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Published: December 24th 2008
A quick catch up before getting to the good bit. I don't like sleeping in airports. It saves a nights accomodation but you dont get much sleep. We arrived really early, around 3pm, because we couldnt really do anything with our backpacks in tow. Our flight was at 6am the next morning, but we had to be there for 4 for check in. We only discovered when we got there that we had to check in the next morning and we couldnt just loose our bags when we got there, so we were no better off at the airport than we were in town. About 11pm we got moved from the departure longe, with its big comfy sofas into the arrivals hall, with very few hard chairs, lots of niosy people and air conditioning that was far too cold. All in all, not a good night.
Arriving at our hostel in Melbourne very sleepy having not slept on the plane either, we were told, after a few problems with our reservation and an upgrade to a smaller dorm, that we couldn't check into our room until 2pm. Not funny. When we did finally get into the dorm we dumped our
stuff and went to the kitchen. OMG the kitchen. The hostel we were staying at was called Nomads industry and is a huge flashpackers place, five storey building. The kitchen was tiny. It had three hobs and even if they all worked (they didnt, maybe one worked...maybe) there is no way that enough people could fit into the kitchen to cook at them. If that was all, it might not have been so bad, but i dont think it ever got cleaned. There was burnt on food on the cookers (the ones that worked, or maybe had worked at some point in the past) and you couldnt wash the dishes because of the amount of unwashed dishes piled up in the sink. Fair to say we didn't really cook anything while we were there. First night, pizza. Second night we looked into a presentation for volenteering around the world (which sounds awesome btw) and there was free food on afterwards. THird night, we braved the kitchen...dun dun durrrnnnnn! We made a tuna rice thing...it was edible and required very little time in the kitchen.
Enough complaining about the hostel (Although!!! My shampoo bar got stolen. Who the hell steals
A lizard thing we found on the kings canyon walk
someone else's shampoo!!) moving on to the city itself. Melbourne is a city. It is just like other cities. The end. I discovered in New Zealand that i'm not really a city person. (Queenstown was alright, mainly because it was only a small developing city. Just a big town really.)The weather wasn't all hot and sunny, which i have to say i was greatful for to begin with, or sunny at all really, but it was really clammy. Not a hot, humid kind of clammy, just clammy. We did find a pancake house, which we had aq 2 4 1 voucher for...ok we had three 2 4 1 vouchers. They were very nice and saved us from going in The Kitchen. So we had fried fat with ice cream on, for brunch everyday. 'Brunch' coz then we could justify having them if it filled two meal spots. 😄 Apart from that we didnt do much in Melbourne. Went shopping though. I've given myself some spends for christmas to bye myself stuff. It'll probably just get sent home though. Mum, no you cant 'Borrow' it, just leave it in the box!
Anyway, we escaped the city and got a flight
to Alice springs. And so to the title question, Why is it called the red centre? Because the ground is very red. Good answer, Ay!?! Our Hostel here is much smaller, i think there are 20 rooms (maybe) and the kitchen is clean and twice the size as the one at Nomads. It's really nice, it has a swimming pool and everything. Getting out of the plane, a rush of hot air hit us. This was more like the Austrailia we were expecting. It was hot.
Early start the next morning, we had to be ready and waiting for the rock tour shuttle by 6am. Then we had a nice long bus jouney to look forward to - 600km broken only by toilet stops. Then we were at Kings Canyon. It was boiling. We arrived at about 12:30 and started our walk pretty much straight away with a nice steep incline up a very big hill. Walking that hill would have been difficult in england, where its cold, but in the middle of the austrailian desert with temperatures of 45degrees+, it was a killer. Annie felt ill and had to turn back. I wasn't feeling all that peachy myself,
Me at the top...
...I'm smiling but i dont mean it
but decided that with my balance i was better going up than down. Luckily that was the hardest part. The rest of the walk was mainly flat walking along the top and we did come to a pool that you could go for a swim in to cool down. The way down wasnt as steep as the way up, but it was still a little difficult, but not not in a hot, sweety, i want to die sort of way. I think id got used to the heat a little by then.
Back at the bottom, we had a short break before heading off to the camp, another 200km down the road. It was in the middle of nowhere on a farm bigger than the country of Holland...It was quite big then. We had dinner cooked on a campfire - Roo spag bol. It was really nice. After a few beers and a chat, it was time to retire to our swags and stare at the millions of stars until we fell to sleep.
5am sharp we were up aand having breakfast, then into the van and off to Kita Tjuta or 'many heads'. We went for a
hike around these as well, but had to be quick because the track closed at 11am because it was too hot to let people on after that. We saw saw a kangaroo hopping around, which was really cute. Then off to Uluru. the biggest rock in the world. That doesnt sound that impressive really. We had a look round the Cultural centre before doing a small part of the Base walk. Then we drove to stake our claim on the one and only table at the viewing place for sunset over Uluru. We were the first there and the last to leave. We slept at a camp site that night. OMG the bugs! They were everywhere. We played charades before we went to bed.(Debbie does Dallas came up again - funny how thats international...) I woke up at 1:45 with bugs on my face and didnt want to go back to sleep. The rest of the camp was up at 4am anyway coz we were going to watch the sunrise over Uluru. Then the rest of the base walk that we didnt do the previous day. Im sure you can understand how happy about that i was having had basically
Dig a hole, sqwat, cover hole again. And dont forget to turn your torch off when you've found a spot...
This was our guide, jason, who i thought looked like russel brand
no sleep the night before...oh well.
Once that was done back in the bus and the long drive back. We stopped off at a Camel farm on the way. They stink. It was too hot and i couldnt be bothered but Annie did a camel ride. Then later, back at the hostel, after a nice shower we went out and had a meal. We both had a Camel Steak, and it was really nice. I guess the meat it's closest too is lamb, but it tastes a bit different to that. The next day we had a lazy day in the hostels swimming pool. It was fab.
I suppose that now we're safely in sydney, now would be an ok time to tell you that Alice Springs is the Unoffical (there aren't any exact figures) stabbing capital of, if not the world then at least Oz. The photos are quite green because it rained the week before and everything started to grow. Phew...that was a really long blog, sorry. time is running out so bye.
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