Trip Start Feb 07, 2008
12Trip End Jun 20, 2008
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Where I stayed
Slept outside under the stars
We flew a looooong way to Alice Springs where we hired to troopies and packed in 22 poeple and food and equipment for 8 days in the outback. Our plan was to drive 1500 kms and tour some of Australia's famous and not so famous natural wonders.
On day one we drove to the Finke river (one of the oldest in Australia) and camped on the sandy river bed with a nice fire and not so much food for the first night.
Day Two we travelled to Uluru seeing a singing dingo on the way. We drove near to 350 kms and walked a 7.4 km track around Kata Juta to see a beautiful sunset of the area. Sitting next to champagne sipping rich tourists. We then headed back for an outback treat at the tavern and finished off with some Coldplay and mid 90's classic alternatives (thank goodness!!!).
Day Three saw an early rise for the anticipated Uluru sunrise
Day Four was a big walking day. We drove 100kms to Kings Canyon to do the cuircut walk which was 6.4 kms and stunning with many lookouts and a nice swim for some of us. We then packed our bags and headed off on the Giles track for around 7 kms crossing domes and a high ridge. We didn't quite get to camp for sunset so waited at a high point and trundled off the camp on twighlight.
Day 5 we awoke to a plain sunset but from a great location. Jude and i waited for students to head off to give them some space and as they were so fast we nearly had to jog to catch them. It took us 4kms to reach the party. They were a fast bunch the 2008 semester 1 group!!!!! We then headed off on the Mereenie loop (an area of aboriginal land that we need permits to drive through). It was a bumby ride enjoyed by me and whoever was in the front. 213 kms later we arrived at an amazing campsite near palm valley. Red cliffs and isolation-what more could you want. We heard some dingoes and had a blast around the fire. The usual night owls stayed up and talked forever.
Day 6 we went to Hermesberg 20 kms up the road. We went to an old anglican mission and wise Steve forgot to tell the Manager what was going on. After 30 minutes we were told to leave or pay up. We left and steve felt guilty and gave them a very large tip feeling quite embarrased about the whole thing. We drove to Ormiston Gorge and did a 7 km walk through some amazing gorges and i felt like we were in africa looking out at the plains. We camped at redbank Gorge.
Day 7: 2.30 AM-10 students head off on an 18 km round trip to the top of Mt Sonder for sunrise (HARDCORE!!!!)
Day 8. Rainnig in the morning...WHAT THE?????? It has not rained for 8 months and we enjoyed a sprinkle through the wee hours of the morning till we left Alice. Steve got up every hour after 3 am to see if the river was flooding. he was uneasy and glad when the bottom of the river bed was still dry under the surface. We had an extra 2 hours in Alice to look and buy tourist stuff. We were still running frantic to get o the plane in time but did so. All in all we drove 1481 kms and walked between 45 and 65 kms. We had 7 fires, 3 blown fuses in the car, 7 not 10 stoves.