In the morning I try to pay a few visits to local mechanics for an oil change. Of course, everyone is booked out for today, just like in Tom Price a few days back. Fair enough. I leave Carnarvon unserviced to visit two more national parks and dive for the last time into the Pilbara wilderness.
After an excellent night's sleep on my new pillow, I begin to explore the Millstream part of the park. This was a cattle station once, but the state bought it later and opened to public. The Fortescue River flows through it, quite peaceful at this time of year.
Next to the campground there is another ravine, called Dales Gorge. At the first rays of sun, while no one else is there, I head straight towards it. Unfortunately, the first rays of sun also make it quite difficult to take good pics. And the gorge itself, although undeniably beautiful, doesn't really say anything new after those that I've seen yesterday.
In the morning, as I leave Marble Bar, I hit the dirt again. I have misgivings about that after the somewhat uncomfortable ride to Carawine Gorge, and I'm tempted to modify the route and take a detour via Port Hedland; but the moment of weakness passes soon. Gotta be in it to win it.
The further north I drive, the more mining activity around I see. Thanks to the mining companies, the roads here are of excellent quality, and most of them are pretty new. They have also built all those long railroads, leading straight to Port Hedland, whence all this ore is shipped all over the world.
A large body of water nearby makes the night a lot warmer than out in the desert, and I sleep wonderfully. Back in Leonora, I turn right and head northwards now. It's quite cloudy (for the first time in 5 days), but it doesn't rain thankfully.
As I've already mentioned, there's another famous place next to the world-famous Uluru, and it's called Kata Tjuta. It means “many heads” in Aboriginal language, which sums up its appearance pretty good. As opposed to a monolith which is Uluru, Kata Tjuta is a whole set of enormous sandstone boulders, looming up quite impressively on the horizon. This is where I'm going today.
In the morning, as soon as I reach Marla, I make a refuel stop. My Prado, thankfully, has two fuel tanks 90 litres each, but even they tend to run out every so often. Diesel prices bite a little: $1.63 per litre, compared to about $1.20 in Adelaide. Oh well. A beggar's choice.
May in Australia is like November in the Northern Hemisphere, but milder. Australian winter, however, is already at hand, so in our temperate South Australian latitudes it can get quite chilly during the night. Still, the sun gets up rapidly and warms up the inside of the vehicle very quickly.