|Curtin Springs, Red Centre|
|Mount Connor, Red Centre|
Since then, the cattle numbers have reached around 4000, and the owners have branched out into the tourist trade, with petrol pumps, rooms and a bar and café. They have a few interesting bits of historical information on their walls, but they also have a lot of 'Daily Mail' style articles, full of sensationalist anti-foreigner type of stuff, that irritated us sufficiently that we chose not to buy anything or hang around in their presence.
As we get close to Alice Springs, we pass by Pine Gap, a large US military base where they monitor satellites. And then we follow the perpetually dry riverbed of the Todd River, through the small gap in the 400 mile long MacDonnell Ranges, to find the town of Alice Springs.
Until WWII, the town remained a small outpost, but having had many troops stationed in the area, it became better known and increased to a population that is now around 29,000.
In fact, far from being a positive experience of the aboriginal people, I found myself feeling that I could never live here. In fairness, it was only a short visit, but there were a couple of incidents that made me feel uncomfortable. The main example was, walking past a park, where an aboriginal man was standing with his beer can, and proceeded to spray beer from his mouth, onto the two women he was with. This happened a couple of times, and is the sort of behaviour that I don't think that I could put up with seeing on a regular basis.
I also know that the aboriginal people, like many original inhabitants of places that we British and other Europeans decided to 'settle', have been pretty badly treated in the past and that this disruption to their lifestyle has been the cause of many of the issues they now have, including problems caused by alcohol. So my comments above aren't intended to condemn a group of people, I know it isn't that simple, but rather they are just to explain my discomfort with the town.