At Haasts Bluff station we filled up with petrol, water, and supplies to last us in this virgin land. We were going where not many people, except the Indigenous, had gone before. Upon entering the land belonging to these people; there would be no shops, no houses, and no roads. To salute our departure from civilisation, we bought something to eat and drink. I ate a meat pie.
I strode up to Dad. ‘We need to swim, now!’
‘All good things come to those who wait,’ Dad replied. ‘I reckon it’s just around the next corner.’
In the car-park, tall eucalypt trees spread their blue-green canopy over the clearing and a growing population of four-wheel drive vehicles, cars, buses and tourists. ‘Wow! It’s only 9am and look at all the people!’ I exclaimed.
‘I thought you said this was the best gorge of the lot.’ Mr. B grimaced. ‘What’s all these crowds doing here?’
‘You need time to appreciate these places,’ Dad explained.
‘Bit rough if we only have two weeks for school holidays.’ Mr. B’s voice sounded like the robot from Lost in Space.
[While painting this scene of a group of older men gathering to admire the glowing walls of Stanley Chasm, I was reminded of the T-Team’s trek in 1977 with Mr. B. This wealthy man used to comfort and luxury, took on the challenges of roughing it camping with the T-Team. This stunning chasm is about 50km west of Alice Springs and is one of the first of many beautiful sites to visit in the MacDonnell Ranges.]Read more "Story Behind the Painting: Stanley Chasm — Angkerle Atwatye"
Exhausted, yet restless to advance
Ever onward in a trance,
A weary traveller…
Dad looked at his watch. ‘We have to go. Or we’ll be late.’
I raised my voice. ‘What about breakfast?’
‘Er, um, better not, if you’re flying,’ Dad said.
‘You might chunder,’ Rick laughed.