Time To Saddle Up The Camels And Ramble
This section features my last two days in Alice Springs. There was lots packed into the final Saturday and Sunday we had to get ready for our trips to Adelaide and Sydney.
08.11.2007 to 08.12.2007
Saturday Since I had gotten sick towards the end of the week, it meant putting off doing a few things until my last days in Alice. That meant, rush rush and get it all in. No worries! First up was Telegraph Station, which was the vital station for the telegraph line between Adelaide and Darwin. A watering hole nearby is what helped give Alice Springs it's name. In other words, this place was full of history. There was a tour guide on hand who was full of all sorts of great info and stories. He had grown up at the station and saw a lot. The old buildings helped you realize just how tough it must have been to live out there more than a hundred years ago. No AC - ouch! Well, it was one of those places that you visit and feel grateful at all the hard work people put into making it happen and building the communication line which helped get Australia a vital link to the outside world. After we left the station we needed some sustenance in our tummies. The Old TImers Fete was just what we needed. Oodles of bric-a-brac and food stalls as well. We had little need for either bric or brac, so we just loaded up on some tasty eats. There were belly dancers as well. Lunch and a show. After lunch we stopped to watch one of the wee dingo's soccer game. It was a perfect day out and we got to watch some good action. Of course being on the tight schedule we were on it was shortly time to depart for our next destination: The Camel Farm . We signed up to do a one-hour camel ramble along the Todd River. It was only the CEO and myself plus the guide. Prior to riding we walked around, had some ice-creams and got ready for an outback experience like no other. Truly one of the biggest rushes is getting on the camel and having it stand up. Wooooooo! You are up high and they get up pretty fast. The ride itself is very smooth as you rock back and forth. The camels were well behaved with no spitting, or trying to chew up anything. They seemed to be very well trained and it sure made the ride wonderful. Out in the bush was very peaceful on the camels, with about the only sound being the click of some of the metal on the saddles. About half-way in we stopped at some larger ghost gum trees in the Todd River. The guide got some pictures of us on the camels and we soon headed back down the middle of the river. Well, the term river, was used loosely at this time of year. It was more like a sandy desert, and it was wild to think that water does indeed flow down the river. I could tell about now that sitting on a camel for a long period of time is not very comfortable (unless you are used to it - and we were not). For the last 20 minutes of the ride I could tell I was ready to return to the ground. Ahhhhh, back to the ground. The CEO was in agreement. I think I fared a bit better due to my cycling experience. Overall, it was a blast and I would love to do it again. I'm not sure about the longer tours. Just be prepared to be sore if you do. Continuing with the busy theme, we did have dinner plans, so we headed back home to clean up and then get some goods at the grocery store. It was dinner at the CEO's sister's and family's house. This time around there was no BBQ, instead we were making enchiladas. Truly one of the strange things in Alice Springs is the lack of Mexican restaurants: none. Coming from Bend, where we have more than you can shake a tamale at, it's a shock. The cooks did a great job and it was indeed muy bueno mates! After our Mexican dinner it was only suiting that we watching a movie called The Mexican. Yeah, the one with Brad Pitt. It was good and a fine way to end the evening of a very busy day. Sunday After the previous days activities it was a good day to sleep in. Well, with the light schedule today it was much easier to lounge around a bit. No camel soreness for me, but the same could not be said for the CEO. A good thing that all we had to do little besides pack and eat was kick back. We did get invited to one last BBQ, which featured shrimp on the barbie. It wasn't the cliche kind you get at Outback Steakhouse either. Yeah! After some more packing up the suitcases, washing clothes and cleaning up it was almost dinner time. Yes, sort of sounded like eating and then eating again, but really we had a lot to pack up and get ready. For dinner we kept it simple and hit KFC. Yep, American fast food at last. Well, I do see KFC as higher on the fast food list than say McDonalds. The biggest difference is there are no biscuits at the Aussie KFC, instead they give you french fries. Yes, fries and mashed potatoes. Of course this night they were out of mashed potatoes. Damn! One of the best things about KFC is the mashed potatoes and gravy. Oh well. Otherwise it was just like back here. Greasy and good, well, maybe not THAT good, but good enough. After dinner we had another movie treat. This time it was the Aussie cult hit The Castle. Simply put this film is so funny and is a classic wether you are Australian or not. If you like families about odd families (like Napoleon Dynamite) this is so worth seeing. It put a huge smile on my face, just like the rest of my time in Alice Springs. Amazing.
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