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Street in Amata looking towards the Musgrave Ranges.

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Community Arts Centre

Evening on the Musgrave Ranges behind Amata.

On Amata town

Around the last corner and the last car, lies the township itself. A pack of semi-feral dingo-like dogs follows my car. The footpaths are red dust. Houses have barred windows, and grubby children play in the street while a wild boar grubs about in the backyard. This place feels like grim poverty, yet the back-drop of the Musgrave Ranges lends it an air of rugged beauty.

I dream of exploring the ranges. But dream it shall remain for now, unaccustomed as I am to the sweltering heat and complete absence of water. Tap water here is obtained from wells, and has an unusual milky pallor and unpleasant taste. I admire the resilience of local anangu, the Pitjantjatjara people, who live and work in this remote desert country every day. And I appreciate the opportunity to visit this place.

The Great Nowhere

The Great Nowhere

Cars keep watch by this rough red road in the desert.

On the (off) road to Amata

On the (off) road to Amata

Dust, corrugations, dead cars…and Mt Connor background.