Greetings to one and all!!!
After the guest author spot, the journal returns to normality.
DSW has now returned from his Gay-Camp and has many, many stories which all seem to start 'This one time, at Surf Camp' but it is good to have him back. From now it seems that we will be together for the next 4 months. Enough about him as for the last few weeks I have been with the boys in the outback without smudger. The last entry was from Adelaide and after a eventful night out with Farm, Will East and Pipes in Adelaide which culminated in us singing 'Afternoon Delight' of Anchor Man fame at a less than impressed karaoke bar, the four of us hit the road.
We set off in the Ford Falcon which had been christened 'The Vaccinater' (Please refer to Maradonas autobiography for details) and our first stop was the Barossa Valley where we visited the Wolf Blass winery. We had our pictures taken with the Wolf Blass Eagle and then attempted to make it sound like we knew what the hell we were talking about when tasting a 'full-bodied chiraz' and 'a more earthy oak flavoured red'. After a short tour chronicling the history of Mr. Wolf Blass we headed up to the Flinders Ranges and visted a couple of very scenic lookouts viewing across the whole range and visited Mckenzie Falls.
That evening we set up our tents for the 1st time and began our real outback experience. We got the gas stove out and feeling like a young Ray Mears, we cooked a nutritious tuna pasta meal and ate under the stars. However after the pasta, we did have some caramel mud cake and custard which I doubt Ray Mears would have had access to. The four of us then sat round late into the night and played some poker and were sooned joined by a Aussie man called Dave who donated several bottles of red wine from his own winery to our cause. This lad was a definite character, having a laugh like an AK47 and producing saying like 'That hand was about as exciting as kissing your sister'. (A nice but somewhat eccentric individual!) As already stated we know little about wine so we were more than happy to take it off his hands.
The next day was not the best. After a 2 hour walk into the middle of Wilpena Pound we set off to drive out of the ranges and cut across a section of unsealed road to reduce our driving time. This proved to be a mistake as when Mark 'Reckless' Farmer took the wheel, we promptly hit a rock in the road and smashed our tranmission. Fornunately, on the deadest of roads a kind couple towed us back to the nearest town. Unfortunately, all that was in this town was a community hall, a small hotel and a petrol station but no bloody garage to fix the car. The RAAC were then called and we were towed to a smilarly quiet town called 'Copley' which did have a garage and this was where we would have to stay for as long as it took to fix our car. We were stuck there for three long days in the end. The population of this town was just 100 people and the General Store which claimed to be 'Open All Hours' was in fact closed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The pub shut at 8pm every night unless it was busy (which of course it never was) and the bakery was shut from October until............Easter!!! - No sausage rolls for us!! Each day we would go to the garage to discover that the car wasn't quite ready or the part hadn't come in so we amused ouselves with copious amounts of outback cricket and cards.
When we eventually hit the road again we were behind schedule as we had to abandon our unsealed road idea and head all the way back to the highway. After several hours of 'Barbaric' driving from all the members of the team we reached another camping spot where we spent the night before heading off to Uluru and Ayers Rock. We drove around the rock that evening and watched the sunset over the rock before camping at the purpose built Ayers Rock resort for the evening before rising at 6 o'clock to see the sunrise but by the time we arrived the sun had risen and so was a bit anti-climatic. We chose not to climb the rock as that was deemed disrespectful to the aboriginals. (Please note that DSW and Gems did not care about respect and decided to climb the bloody thing anyway).
We only went on a short walk of the Olgas (A large group of rocks not far from Ayers Rock) due to the massive number of flies and the scorching heat, and then headed to Kings Canyon where we pitched our tent and went for a walk at the base of canyon. Myself and Mr. East played a bit of late night cards that evening which was interrupted by the highly poisonious redback spider making spinning a web directly next to his leg. Despite my thinking that there no way that something that small could kill you we ended the game there and then. The next day we went on the Kings Canyon Rim Walk which was spectactular and made it into the top three walks that we have done.
We ploughed onto Alice Springs from there and that evening found Mr. Smith Watson and Gemma were also there and so met them for a few cheeky jugs of beer before they departed for their own tour of the Red Centre. The next night was my last with 'Team Keith' and the Vaccinater so after some poker we decided to play a bit of pub golf to start the evening off. This was not a full pub golf course as it turns out that Alice Springs only has about 7 pubs but it got us going sufficiently. The night ended in a pub called 'Bojangles', which had a webcam from which anyone in the world could watch us drink, dance and be merry. Also, via the internet people could buy us booze and in fact one person did contribute $20 dollars worth of booze into our kitty and that person was the big headed beauty that is Mr. Matthew Suchley- Cheers Lug!!
That was the end of my road trip and I headed back to Sydney and met Smudger, Steph and Gems.
Gems has now left the team but will always have Team MC in her heart I am sure.
The other 3 of us headed to sunny Fiji!!