7th January 1933 cont. - Heavitree Gap, greeted by Dr David Brown in Alice Springs

Heavitree Gap, as seems to be common to all the passes through the mountains, is enclosed by steep precipices that fall right down to plain level, passage through the gap is made at the same level as the plain without any climb at all. Huge white gums grow at the base of the cliffs and along the dry creeks and river beds in great numbers. They are beautiful trees, dead white, exuding a red gum, and any recent wound or blaze is almost scarlet.

The train was running about one and a half hours late when we approached the Alice about sunset. As we passed through the gap a party of natives came running toward the train with much noise, a mixed looking lot. We were told afterwards that many of them had come into the Alice from great distances just to see the train for the first time. The other side of the gap opened out into a flat valley surrounded on all sides by the spurs of the ranges. And there was Alice Springs.

The train whistled all the way for the last mile or so and the first sight of the town showed us all the inhabitants tearing across to the station to look and to see. As the train drew in a multitude of eyes appeared, white and black, staring as hard as possible at every one on the train.

We arose, gathered our gear together and stepped out on to the platform, all a bit self conscious. I had no sooner appeared than I heard someone call my name. It turned out to be Dr David Brown, the only medical man in Central Australia as far down as Hawker. He has been in China and has lived in the Territory for some time before coming down to the Alice on a Government job.

link to previous entry link to next entry