So...after leaving Magnetic Island we head inland bound for Alice Springs! So far we have travelled over 2.5 thousand kms since we set off on our road trip and have easily that to do again. The first town we visit is Charters Towers, straight away the architect and the people change. The big towns along the weya are all mining towns and you can almost predict the boom time from the type of buildings. It is impossible to comprehend the sheer vastness of the country and we travel mile after mile of straight, deserted road. First night at Hughenden (hot in the daytime freezing at night!). Stopped of for pictures at Julia Creek, amidst celebrations as the town was celebrating it's centenery. The pace of life has changed sooooo much. People talk real slow and nothing has any need to rush about...spent the night at Mount Isa then surrounded by read earth make a call to home for Toby's 30th birthday party. We got up at stupid o'clock and spoke to several rather drunk individuals (you know who you are!!!) Made us miss you all heaps but were still not coming back yet! We will probably take a couple of days until getting to AS. Spend the next night at Barkly Homestead as small garage surrounded by 2 huge cattle stations. Everyone in this bar is a cowboy. One very drunk local asked a cowboy who we had seen in the bar at 11am when we arrived (this happened about 11pm!) who was ancient, to punch him as he needed someone to punch him, well the old fella swiftly and energetically obliged and smacked him square in the mouth knocking a couple of teeth on his way. Welcome to the outback!!!
As the drive can get quite samey (apart from overtaking a 53 foot road train) the drivers wave a cheery little wave as they pass on by and hours of fun can be had!!! The landscape is unforgiving at times and the red earth and dry riverbeds amazing to see. Arrive at the Devils Marbles and watch the sun set and rise on these amazing red rocks. They are believed to have once been below ground and over time (lots of time) the elements have washed away the softer rock leaving this amazing sight. On the way we travelled through a bush fire and the smoke cloud is still visable even though it is 100's of km's away. Next day off to Wycliffe Well the UFO capital of Australia (very unusual place) filled with UFO things and several life size incredible hulks around the garden. This all does nothing to rival the KING KONG memorial in the back room! Passed through the Stuart Memorial, the centre of Australia today. Stop at the Ti Tree station (they have the countrys most central pub) too early for a beer thought (not everyone seemed to thinks so though!) Bush camping again and we spend the night at Gemtree, gem fields. Cook dinner on the bush fire (jacket spuds and lamb cutleys) check out the 5* table setting and set down for a night around the camp fire and starry sky's. Arrive in Alice Springs on the 24th. Spend the night there then set off on our 400+ km drive to Yulara the Ayers Rock - Uluru resort. Stopped of at Stuarts Well, home of 'Dinky the Singing Dingo'! chuck a right at Erulanda and arrive mid afternoon at the expensive purpose built resort. Head straight out to the famous rock for sunset, there were lots of other people there, some having chips and dips, the great thing about driving around with your entire home behind you is that we managed to russle up cheese and buiscuits and a few tinnies! Next day up early for sunrise and back out to the National Park. Emma and Jay walk the 9.5 km's to curcumnavigate this amazing rock but decide not to climb it at the request and respect of the Aboriginal owners. From here visit Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) a series of 36 mounds of rock and walk the gorge. Next day off to Kings Canyon and tackle the walk up and around the canyon rim. Emma escapes the 400 odd km drive back to Alice Springs and spends a blistful few hours finishing off the new Harry Potter book. Drop the van off on the 30th and catch a flight to Cairns which is where we are now!!!!! We are trying to work our pland out and need to get to Darwin as cheaply as possible. We will probably leave Aus a little early (need to get somewhere cheeper!) but am sure we will update you again much quicker than last time. Bye for now Emma & Jay x x x x