The next morning, we drove out through the McDonnell ranges. The Aboriginal story (or at least one of them) is that they were once caterpillars that follow one behind the other, nose to bum, called Following Caterpillars (good name ;-) that were going to the salt lakes for a drink of water. But when they got there, there was no water and thy got stuck. Another story is that they're caterpillar men who came to defend the Alice area (before Alice was Alice) from the beetle men. The caterpillar men won--there's even a rock formation outside the airport that looks like an upside-down beetle--and they lined up to defend Alice. In either case, they've been there ever since. The stories describes the ranges perfectly: one long hill rises from the ground, only to drop back into it just as abruptly. Almost immediately the next hill starts. They run one behind another for miles and miles.
I got picked up at 6:30 in the morning to travel the 400 kilometers or so to our camp site. We drove *so* far, with only a couple stops, but the scenery between Alice and the campsite was so striking that it just flew by (so to speak).