Tuesday, July 28, 2015

28 July - Day 14 - A Town Like Alice

Today is our last day in Alice Springs, and we've enjoyed it immensely. To do it and the surrounding areas justice would take a lot more than four days but we've enjoyed the little sample we've had.
This morning we had an amazing visit to the Alice Springs School of the Air. This service was established shortly after the Royal Flying Doctor Service to provide educational opportunities for children in remote communities, initially using radio technology. Today 'school' is delivered using the internet delivered via satellite. Teachers can teach classes of 15 or 16 pupils who are located hundreds of miles apart. We were able to see one of the classroom sessions in action - a really inspirational experience.
The town of Alice Springs is located on the Todd River, and before this engenders images of quiet waters and black swans, you should know that the river only has water in it for 5% of the year. This photo is taken standing in the middle of the river.
The locals have a sense of humour about their river and once a year organise an event called The Henley on Todd Regatta, which features bottomless boat full of people running.
Our last visit of the day was the local cemetery to visit the grave site of Albert Namatjira who was once of Australia's foremost watercolour painters. Albert, born on the nearby mission of Hermannsburg and a member of the local aboriginal community has his paintings hanging in galleries all over the world, and he really captured beautifully the spirit of the McDonnell ranges landscape.
If you would like to know more about Namatjira there are lots of web sites devoted to his life and art including this one here.
Alice Springs is a major centre for aboriginal art with lots of galleries and opportunities to look and to buy. I was also taken by some of the street art.
We'll spend the rest of the afternoon preparing for the next leg of our trip, Alice Springs to Tennant Creek which will be our farthest point from home. From here each km we travel will bring us closer to home.

1 comment:

  1. What a great way to spend the day. Technology has changed the world for the better and for the worse sometimes. It seems using it for remote schools would definitely be for the better.


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