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The rainbow in the desert

Life in oceans, rivers and seas

"We are welcomed to Wallace Rockhole by a double rainbow".

Peter Hylands, Andrea Hylands

May 21, 2023

Mid November 2018, summer is approaching, all the signs are that the next summer will be hot and hotter still. We leave Alice Springs, now driving westwards, Wallace Rockhole, the next stop on our long journey, is about 90 kilometres away.

Wallace Rockhole has a population of around 70 people, a bit different from Greater Tokyo and its population of 38 million.

Pottery and general store

Wallace Rockhole

It is not that long before we reach the familiar turn off to Wallace Rockhole, the sealed road of the highway turning to the red dirt track of the outback.

Twenty kilometers on the red track and one of the first groups of buildings we see is the Wallace Rockhole school with its tidy grounds and shady places.

We arrive at about 1pm and the town streets are empty as everyone is avoiding the midday sun. It is about 38 degrees, a dry heat that is much easier to deal with than the hot humidity of summer in Central Honshu, our home in Japan.

The double rainbow arches above us and is a sign of rain to come. Later that afternoon it begins to rain and Wallace Rockhole gets its small share. The red earth turning darker from the moistening rain. For a few minutes a fierce wind blows as pressure systems collide, Andrea runs for cover.

Soon everything is silent again, except for the occasional and noisy flock of parrots as they fly above us.

We were last here in April, spending about two or three weeks in Wallace Rockhole, travelling back to Alice for meetings, exploring the country around Wallace and spending time in with friends under the dazzling outback sky.

Something is different though, this time and on this visit the mobile phones work and we can use the Internet via our mobiles, now everyone in Wallace is hooked up to the world.

This visit is a brief one as we will travel further out into remote desert country, to an outstation called Ilpurla. We will travel with our friends through their country and down the Finke River by 4WD, to spend time with the man who founded the community we are now in.

The original story was posted from Wallace Rockhole via mobile, November 2018.