Bal's Trip Round the World in 96 Days
Hi everyone, Next stop on from Sydney, at the recommendation of Carmel and Simon, was Alice Springs, known to most Aussies as 'The Alice' where I would be taking a 3 day tour of Uluru (Ayres Rock), Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and Kings Canyon. And of course aptly the night before flying out there I was treated to a DVD which naturally had to be Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Funnily enough Carmel and Simon had been to the drag bar in the opening scenes of the film just days before my departure so this kind of felt like it was meant to be. I have to say firstly the Red Centre was excruciatingly hot at 45degC throughout the majority of the day and the flies were of the in your eyes, up your nose, in your ears, zzzzzz variety. I was warned before hand to get a fly net (which I am modelling in one of the photos), there's also a similar photo where I took off the net for a minute, all looks ok but if you look closely my eyes are closed as there are 3 flies trying to gain entry to my eye sockets - nice!!! Enough about the flies more about the place, the Alice is a bit like the place the world forget apart from lots of back packer places, there was however one fabulous place called Bojangles Pub which was packed all afternoon by those escaping the heat and keeping cool with the local grog (booze). Met a very nice couple there Jill and Jim from near Bournemouth I seem to recollect and went for surprisingly one of the best pizzas I've ever had. So the Alice wasn't quite as remote as I thought. After the hottest night ever which must have been 30degC it was off the next morning to join the tour which began after a long minibus journey to the Kata Tjuta (Olgas) for a walk in 50degC heat then to Uluru for the sunset wine and photos session. The people on the tour were of all ages from 8 to up to 55 or so and of all nationalities so a nice mixed group. After the wine and sunset at the rock it was back to camp for dinner cooked by our fabulous guide, Chappie. We all got the job of washing and clearing up which I have to admit was a nice way of getting to know everyone, and it is so nice to see guys up to their elbows in dishes!! Next morning we woke at 4:15(!) and after having the Southern Cross pointed out to me (it's the stars on the Aussie flag which are only seen by the southern hemisphere and you can only see them from about 1am onwards), it was off for a walk around Uluru. Didn't want to climb the rock as it's a sacred Aboriginal place. It was an interesting walk round with lots of really interesting Aboriginal folklore about parts of the rock. We headed off to Kings Creek camp that afternoon and had a superb evening which included a guitar played round the campfire by Chappie and one of the Danish boys not to mention a visit by a dingo who I'm sure smelt the cooking and wanted some of it. We were allowed a lie in the next morning only having to wake at 5am to head off for Kings Canyon. This has to be my personal fave, we walked up the canyon and down into it to a lake called the Garden of Eden then back up and out. The views were spectacular as you'll see from the photies. It was then back to Alice Springs on the dirt road which was fun for about 2 mins then majorly uncomfortable but hey ho. Went to dinner with the lovely Danish families at the Pizza restaurant, a nice end to my visit to the Red Centre.