The balcony from the King's Canyon room.
Do you remember the old fairy tale about the Emperor's new clothes? The tailor for whatever perverse reason conned the Emperor into believing that NOTHING was the latest in fashion and after numerous fittings the fool was happy enough to trot on outside to see his minions wearing his new gear, but really he was bollocky naked. I am not sure how the story ended, but I like to think that there was someone like me who might have yelled out a rude comment perhaps about man-scaping his bits and so would have begun the Emperor's speedy fall into his carriage and a wrenching closed of the curtains as he realised that what he thought all along was indeed the truth and that he had been conned for great bags of wonga and the world had seen the size of his bits and laughed out loud. Oh SHIT.
Well that's sort of how I feel about King's Canyon.
It's about half way between Alice Springs and Uluru, so if you have a 300 odd Kilometre a day driving limit cos more than that is just too much, then you might look to stay here.
And it is plenty expensive!
And it sounds exclusive and luxurious, and altogether the beauty spot of the desert.
The big boast is the dinner under the stars - a many course degustation extravaganza, which promised Australiana by the bucket load, and an unbeatable table for 2. Yeh all in all I reckoned this sounded like the bees bollocks for Stevie's big birthday.
Our whole schedule had been balanced around fitting in this dinner.
The day before we left Alice, I got a call saying that the dinner was a no go - not enough punters. Well I'll be fucked. We were given the option of cancelling without any penalty, but that's pretty useless unless you fancy pulling up on the side of the road and bunking under the stars with the dingoes and snakes and stuff, cos most places are booked out well in advance. So we figured we'd stop by there anyway and for 2 nights no less!
The restaurant was pretty good to be honest, but that's about where it ended for me.
The visual highlight was supposed to be the walk around the rim of the canyon. No I am not gonna make any rimming comments.
But when we got there the scuttle was that the 'walk' was goat trekking up 560 'stairs' and then 4 hours of slogging away before somehow falling back to earth at the other end. Well I wondered about all that. And then it came with a warning that it was for experienced fit hikers.
Well I'll be fucked.
No dinner and no view for me. Stevie took off all in a flutter and was back in quick order cos the stairs were not stairs in his language, they were random arrangements of flattish rocks and he climbed a few and then looked down and didn't like what he saw, so he came back home, but not before he wandered along another dry creek bed.
It has not taken me too long to get to, 'If you've seen one dry creek bed, you've seen 'em all. A bit like AFC in Europe - another fucking church, well I'm up to AFDCB.
So we spent 2 days in this place where there is no wifi and not even any phone coverage. The reception on the tellie was pretty shit and the big noted spa bath with a view to the desert was far less spectacular than the brochure implied.
But the food at Carmichael's was good. Beef cheeks - slow cooked and bloody marvelous and porketta and veg and chicken and veg, both were fine. And the linen was excellent and there was a mattress topper so the bed was far more luxurious than the bloody hard as an Uluru in Alice.
We are not sorry to have called into King's Canyon, but I would advise unfit fatties to give it a big swerve. There sure as shit is not much to do there.
So far our tally on the road is 3 lizards, 3 dingoes, a dead horse - fucking huge! and some unidentified road kill, and more abandoned cars than enough.
We are not in Kansas anymore.