we just drove back a few hours ago from three days of driving, camping, and hiking. starting off in alice springs, we then drove over to hermannsburg, and then over on a corrugated (and VERY rough) dirt road to king's canyon, and then up on the same road to the west mcdonnell ranges.
camping in king's canyon was run by one of those fancy "resort" campsite companies). as people tend to do when catering to the backpacker/camper market, the term "resort" is used very loosely. the wasp's nest inside the bathroom stall was a nice surprise, though.
the next day we drove up to the west mcdonell ranges proper, and jean made an amazing chicken tikka masala dinner at our campsite (in an actual national park campsite, which was well-maintained as usual for the AU park system), which i'm looking forward to eating the leftovers from for dinner tonight. props to woolworth's australia for having amazing off-the-shelf premade chicken tikka masala sauce, chutney and roti. (this fared much better than the 'el paso' taco shells that we'd purchased from another woolworth's to make tacos with.)
at this point we're nearing the end of the time in australia with our land cruiser. we're due in darwin by the 25th, so we're planning to head out of Alice tomorrow morning and start driving north, hopefully stopping in Kimberley for a few days to do some hiking and camping.
while it's exciting to be flying to Brunei in a week from now (thus kicking off the Southeast Asia portion of my trip), i'm going to miss the long 4wd excursions with jean, playing fatboy slim and downtempo music at volumes high enough to overcome the constant rattle of the corrugated roads, and seeing how much of the car we can cover in water by hitting that next deep mud puddle at top speed.
next stop, tennant creek!