Friday 20th October to Wednesday 25th October Day 1: Friday 20th October 2006 - Alice Springs to Kings Canyon
...and I'm off!! The next 'adventure' tour! Driving along the endless Australian roads has to be (strangely) one of the things I love about going on tour... I love looking at the landscape as we zip past. Today its black tarmac and orange earth, even 'peachy' in parts stretching out either side with the clumpy bushes, all various shades of dull racing green and the near on peroxide blond grass bundles. And hills. There are hills in the distance which wasn't exactly what I was expecting...
Then again, neither was a random forest in the 'red centre'! There are trees growing on the sand dunes - which are orange! - How bizarre! They're Desert Oaks, they send down a single 'root' and find artesian water and don't have growth rings so you can only tell how old they are by carbon dating...
Kings Canyon. Wow! Wow! and triple Wow! That's how many times it came out. It was beautiful. So amazing! When we started the 10km walk it was 36degrees, when we finished two and a half hours
later it was 44degrees!!! The first bit was up a hill dubbed 'cardiac hill' - I don't know about that, more like 'head pounding and hyperventilation hill'!!! Woah it was tough but again it lead to a 'Wow' at the top. Day 2: Saturday 21st October 2006 - Kings Canyon to The Rock & the Ulgas
The day I did The Rock!!
Sunrise @ Uluru / Ayers Rock / I like 'The Rock'. Up at 4.30 AM!! Still night not morning! All the stars were still really visible in the sky. We got there just after 5.30am so the colours of first light had gone already but it was pretty impressive. We went to a spot where we could get the whole thing in a photo - and many photos at that! Too many I'm sure! - and I still had the sunset to go at this point!
Next was to the 'climb'. Or base walk in our case. The climb was actually shut because of the really strong winds. When you see the 'path' aka a chain to hang onto for dear life to pull yourself up - I was quite glad it was
shut, as I would've had to make the decision... to climb or not to climb that is the question? I really don't, however, think I would have climbed if it had been open. And I don't think my reasoning would have been cultural, but because I would have been too scared!
The only expectation (yes I know they're dangerous things to have!) I had for this trip was to see The Rock - that done, everything else would be a surprise!
I didn't need to wait long...
...As after lunch it was off to the Ulgas - or the aboriginal name 'Kata Tjuta' and a 9km walk. It was amazing! It got a 'wow' as we got to the Jurassic Park looking view. The Ulgas are 'the other one' together with The Rock; the lumpy ones.
Sunset @ The Rock. It really does continuously change colour! The APT (aka auld peoples tour) and other posh tours had tables and chairs out to watch the sunset - we had plastic mugs and cheap sparkling wine! Think we had a better time though as after three bottles between five of us we were all nice and merry! A
discussion then ensued as to the gender of 'The Rock'. The jury's still out, two considered it female, two male and two both.
So 18km walked together with a 4.30am start and an 11.20pm finish! Pretty darn impressive I would say! Day 3: Sunday 22nd October 2006 - The Rock to Coober Pedy
It was up at 5am this morning and Kangaroo spotting time as we left The Rock and headed towards Coober Pedy; 900km! That's a lotta miles!
Enter South Australia... - only my third state in three months!
On the way to Coober Pedy (which means 'white man's burrows' in the local aboriginal language) we went off the main road and went dirt tracking it around the 'Breakaways'. It was an area that looked like a giant slag heap for underground mining waste but in fact it was natural formations of rock, and because of the rock layers and erosion it looked pretty cool. So much so that it's featured in films such as Mad Max!
The whole area still didn't look that bizarre though - until we 'entered' Coober Pedy!! It was the weirdest place and was SO worth visiting!
Life in Coober Pedy was just bizarre! There was a coin operated water dispenser and some people use that instead of getting connected. Oh and they only have one delivery a week. All the fruit, vegetables, meat and milk arrives on Thursdays from Adelaide. After that if it runs out it's tough luck! - and until recently you could buy explosives in the supermarket!!! We had a tour around a fake underground house and were told how Sunday afternoons after dinner used to be bomb making time for the family!! Beats 'Antiques Roadshow'!!
Our dorm was built into the side of a hill to and so was technically underground. It was a limestone room and not as dusty as I was thinking, nevertheless, we all woke up with dry throats and a bit of a stuffy nose. Day 4: Monday 23rd October 2006 - Coober Pedy to Rawnsley Park
Out of Coober Pedy for another long driving day via Woomera to Port Augusta.
Woomera - another strange one. It used to be a rocket research settlement for the British Army but isn't in use for military purposes these days but is used for commercial purposes instead;
I see it!!
ahhhh how cute!
such as launching satellites. It's quite a strange little place - an oasis in the middle of the desert. It had everything; an Olympic sized swimming pool, a bowling alley, a theatre and lots of rockets and aeroplanes on display. It was so clean and perfect it felt like I'd walked into the Trueman Show! At one point I decided to cross a x-section and just as I was about to step out cars came from all directions and I had to wait for the green light! - We hadn't seen a car up to that point! Very strange!!
Port Augusta. Nothing to write home about, it was mainly a goon stop!
Despite all my practice in Freo I still managed to lose at cards and was champion shit head! Great! Day 5: Tuesday 24th October 2006 - Wilpena Pound & Flinders Ranges
Wilpena Pound. It's in the Flinders Ranges. Nice. Did a walk...
Brachina Gorge. Saw Yellow Footed Rock Wallabies - very beautiful with their stripey tails!
At Parachilna we had a town tour; the pub, six houses, the railway station (derelict), the water tank (broken and rusty), the botanical gardens (scrub land),
the Primary School (which is shut because no children live there!!) and there used to be a roundabout (a tyre) but that's gone now too! So we settled down to an Aussie feral feast - Camel sausages, Emu burgers and Kangaroo fillet... My favourite was definitely the Kangaroo then I think it would've had to have been the Camel then Emu! Day 6: Wednesday 25th October 2006 - Parachilna to Adelaide
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