Saturday 25 June 2016

Alice Springs & Lawn Hill Trip - Day 24

Day 24 - 25/6/2016 - Cobbold Gorge to Innot Hot Springs

We were packed up and on the road by about 8:30am.  It was good leaving just that little bit later as it let a few of the other campers that were also leaving to get ahead of us.  We then didn’t have to worry too much about people coming up behind us and trying to overtake us.  On the dirt roads we take our time and drive to conditions, but a lot of people don’t seem to.

We were just retracing our steps, back to Forsayth for smoko and to re-inflate the tyres, and then to Georgetown to refuel, and what a debacle that was.  Old Farmer Joe was pulled up at the bowser to fuel up and then went inside to pay and also order some food from the diner.  So instead of moving the vehicle and then going back into the shop to wait for his take-away, he was just standing around in the shop.  All the while the road and entrance to the servo was getting clogged up with everyone in the vans and campers having to queue up because no one could get into any bowsers.  Finally he ended up coming out and moving his vehicle.  By that time there would have been at least 10 vehicles all queued up over the place.  So what was meant to be a quick fuel stop took nearly 30mins!

When we eventually got moving again we were headed for Mt Surprise, which was the next stop for lunch.  This is where my day took a turn for the worst.  There was a lot of traffic in Mt Surprise because it was right on lunch time so all of the travellers were stopping for lunch, and there was also a school fete on as well, and that was also located on the highway.  So it was just a case of pull into the first spot you could find.  We found a table for lunch that was some distance from the vehicle.  I found that I had forgotten some of the lunch stuff so I headed back to the vehicle to get it.  As I was getting the stuff out of the fridge I also noticed a parking space closer to the table.  As I was moving the vehicle I couldn’t work out what the chiming sound was indicating and then I heard a big bang.

I didn’t feel anything, so it I didn’t think I had hit anything or anyone had run into me.  But as I jumped out of the vehicle and started to have a look around, I noticed that the rear door was still open.  Doh!   As I was grabbing the lunch stuff, trying to remember to do up the stone stomper so it wasn’t dragging on the ground and thinking of moving the vehicle to the closer parking space, I was distracted and forgot to close the rear door of the Pajero.  Then as I was moving the vehicle and turned into the closer parking space, the rear door has become wedged open between the body of the Pajero and the stone guard on the camper.  Luckily the window in the rear door didn’t shatter.  I was also lucky that I was still able to close the rear door but it had dinted it and buckled the door.  It also pushed the stone guard back towards the camper toolbox and squashed a mounting bracket.  But no substantial damage to the camper.

So I was pretty cranky with myself for the rest of the afternoon on the drive to Innot Hot Springs for not paying more attention to what I was doing.

After setting up camp at Innot Hot Springs we had a bit of a wander around in the creek before heading to the pool area for a swim.  

Water is pumped out of the creek into pools of varying temperature in the complex.  But you can also walk around in the creek and find sections of varying temperature from lukewarm to scolding hot.  A guy from Cairns that I was talking to said that every so often there are reports of backpackers being badly burnt.  They have been lying in the creek bed in a nice warm section and then all of a sudden a very hot bubble of comes up underneath them and they end up severely burnt.

The pool complex has a number of pools, all at varying temperatures.  The hottest being 47deg.  You could only stay in this pool for about 10 minutes max.  Even when I hopped in my skin started to tingle straight away.  It felt like you were slowly poaching yourself.

I couldn't get any photos of the pool complex at this stage as there was too many people around.

Later that afternoon we wandered over to the other side of the creek to check out the pub.  The outside areas of the beer garden was done in fantastic stone work.  It has been done to match the stone work in the van park where we were staying.  After the day that I have had with the rear door, I was very tempted to pull up a bar stool for a couple of hours!  It was probably a good thing that Jodie dragged me back to camp because I think it could have ended up badly ;-)

The beer garden
Later that night I spent a bit of time trying to capture some photos of the hot springs.  The steam made for some impressive photos.

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