Day 9: Kings canyon to Alice Springs

Early start to head down the 206km red, corrugated Merinee Loop road to Hermansburgs. About 40km along, I overtook a lone cyclist. I stopped ahead and took a photo and had a chat, to find he was from Germany and 17 months into an amazing round the world bicycle trip

About 100 km along I came across a family with a Nissan 4wd who were immobile, and had been forced to sleep on the roadside. The wheel and drum had come off and only 3 wheel studs remained. Fortunately, a mechanic from a local Santos oil & gas mine came along and was was confident of making it driveable.

The last 30km to Hermansburg was very tough corrugations, covered in red, talcum dust. I should have taken the extra bitumen and gone via Redbank Gorge and Standley Chasm.

The McDonald ranges were spectacular as I drove in Alice Springs. I arrived at 15:00, after 3,976 km (350km today) and was met in the driveway by Mark Gooley ( ex Casino high and Newcastle college friend : aka Stork) Great to see Stork and wife Sally again.

Dinner went on chatting late into the night and it was pleasant to see their son Ben after a number of years.

Tomorrow is a rest day from the motorcycle, with local sight seeing.

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Paul & Mark

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