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Published: November 14th 2017
Our Greyhound bus
The trailer is for mail, the one thing that keeps the route profitable. When Greyhound loses the mail contract (as with Perth-Broome and Perth-Adelaide routes), the routes get cancelled. This is the only public transportation over ground!
Today we got to see what the Outback looks like, at least for the area between Coober Pedy and Alice Springs. The next few days will be quite different, as we explore Uluru (Ayers Rock).
Coober Pedy got a lot of rain and thunderstorms overnight. Lots of puddles all over, since it’s pretty flat here. We heard several smaller landing strips are closed until the runway water evaporates. Evidence of the rain is all over for the first 4 hours of our bus ride towards Alice Springs. We heard of power outages and Internet interruptions. But everybody survived!
The landscape today varies a lot. From trees to no trees, from rock to soil, from brown soil to red soil, from fenced grazing lands to unfenced areas. Several times our bus driver needed to slow down for cattle on the road. No roos during our daytime trip. Weather is hot, but bearable. There were many Aboriginees on the bus and most got off along the Stuart Highway where small villages were located. We note their language is not understandable, and that they scream a lot. Many walk barefoot as they get off the bus.
Once in Alice Springs, we
A road train
So far, we’ve only seen 3-trailer trains. I always thought they could be longer.
check in with our Uluru tour operator and get our final instructions. We will very likely be part of only 1% of Uluru visitors who will see water runoff from the rock. Is that good? Depends on how much rain will fall over the next two days, we were told to bring rain gear. We also note that the Aboriginees in Alice Springs are an issue and are treated accordingly. There are a lot of them hanging out in local parks, around stores, and go into pubs in a group to drink. When we stopped for a beer in a local pub, we were approached by someone trying to sell us stuff, and he had never heard of Canada. He looked to be drunk, and the waitress told him he was not allowed to hassle us. Another group was asked to not sit down at the table next to us and to go drink out back, outside. The server told me that they see many worse things, like them trying to steal your food or valuables as you have a pint. Not something we’re used to in Canada.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service Museum recounts the history of the
Royal Flying Doctor Service plane
Designed for four passengers and a stretcher. Many planes only have a nurse on board. Doctor advice is often sought via the internet.
service and is very interesting. There are also many Aboriginee art galleries that sell local art at exhorbitant prices. Aboriginees are provided with canvas and paint and get paid for their work when produced. I doubt that they get paid anything close to the selling price! Outdoor patios here close at 2pm, guess there’s only the lunch business?
Our resort today, and for two more nights after we get back from Uluru, is beautiful. Couldn’t use the pool though since we saw lightning and heard thunder as soon as we got to it. Right now, we’re trying to decide what to take with us on the camping trip (we will sleep under the stars) and what to store at the hotel here. Fun experience!
There will likely be no cell coverage over the next three days, but we will post when we get back. Wish us luck. We may need it....,,,
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