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Published: June 29th 2007
Up bright and early for the start of our outback safari from Adelaide to Alice Springs...3000 KM!! ...glad someone else is driving especially since we are driving NE right into the sun. We were also pleased that only 10 people signed up rather than the typical 24, so we have plenty of room in the bus to spread out and relax.
We are headed to Parachilna by way of the Flinders Ranges National Park. Our first stop was for some wine testing in the a little pub. There signage best represents the Aussies sense of humor and speak frankily about the most practical issues of life. Lunch at a public picnic area at the side of the road. In AUS they provide a gas grill which is coin operated and make cooking easy. We are impressed with the quality of the food for being on the road.
We then stopped at the ruins of a cattle station, that fell on hard time. The buildings don't have roofs, not because of decay and deterioration, but it is a way of getting them off the tax roles. The small complex was built along the river...you don't see any water just
the Red Gum trees which require a lot of water...these are what they call "up side down rivers". Ther is flowing water underground and only have visible water in a flash flood.
Then we went a a hike to observe the cave writing which show a story as told by the aboriginal elders to the younger persons. The rock formations and colorations were gorgeous. We are beginning to see the harshness of the landscape and wonder how people could live here.
We are excited about dinner in Parachilna as it promises to include kangaroo, emu and camel. Parachilna is a old railroad stop...the longest train in the world....almost 3 km long and it's going to pass during the night. We all put coins on the rail track, before our dinner, then grab a XXX Gold and walk out to the tracks for a celebration of the setting of the sun. The entire town turns out...I think it was 20 something plus a few guests. After our native animal dinner (kangaroo, emu, camel), which all really tasted great, we gathers at a wood fire in front of the "hotel/pub" to trade all kinds of stories. One guy, (couldn't have
been over 25) was a classic Aussie character...champion rodeo rider four years straight from Tasmania. Owns 19,000 acres of timber, raising cattle. A real character...had pictures of his compound fractured arm on his cell phone from a bull riding accident last year. Said he was fortunate that the fall dislocated his shoulder and pinched a nerve so the break didn't hurt....Oh, and ya the train came thru so we all jumped out to get a picture of the train flashing by. It carries coal from up north to a power plant further south.
Got talking to a guy staying overnight in his camper with his wife. The guy built the thing himself and you would not believe all he fit in the setup. Three or four voltages, solar power (doesn't like noise of generator), welding equipment for emergency repairs, showers, toilet, you name it.
The sunrise the next morning set a new standard for beautiful...the entire sky turned red.
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