I am now on a camping adventure trip from Alice Springs to Adelaide. Left Alice Springs about 2 hours ago. Its now 7.00am and thank goodness we have stopped for breakfast. Have now met some of my fellow travellers and needless to say on an adventure camping trip I am the oldest by I would think 25 years. The ones I have talked to thought it was great what I am doing.
Our first stop is Kings Canyon. After a BBQ lunch we hike to the top and walk around the rim. You could see for miles. The red dirt, red rocks and the green trees and bushes looked so vivid against the blue sky. Later, along the road we stop for firewood for the camp fire.
I must be mad as I have now been persuaded to sleep under the stars in a swag (Aussie bedroll).
After a fantastic night's sleep out in the open it's an early start for the sunrise at Ayers Rock (Uluru). It is everything I thought it would be and more - I am so glad I made the effort to come here. It's so flat around here the rock can be seen for miles and miles. As the sun hit the rock it changed from a dull brown to a deep orange/red. After taking too many photos its off for a walk around the base and its still only 7.45am (nearly a 3 hour walk!).
Our next stop is Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). These are 36 steep-sided domes. The highest one stands 546 metres high. Back to our camp for lunch. We also lose some of our party as they are doing other trips.
We are now a group of 9 (8 females 1 male). We go back to the rock for sunset. Well before sunset the drink starts to flow - by the time the sun set I had no idea if I actually took a picture of it.
Later that night at our camp we toasted marshmallows sitting around the camp fire. This is when I realised I was travelling with a group of mad people. I cannot remember the last time I laughed so much.
Cooper Pedy today. Its about an eight hour drive. As we turn onto the Stuart Highway that will be our last corner for at least 6 hours. This could have been a boring day. As I climbed onto the bus I was serenaded with "happy birthday". Last night it was decided someone would have a birthday every day till we get to Adelaide and today, as I dsicovered, it was mine. Only 4 hours into the journey and we have written all over the windows with marker pens. The jokes are shocking so now it's time for a sleep.
Eventually we arrive at Cooper Pedy. This is the opal capital of the world. What a place this is - right in the middle of nowhere. Most people live underground as the temperature ranges from -5 to 56 deg. The underground houses stay at a steady temp of 24 deg.
Of course that night we end up at an underground pub. Then its back to our dorm which is also underground.
Today we have time for a walk and a ride around the sights then sadly its time to say goodby to Cooper Pedy. You either love this place or hate it and we all loved it.
Our next stop is Quorn - this is a historic railway town.
We climb Mt Ohlssen-Bagge today to see the sweeping views of the desert and Lake Torrens. We didn't actually see anything as the clouds came down. We move on to Yourambulla Caves to see aboriginal rock paintings. We spend the night watching a flim about backpackers who are murdered in the Outback ("Wolf Creek").
Our last day in Quorn. After breakfast we hike this time to the top of Devils Peak for stunning 360 degree views. But, once again the weather had other plans. This time it rained on and off and by the time we got to the top we were in the clouds. Never mind, good exercise. I have booked an extra night in Adelaide so I can go to our end of trip dinner and also it's Cynthia's birthday tomorrow (her real one). A great night was had by all.
My last day is spent looking around Adelaide. At 8.15pm I board an overnight bus to Melbourne. This will take me 10 hours.