cosy cabins with ensuites and reverse cycle air conditioning this time, but basic permanent tents and the toilet block over the other side of the camp ground. It is mid winter and though the daytime is clear blue skies and temperatures are a pleasant 24C to 27C the night temps plummet down to approx. 4C. Surprisingly I find it is very cosy in the tent with sleeping bags and extra blankets and I had brought along warm PJs and thermal underwear.I have a confession…. When it came time for the middle of the night toilet visit it was just a stumble around the back of the tent… (maybe too much information!!!) After a full day of sight-seeing and walking sleep comes very quickly.
Next morning Jack and I get up early before breakfast for a walk along the banks of the Finke River and one last look at this amazing scenery.The sun is just over the horizon and is turning the ranges into a golden glow.The river is so calm the reflections are mirror-like.One last look and then back for breakfast. The fire embers are still hot enough to heat the billy for a cuppa.Those rolls on the ground are the swags, rolled up ready to put away as some of the group slept under the stars last night.
This is our last day so we all gather for a group photo before we leave camp.Today we will be revisiting some of the places we saw with the art group. But they are certainly worth a second visit.
First a brief photo stop to look across the plain to Mount Sonder and Jake tells us the story connected with it.I wonder if you can see it? The shape of a pregnant woman. The story is she ran off with a man from a forbidden tribe. The laws were very strict as to who could marry who. Because she had broken the law she was turned to stone so she could never have her baby.
Then it was on to the magnificent Ormiston Gorge. Where last week on the art tour ( I can hardly believe it was only a week ago)I had that magical moment listening to the voices of the girls choir echoing around the walls of the gorge. (If you would like to hear them again go here.)This time the group will be walking along the “ghost gum walk”. Again it is up and up again. So we decide it would be a good time to sit in these magnificent surroundings and sketch.Here is Jack deep in concentration. This is what he is drawing.
The magnificent river red gums.
Next stop is the ochre pits.I was fascinated with all the colours and shades of colours in these rocks and I would love to take some home to experiment with my painting. But, of course that is strictly forbidden.
Well the tour is almost over and I think I have fitted enough into this post. So I will leave the last place we visited to the next post…