Oh no, just wrote everything down and then the computer crashes!! I can't believe this! Anyway, back to the start again...
Sa. 16/07/05, Su 17/07/05 & Mo. 18/07/05
Have a cold.... So annoying, couldn't really go out the past 3 days. Today (monday) was the first day I actually wentt outside to meet with Renee & Richard and say goodbye to them. Hope it will be better tomorrow cause I've got a tour to Melbourne planned...
Didn't manage to upload the pictures yet, you'll be able to see "Uluru crying", "Rainbow Uluru", etc... in the next few days.
Arrived in Adelaide around 9am, went to the hostel where I met Rens, a dutch guy and hung out with him for a while, waiting for my laundry to finish. When it was, I decided to go into Adelaide and meet Renee and Richard who had arrived here earlier. It was nice to see them again, and we decided to go out. We had a fun and way to late night out...
Before leaving Alice again I still wanted to see the royal flying doctors museum, so the night before I had asked Katherine (danish), Laurie (french), Doug (US) and Sarah (UK) if they felt like coming. And at 10am this morning they were actually there, that was nice. So we had a look through the museum and then it was time for me to leave again. Say the dreaded good-byes and leave to Adelaide.
The journey on the Ghan was ok again, I actually sat next to german girl who also lived in Frankfurt. It was the first time I had spoken german again in quite a while.
Got up at 5am (today for the last time!) and drove off to Kings Canyon to do a walk there. This walk was the best of all the walks I've done here so far. The scenery was simply breathtaking, the sun was shining and the walk was pretty exciting with several climbs. You had some amazing views down and across the canyon, Anthony told us that Kings Canyon is actually the world's biggest canyon (the grand canyon is actually a gorge) it would be an interesting fact, but once again I am not sure whether to believe Anthony, guess I'll get back to this one as well...
After the walk it was time to head back to Alice, we had a long bus drive ahead of us, but a nice stop to look forward to. Dinky, the singing and piano playing dingo. We didn't really know what to expect, and we didn't know if Anthony was serious about this one, so we were all kind of sceptic when we came in. Then the owner asked MArk (one of the english guys) to sit down and play some piano. He did, and then Dinky came out, he jumped on the chair, put his feet on the piano and started howling. That was really funny.
We arrived in Alice about 7pm and met for dinner at 8pm. After that we all went to the Bojangles (nightclub, only one in Alice???) and had a great night.
Off to the Olgas (aboriginal name: Kata Tjuta, which means many heads. The Kata Tjuta actually have 36 domes, the Aboriginals believed all of them contained wisdom.) We did the walk around the Olgas once again in the pouring rain. That was terrible, it was so cold, the rocks were slippery and the sights weren't that amazing. We were all so happy to be back in the bus afterwards, and back at the campsite we threw all our clothes and shoes in the dryer, had some hot chocolate and started warming up again slowly.
After lunch we drove to Kings Creek Station, a 4h busride we were all looking forward to mainly because the bus had heating... We arrived just before sunset and set up our tents with daylight for the first time!
Sunrise at Uluru! After a quick breakfast and a strong coffee we drove to the sunrise viewing area in Uluru national park. We actually made it in time! And what happened next made up for the sunset we missed last night (and would miss the nigth after), a double rainbow suddenly appeared above Uluru!!! It was sooo beautiful... Unfortunately the pictures didn't work out too well, but this picture will alway be in my head.
This made my day! After enjoying the sunrise we drove to the Uluru cultural centre. It was like a museum where you could read about the aboriginals who had been living there. You could read about some of the stories they had about their rock. There were also a lot of letters from people who had taken sand or a piece of rock home and sent it back after experiencing bad luck. So no piece of Uluru for us! Than back in the bus for the 9km base walk around Uluru, I started wondering what Uluru actually meant, so I asked Anthony and he didn't know!!! He had to check it in his book, and after doing so he explained that it was named after Paddy Uluru, who was the caretaker of the national park about 20.000 yrs ago. Don't know if I believe him though, guess I'll be coming back to this...
After the base walk we had lunch at the camp and then drove back in the pouring rain to do the Mala walk. It was a walk that went past all the sites and rockpaintings where the aboriginals used to hold their mala ceremony. We were so cold and wet afterwards, but the view we had on Uluru once again made up for everything. There were actually waterfalls coming out... It looked amazing.
Unfortunately no sunset tonight due to cloud cover but we were still on a high because of the waterfalls.
The Ghan arrived around 7:30h and the first thing I noticed getting out was ...the freezing cold... It was about 10 degrees, which normally wouldn't be to bad, but coming from 35 degrees in Darwin it was quite a shock... I took the shuttlebus to the hostel, took a hoser, packed my bag and prepared for the "red centre" (outback) tour ahead of me. When I was ready I still had plenty of time till 12am, so I decided to go to the reptile museum with Teresa (girl from the UK I met in Alice). It was pretty interesting seeing all those snakes & lizzards and also seeing a show about the which was actually for a bunch of schoolkids there, but we could join.
Then at 12am exactly, Anthony, the tour-guide came and the adventure could start. In the bus I slept most of the time (it was an 8 hour bus ride to the campsite at Uluru - Ayers rock). Unfortunately due to bad planning while picking up people we missed the sunset at Uluru... The main reason for going there... Uluru is a huge rock which changes color (usually into a bright red) at sunrise and sunset. Anyway, we drove to the campsite, set up our tents and then warmed ourselves up around the fire.
This morning I was going to travel to Alice Springs (Northern Territory - outback) with the "Legendary Ghan" railway that goes from Darwin-Adelaide. It started off with quite some stress. I was expecting the railway station to be in walking distance from the backpackers I was staying at, so I was having a relaxed breakfast, chatting to 2 other backpackers, when I remembered that it might be a good idea to go downstairs and ask at the reception how long a walk it would be. The guy at the reception looked at me in disbelief, the railway station is about a 45 min drive from here,you have to go there by bus and the shuttle bus just left... oops... He said there was a dtuch guy who missed the bus as well, he was waiting at the bus station, we might be able to share a cab. So off I went to the bus station, cursing at my bad planning (when wil I ever learn it??) and suddenyl I saw a bus standing there. So I asked the bus driver where he was going.. the trainstation!!! Yes!!! I hurried to get my bags at the hostel and was on the bus just in time...
The train journey was ok, we had a 4h stop at Katherine where I went to the hot springs with Scott & Shawn, to guys I met in the Ghan. That was really refreshing, to dive into those plunge pools on such a hot day. After that we got back no the Ghan and it was time for dinner already. Then try and sleep (pretty hard chairs, can't lie down..) until the train would arrive in Alice the next day.