Rob is driving, we are headed towards Yulara. It’s been so long since I have sat down to update my blog. Life on the road is full, I imagined this holiday would be a rest from the everyday chores, I didn’t account for the energy required to set up and pack up camp while caring for the girls each day. So it has been a respite from day to day home life and oh so full with other things like finding fire wood, learning how to cook with all different wood types ( I never realized camp oven cooking could be so complicated different wood burns at different temperatures,) and learning to survive with small amounts of water- no running taps out here!

I have learnt that 2 showers a day is a lavish luxury, that I can actually wear the same jeans 3 days in a row and on a few occasions I have even turned my thermals inside out to get another day! The girls usually wear their outside layer for 4 days and being clean does not equal being happy. I have also discovered when we do stay in caravan parks for showers their is usually one big shower head mixed amongst the water saving ones! Ahhhh…

Dalhousie springs was an oasis. We stayed for 4 days, I could have stayed a lot longer. Imagine a great big stone bottomed tree lined dam, with pretty clear water and 38 degree warm water! Heaven! I was clean for 4 days in a row and could take a bucket full of water for washing up, no heating required. There were thousands of tiny fish in the water and they suck your dead skin off, this was bizarre at first, I soon learnt to keep moving. Rob tells me you have to pay 5 bucks to get a foot treatment like that in Thailand! The girls loved Dalhousie and the sunsets were breathtaking. We met a beautiful ranger called Sarah who joined us for a tea party, it was quite a mission cooking choc chip cookies in the camp oven, luckily before I ran out of dough Rob helped me get the heat right.

We reluctantly left dalhousie, vowing to return to do a crossing of the Simpson desert in the next few years.

We decided to go via Mount Dare and do the Andado Track on our way into Alice Springs. It was a breathtaking drive, we visited the old Andado homestead, Molly the owner is in an aged care home in Alice now, she leaves her homestead open, unlocked and unchanged from when she left, food still in place, and people are welcome to go inside and visit. It was something else to see, I don’t know how she lived out there, it didn’t feel right to take photos inside, check out the borders of her gardens though… I have never seen that before. She had some gorgeous kick arse crockery too!

We saw some 700 year old wattle trees that don’t grow anywhere else in the world and the colours of the sand dunes at sunset were hard to believe.

Freya’s eye had been sore and sticky for 4 days, we thought she had conjunctivitis but finally discovered gravel wedged in there ( insert tons of mother guilt here). We were 250km of rugged dirt road from Alice, I panicked, we got the ‘wrong’ irrigation liquid out of the first aid kit, tried to wash her eye out, burnt her eye, panicked more, the sat phone wouldn’t work to get help, then we eventually got through to the sat phone provider who transferred us to NT Police, who transferred us to the ambulance service, who then transferred us to the poisons info line. Thankfully we didn’t do lasting damage to her eye. . It was a long 5 hour drive to Alice hospital, lots of waiting, they put her under and cleaned the eye and we arrived home around 10pm. Longest day – pearl was so amazingly patient and kind. All ended well.

The next day we met Danny at Alice airport and miss Pearl flew to Sydney for flower girl duties at her great aunts wedding. She says her real title was pirate princess, her dress was to hide her sword in 😉 she is due back tomorrow. Her grandparents are flying her back and having a few days at Uluru too.

We have spent 6 days in Alice, we attempted to get bearing caps and they sent the wrong ones for the second time, so off we went to woolies to buy new beetroot tins and now we are in back in business.

We have also had a much needed rest, I felt so exhausted and was told everywhere I rang that it is a 3 week wait to get a massage anywhere in Alice. Thankfully my prayers led me to Sita who offered to treat us on her day off. Such a graceful and serendipitous meeting which led to so many realizations. I now have clarity about the direction of my worldly contribution, stay tuned 🙂 it is unfolding.

Rob met a beautiful old Aunty called Selma and bought a painting from her, ask him about it if you remember, it is truly sacred.

I have been carting a small suitcase of Shining Heart Jewellery with me, by chance we did the Todd mall markets, it was fun, I traded a necklace for a beautiful skirt with another stall holder, I love trades!

Yesterday Rob, Freya and I did an indigenous tour with Ricky at Wurre (rainbow valley). It was a special experience viewing art and engravings, learning about his land and finding bush foods. We tried native figs and plums, amazingly one little fig the size of a 5c piece is equal to 9 oranges…. Survival in the desert is compact! It took a few hours of walking through country with Ricky pointing out artifacts for my brain to catch up with seeing in a new way. He was using the shadow from his stick to point to things, I of course was looking at where the actual stick was pointing so struggled til I caught up. The sunset was incredible, we sat on the clay pan, rob played the didj and the earth offered a magnificent display of colour true to rainbow valley.

Life is so very full and I am remembering how to hold the richness as precious, at times it can be tempting for me to dump some of my experiences into the pain in the ass basket, yet life is gently nudging me to remember the preciousness of all things. Thankfully I’m getting it in this moment!

Freya turns 1 next week, wow, fancy that!!

Love to all, Will try to post photos tomorrow xxx

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