Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Desert Flower in the Red Center of OZ

Simpson Gorge in MacDonnel Range-Photo Gail Betts

 Alice Springs is a desert flower in the middle of the striking MacDonnell Range. Hundreds of cockatoos dive-bombed the trees by the welcoming pool and spa in our hotel. A refreshing dip under the full moon and dazzling desert sky took the kinks out of a busy travel day. Alice Springs is literally in the red center of Australia. The famous Larapinta Trail across the spine of the MacDonnel  Range  to Sleeping Woman Mountain that calls to trekkers from around the globe begins here.

 At Simpson Gorge, a billabong that has sustained aboriginal people for thousands of years, we learned about the ways of the tribes who call this land home from Lindsey, a local guide, who is also a wonderful artist. The history of the aboriginal people in Australia is a sad, dark affair. From the time of the early colonists the natives were considered savages and treated as sub-human.  But today, steps are being taken towards reconciliation.
Lindsey with Dr. Lorin Rice and wife Charlotte Derenne
Albert Namatjira was the first of the aboriginal artists to capture this world in watercolor landscapes. He became quite famous for his haunting Ghost Gum trees. So much so, that in 1957 he was the first aboriginal to be deemed human, not just fauna in the natural environment with no rights. He was granted restricted Australian citizenship, which allowed him to vote, own land, build a house and buy alcohol.
Albert Namatjira-Western Range

Adventure-travel writer, Linda Ballou’s mission is to get to as many beautiful places she can before they are gone! She shares a host of travel articles on her site, along with information about her travel  stories on 

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