12th June 2012
After our dot painting workshop, we returned to the Wallace Rockhole campsite where Megan had made us lunch, our last meal for the tour. Then it was time to pack up.
A bit sad for us, but probably not for Megan.
Then we were back onto the bus, heading for Larapinta Drive, stopping off at Standley Chasm and Simpson’s Gap on our way back to Alice Springs.
On the way back to Larapinta drive, we saw some wild donkeys.
It was a very pleasant walk of about 20 minutes from the carpark to Standley Chasm, with more greenery than we’d seen over the past four days.
In due course, we arrived.
My initial reaction was that it was like a mini version of the Siq at Petra in Jordan. On reflection, I decided that my reaction came from the fact that they are the only two chasms I’ve ever been in. As far as chasms go, they are very different from each other.
Standley Chasm (Aboriginal name Angkerle) is a large gap at the tail end of the spectacular West MacDonnell Ranges, about 50 km west of Alice Springs.
Linda captures impressions of the chasm on her ipad, with video and sound.
Through the gap.
The walls of the chasm rise up about 80 metres on either side of the chasm floor. Hoi checks this out.
Jason explains how the chasm has been gouged into the sandstone over millions of years. Megan listens with rapt attention.
The chasm was named after Ida Standley (1869-1948), who for fifteen years had been the only government teacher in Central Australia. In 1928, when the part-Aboriginal children she was teaching, separated from their parents by the existing government policy, were moved from Alice Springs to a settlement near Standley Chasm, Ida delayed her retirement to go with them and spent the summer in a tent. She was greatly beloved by the community, and Standley Chasm, and the Ida Standley Pre-School, Alice Springs, commemorate her.
One last look before walking back.
The area abounds with abundant bird life, rock wallabies and many rare plants including cycad palms and ferns.
Seeds of the female cycad Macrozamia macdonnelliensis.
A bit more greenery – and even some water – and then we were back on the bus again.