The cyclone went south. I have to admit I was curious what a cyclone would be like, but having been 500km from one I can honestly say I don’t need to be any closer. In Broome we’ve had small wind gusts maxing out at about 80km/h and a respectible 20ish millimetres of rain a day. That might not seem like a lot, and I know I have experiences a lot worse around the place, but when it looks like what you can see below you’d probably be happy with what you’d seen too.
So it looks like I am going to be within the sphere of influence of Tropical Cyclone Rusty which is due to hit the coast in the next few days.
In Broome the impact has been fairly limited so far, bringing only rain and wind however the gale force winds are expected to begin in the next 24hours and the forecast is for lots of rain.
Anyway for the moment it hasn’t been too bad.
We all know the old parable that Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun, but did you know that Englishmen have nothing on Territorians. They, or increasingly we, are a race of utterly mad men and women who head out on bushwalks whenever the forecast seems suitable and cool.
Yesterday we proved that we have all adjusted to insanity by heading out on a leisurely morning “stroll” around Ormiston Gorge and The Pound. Being sensible people we checked the weather forecast by walking outside and finding that we didn’t immediately shrivel up, and so decided that a three hour walk would be fine. The Pound Stroll heads out from the Ormiston Gorge parking area up a gradual ridge on the the lip of Ormiston Pound, a large irregular obloid that roughly resembles a crater when you are in it. The shall hill leading up the outside hides steep, tall cliffs and rivers that form in in-facing walls.
From the edge of the pound the views down into the river valley are simply spectacular. This vast valley is dry for years at a time, but when it rains massive floods wash down through the winding river valley, scouring rocks and trees from its path.
After a hot but pleasant walk along the floor of the valley we made it into Ormiston Gorge proper, a long, winding scar through the pound wall that is home to sand, boulders, determined ghost gums and truly crazy walkers.
So it has been raining on an off for two days now. Two days! In other parts of the world people might bemoan the inclement weather, lack of sunshine and temperate conditions associated with rain, but here it is simply amazing. So much so that there is no choice but to go outside and enjoy it while it lasts!
So, after 6 months in Alice Springs I’ve finally undertaken one of the many initiation rituals associated with moving to town. Climbing Mount Gillen.
Now Mt Gillen isn’t a mountain, more of a high point on the range that surrounds Alice Springs. The MacDonnell ranges run east and west from town in a great curving arc.
From the top you get a great view in all directions, and can also enjoy the different climate it experiences. The climate leads to slightly different ecosystems, such as moss that is alive and pine trees.