Trip Start Sep 14, 2006
169Trip End ??? ??, 2007
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Where I stayed
The Ghan and Indian Pacific trains are a little anal when it comes to ticketing. They really don't like you switching seats before the off so I braced myself and thought of England. This guy was appalling. Within five minutes he was already on to his sons and daughters who live in the UK, and the various holiday spots he'd been to in Queensland
The following 26 hours were fairly routine. PSP, books, newspapers and chatting to Irish couple that turned out to be brother and sister travelling together. You don't see many siblings doing that but these two were great together - like best friends.
So we arrived on Sunday in Alice Springs. Northern Territory's second biggest town is a bit of a backwater. It's a dire place really that has Ayer's Rock to thank for it's fame
My hostel was, Annie's Place, and I'd visited it before during a spare few hours on my Northbound journey. I'd followed a recommendation and will be passing the same recommendation on - a nice well run place which lives up to its "Friendly Backpackers" slogan. I checked into my 10 bed dorm and bumped into Edward (Mongolia, China, Darwin and now Alice Springs!) again - very spooky. He'd just come back from his Ayer's Rock tour and gave me the low down as I was leaving for mine in the morning.
I ventured out into Alice Springs and found the Kangaroo Sanctuary that I'd heard good things about. The guy who runs it is a bit left-field but he is doing great work so hat's off to him. Basically when a kangaroo is bouncing along the Stuart Highway and gets hit by the night Greyhound bus from Darwin at 120kph it's understandable to think there's no point in stopping to pick up the pieces. However, a kangaroo's pouch is a very muscular area and there's always a chance the cutest little joey might be inside and well and wondering what all the commotion is. So our friendly kangaroo saviour urges people to stop when they hit or see a dead kangaroo and check the contents of the pouch. Should you find something then that's where the fun starts. You have to make a little surrogate pouch out of a t-shirt and let the little fellow hop in and keep him snug. Kangaroos and humans have the same body temperature so holding him tightly let's him know he's safe and well. So, for five dollars I got to spend 40 minutes or so talking to the guy and coo-ing over the joeys.