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Published: September 27th 2018
I pulled out of Alice Springs 10 minutes ahead of schedule at 8:50. My Fastener friends who have traveled with me and certainly my family know that when a departure time is set it’s BIH (bags In Hand) at or before the specified departure time😏.
A lot of people think The Rock is just outside Alice Springs - in fact, it is 274 miles south and west. The Rock will be my furthest West Point in Australia on the bike trip. I stopped and popped a couple pictures of Connors Mountain which is a pretty good size plateau rock in its own right. It was a hot ride down, 95 degrees was my top temperature recorded but very little wind. I was cruising along at 70 when all of a sudden there were 250-350 head of cattle all over the road. I was able to talk to the cattle and take their pictures from the bike-that's how close they were. The cow pokes were creating a watering hole for them so I guess they needed to have them by the road so the water truck could be utilized. Logical I guess, but not exactly practical. Australia is
full of these paradoxes. I just didn’t like the cocky attitude the cattle had as they literally walked right in front of my bike and snorted at me. You will see in the following paragraphs that I got REVENGE later in the evening.
As I’ve said before - I’ll take hot over windy anytime. After heading a 125 miles south - I headed due West for about 150 miles. In two days, I’ll be driving the 150 miles back out the same way to the Stuart Highway to head South toward Coober Pedy and Adelaide.
I arrived The Ayers Rock Resort about 1:30. The Resort is really a collection of three resorts with most of the facilities centering on the Desert Garden Hotel. If you decide to visit "The Rock" this is the place to stay. Best reserve in advance, I booked 2 months ago and just squeezed in. The guests are a collection of tour bus groups, Aussie families, and folks in what I would describe as "the sunset days of life"!
There is a back road to get here from Alice Springs but you need a 4 wheel vehicle and a sense of adventure. The
sense of adventure I’ve got- what I don’t have is a 4 wheel vehicle. If I would have rented a BMW R1200 GS instead of bringing my bike, I could have taken the back road. But to be honest I can’t imagine doing this trip on a GS. The road trains would have blown a GS off the road. For clarification- the road trains are semi’s pulling triple trailers up to 53 Meters long (160 ft+). The back trailer is like trying to navigate a game of crack the whip. Karen and I will be flying up here when she arrives and will be renting a 4 wheel vehicle, so we'll do the back-road route then.
I was able to park my bike right outside of my room. The number one thing most bikers fret about (besides finding a good Guinness) is whether their bike is secure. Because the Resort is sold out I made sure to make a dinner reservation. Had my first -made in Australia filthy martini made by Lily from South Korea. I was also able to watch the bartenders make some of their other signature cocktails.
Had a great Calamari caught in Tasmania and
some Australian beef ( made sure it was local Australian beef - see above-Revenge). Excellent meal and great service.
Tomorrow i will ride completely around The Rock - I think it takes an hour to do this. I would also like to do the helicopter ride over the rock and around the area. Not that I would do it but there is a bit of a debate over walking up the rock. Used to be done routinely but the Aboriginals don’t like it to be walked on so I’m not sure if you can still walk it. I’d also like to do a camel ride. Perhaps I’ll save those for Karen if she is game. I’m done with dinner and might stop back at the bar and have a B&B. I’ll likely have to teach them how to make it. I saw they have Benedictine but didn’t see the premixed B&B bottle. A B&B is half Benedictine and half Brandy (cognac), I actually like it closer to 65% - 35% Cognac to Benedictine and always straight up. Now where can I find a cigar .....and I’d be all set😎.
P.S. my daughter will be happy to
know I wore my cowboy hat to dinner tonight!!
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