Still feeling hung over from the night before the Goonies, with Kev still missing, went to catch our flight to Alice Springs. The best solution to any hangover is get something greasy so we had a meal at Burger King which was the only thing we could find in the airport. Burger King failed us and was left feeling even worse and bloated for our two hour flight to Alice Springs.
We landed in Alice Springs around mid afternoon and immediately was knocked out by the heat. He heard that it was hot but nothing could have prepared us for temperatures averaging around 40 degrees. We had also heard that you need head nets to keep of the flies off you and they were not wrong. Waiting outside the airport for our transfer to the hostel we were bombarded by fruit flies that was vicious and never gave up attacking our heads.
As our three day outback tour started very early in the morning the next day we wanted a chill out day and relax. We decided to cook ourselves a curry which is something we have not had in ages. Being big eaters we need a lot of meat and the only thing that was in our budget was this lump of Silver Corner Cut Beer where we got approximately 1.1 KG for less that 7 AU$. Needlessly to say this meat was horrible as it had an extremely soft gamy texture which randomly tasted like pork. With over 300 grams of rancid meat to eat each only John was able to eat all of this curry, leaving me and Chris looking like disgraced buffet eaters having just barely grazing the top half of our dinner.
The next day had arrived swiftly and we were congregated outside the hostel at 6AM where we were separated into our group who we would be spending the next three days with. There was 20 people in our group and 2 tour guides. Our first destination was Uluru which took approximately 3.5 hours to drive to on one dead straight road which apparently only had one right turn in the middle. We arrived in Uluru which is more famously referred to as ‘The Big Rock’ and commonly featured on generic Australian post cards. In Uluru we did a small rim walk around the ‘’rock’ and another cultural walk called the Mala Walk which took approximately 45 minutes each. In the evening we were left at a sunset viewing point to admire the sun fading away behind the ‘rock’ whilst dinner was being prepared for us.
On our first night we finally discovered what a swag bag was. For no apparent reason I had an image in my head that it was an all in one fancy sleeping bag / mat with a built in net to keep off flies and mosquitoes. Due to this assumption I had not pack anything to sleep in as we never questioned my assumption. My assumption was wrong as a swag was just simply a sleeping mat that was stored in a bag that we used outside. Needless to say I looked kind of strange as I slept outside on a swag with just my usual sleeping clothes, a pair of boxer shorts. It was certainly warm enough but not pleasant when you have dingo’s swarming around you at night in search of food.
The next day was an extremely early start at 4:30AM to have breakfast and see sunrise at a viewpoint overlooking Uluru. Afterwards we visited the Cultural Centre to learn about the Aborigines before driving to Kata Tjuta for another hike and taking information from our guides about the valley. In Kata Tjuta we did a hike called the ‘Valley of the Winds’ which was a pretty scenic hike as the valley was pretty deep so you was always surrounded by tall golden brown walls that was a huge contrast from the deep blue skies. After the hike we spent the rest of the afternoon driving to our third and final destination called Kings Canyon. The drive was long so the guide had a music / film competition for us where we had to guess the artist and name of the song plus the film it was featured in. I teamed myself with a Czech couple who was sitting behind me and surprisingly won the quiz and was rewarded with a small chocolate bar which went down a treat as the meals they provided lack the quantity the Goonies are normally used to.
Our final day we was in Kings Canyon for another early start at 4:30AM. After a quick breakfast we had a quick bus ride to the base of our 3 hour hike. We first hiked up to a small summit where we would see the sunrise over Kings Canyon. Then we continued with a 3 hours culture walk through Kings Canyon where our guide stopped a lot providing us with lots of interesting information about the area and the significance to the Aborigines. We even did a little role play as the guide described how the Aborigine people handle crime and punishment. Halfway in our walk there was a natural spring which was in a crater so the water was very dark and could not see what was at the bottom. Needless to say there were not many takers to swim in it with only myself and another Norwegian guy taking the plunge. After the hike we returned back to Kings Canyon resort for lunch before our long drive back to Alice Springs.
For our last night in Alice Springs our group met up at a restaurant for dinner and a few drinks. Here we all had Chicken Parmesan for dinner which was really nice but did not really fill me up. So I questioned the group as to who wanted another dinner and got everyone who wanted a second dinner to raise their hand. To my amazement all the men wanted another meal and we all ordered a second dinner of fish and chips. Our guide tour found this hilarious and decided to spill a few home truths. He branded our group as ‘animals’ and said he has never had a group who ate so much. We had 3 small Germans girls in our group which the guide was mortified by as he couldn’t believe the amounts they were eating. On our first day we had managed to eat 3 days worth of breakfast in just one sitting which pretty much sums up our greedy ‘animalistic’ group.
Next stop to the multicultural city of the world, Melbourne.