On April 25th, after our trip to Litchfield, Kirsten and I parted ways. The remainder of my journey to Uluru was to be a solo one.
There’s not too much to be said about the ride itself, since most of the driving is rather monotonous, with repetitive views all around. Furthermore, there’s only one turn-off to be made and the road is about as straight as they come, so it’s also pretty boring. Still, I saw some interesting and cool things along the way, and there was music and audiobooks to keep me entertained.
The morning of the 25th, day 56, we discovered that the van’s second battery had died, so no power for the fridge, water pump, and indoor lights. Unfortunately, something seems to be wrong with its connection to the alternator, since it doesn’t charge while driving. I guess I could find a powered campsite to recharge it, but for now I’m sticking to food that doesn’t need refrigeration.
After dropping Kirsten off in Mataranka, I headed further south. By nightfall I had managed to reach Tennant Creek. Along the way, I saw a couple of dead kangaroos and cows, but no signs of living animals (except for an abundance of birds of prey).
At the campsite, I discovered that if you lock the van and then open the door from the inside, it is still locked afterwards. Great, I thought, that way I don’t have to relock the car when I get out! So I got out of the locked van and then couldn’t find my keys anywhere. Panick! Luckily, my years of studying cryptography thought me how to circumvent all manners of security, so it only took me about 60 seconds to get back in ;). At which point I discovered the car keys in my pocket, hidden underneath my phone. Oops!
The next two days consisted of more driving along the never ending road. However, the journey was oftentimes interrupted by the joyous spending of lots of money for petrol, which the van seems to devour as if it were candy.
My next campsite was just north of Alice Springs, right on the Tropic of Capricorn. The night was much colder than up north, around 10 degrees, so I was glad to have my warm down sleeping bag with me.
Four days after departing from Darwin, I finally reached Uluru. The sun was already setting, so I parked on an unofficial campsite about 10 minutes driving from the entrance to the park. A dingo was running around near my van, but by the time I had gotten out my camera, it had disappeared in the bushes and I couldn’t find it again.