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Monday 14 Dec 2009
Alice Springs, Australia

Camels and Flies

We caught a 10:45am flight from Adelaide to Alice Springs and arrived @ 11:55am - about the same as flying from Orange County to Oakland.  We'd braced ourselves for extreme heat based on where we were coming from but it wasn't bad.  It felt like Palm Springs or Phoenix in Mid-August - hot, a dry heat, but bearable.

When you rent a car here you have to sign a document stating you will NOT drive after dark or before sunrise (too many kangaroos darting across the roads).  We also opted to pay for additional insurance to take the deductable [in the event of an accident with a roo or otherwise] from $5,000.00 to $0.00. 

By the time we got checked into our hotel and decided what we wanted to do with our afternoon we had time to grab a quick bite and strolled the ‘Mall' before it closed.  We then went to the Royal Flying Doctors Exhibit.  We had tried to see this in Cairns but it was closed.  Very interesting - Started in 1928 and these doctors and flying nurses provide medical services throughout the areas of Australia that do not have medical services.  In some cases the Royal Flying Doctors are these people's regular doctors (i.e. delivering babies, regular check-ups, etc.).  In other cases they're providing emergency services in the outback or transporting injured or sick people to hospitals in larger cities. 

The last thing of the day was early evening deal so we got a transfer pickup at 5:30pm.  We were joined by a woman and her daughter from Darwin and an old Irish codger from the UK.  We rode about 20 minutes out of town and we climbed up on our Camels and took an evening stroll.  They were all tethered together and knew exactly where they were going and also knew when they got back it would be dinner time.  We were out in the ‘outback' - lots of red clay dirt and plenty of shrubbery but didn't see any kangaroos.  Saw lots of tracks in the dirt - some looked like kangaroo prints, others look like dog or dingo prints.  Several slithering tracks indicating snakes galore. 

My camel took a liking to Tony's Crocs (I was behind Tony in the Camel congo line !) so he'd nibble at Tony's feet every once in awhile.  Pretty funny.  We were cameling for about an hour then came back and helped feed them.  All in all... it was a fun way to spend a couple of hours.

We took a quick dip in the hotel pool (actually the pool was too cold so we sat in the unheated Jacuzzi which was not hot, it was just right.  After that we went to the local restaurant and Tony had kangaroo filet.  It tasted just like steak.

Tomorrow we head toward Kings Canyon for an overnight then off to Ayres Rock.


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Tony and Ellie's Adventure

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    Alice Springs   Fly Protection !
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    Feeding the Camels after our ride
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    Tony getting friendly with my camel
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    Out back in the Outback via Camel

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