Subject: Re: From Alice To Ocean mepeeweeme
G'day Ziners, and Sue and Tony in Mount Isa,

A bit of nostalgia reading your logs, Sue. I am fairly fond of the centre country, and I think Alice is a very interesting town - mainly for the "feel" of the place. Quite a feat making a town work out in that climate.

Just a couple of somewhat pedantic points:

Firstly, Alice Springs is really a little ghost settlement about 40 miles north of the current town, which was actually christened Sturt. I am not sure if the name change was ever officially made, or it just happened - at any rate, you would get some puzzled looks if you referred to Sturt these days.

Secondly, those sad looking aboriginals you saw (usually camped in the riverbed around Heavytree Gap) for the most part are outcasts from their tribes. The aboriginal social structure is quite strong when it is still in operation, with elders of both sexes keeping a strong hand on behaviour, and effective rules covering most facets of life. When an individual breaks the tribal law, if it is a serious incident, he will be banished, with the uintent that he should die without the support of the tribe. Many such individuals drift to the outskirts of white society with unsatisfactory results. Of course many aboriginals exist quite successfully within the white society, often retaining much of value from the tribal background also.

Mount Isa is hardly a tourist magnet, I agree. After all, it is a working town, with little raison d'etre than the geological quirk which dumped valuable metals in a heap there. On the other hand, I guess you will go through Camooweal, which is a genuine outback town, based on the cattle industry. Hope you can get a feel for the place - and you can see that famous outback humour in the 'buffaroo' which is the town's totem.

Winter is coming, but you won't recognise it until you get down into NSW at least, and even then, no snow or ice !!!

Paul, in cooling Sydney (around 24degress max today)