Travel Journal


(Monday 6 February 2012) by Karen O'Shea
Adelaide to Alice Springs

If I thought the last tour was roughing it in the outback….boy was I mistaken. This tour was just back to basics… tents….no electricity….no cooking with gas…no camping running water…no toilets….no frills of any kind. Just back to basics with good old Mother Nature, I had missed her.:-)

It’s pretty amazing how quickly you adapt when you realize….”this is the way it is Karen now get on with it”, and I did and it was an incredible tour. I learned quite a bit, from swapping recipes’, to trying to figure out the constellations, new card games and how to build a camp fire.
To be honest I think everyone of us learned something new and all our worlds got that little bit bigger.:-)

Six weeks earlier I was hoping the tour would be cancelled as I was thinking of maybe doing something else. I mean I really had my fingers crossed to be emailed telling me it was cancelled. I did get an email and it said it was going ahead, so I reckoned it was karma. I was meant to be on this tour….and I’m so glad I was, saw some amazing places, some amount of animals and the other 7 guys and girls I travelled were sound out and really great fun to go walkabout with. It was awesome:-):-)

We travelled from Adelaide to Alice Springs over 11 days.
Tour map
Tour map

We were in some really remote areas. The roads varied from highways, to back roads, to real dirt tracks that were really rough, to making up our own roadway, but we were in a 4 wheel drive land rover so it wasn’t so bad.

It was some beast of a machine, we drove into gorges, dried up river beds , up and down sand dunes and into pot holes the size of a small car.

When I say remote, I mean some days we only met one car all day long. It’s funny how a car full waves way over the top when they meet another……great excitement.:-):-)

The temperature was hot hot hot. Varied from 33 to 40 degrees. It rained one day, god I was so over joyed. The heat was bearable most of the time but the odd time I found it a little hard to handle. So I stayed in the shade…. that’s of course if you could find some. Even the drinking water I had was so hot, if I just dropped a tea bag into the bottle…..hey presto …..a great cup of tea!! Mrs Doyle would be delighted….:-):-)

We stayed in swags again, they really are cozy. Its amazing everynight we set up camp there was some different wildlife to contend with. Before I went I was thinking it’s just spiders all the way, thankfully I only saw one spider on the first night and no more after that. Yeah I know they were there everynight but I didn’t go looking.

Another night it was crickets…about 3 inches in length. A few kangaroos and wallabies near our camp. Wild cats, dingo’s, guanas, grass hoppers, cows, bats, mosquito’s, lizards, flies but the biggest nuisance of them all was ants. There were ant hills everywhere….It was real antville central!!!
Didn’t even get a chance to worry about snakes..too much else to take into consideration. But it was really beautiful sleeping in the swags looking up at the stars………unreal!!

We stayed in some real cool places. In gorges,, old abandoned railway and plenty of creeks, some dried up and some with water. Every chance we got with watering holes (not pubs, the likes of creeks/lakes) we hopped in, really refreshing in that kind of temperature.:-)

Took a camel ride that was fun. A bit tricky getting off one I might add. I tasted some kangaroo, it was like steak but left an after taste, also tried camel this was chewy. Don’t think I will be ordering any of them in seasons 52.:-)

Had an aborigine lady visit us one night giving us a little info about the aborigine culture. The further north we went the more aborigine communities we came across. The alcohol laws in the Northern Terrority are really strict because alcoholism within the aborigine community isn’t that uncommon. (It’s unfair to paint them all with the one brush but I suppose a few have messed it up for all the communities).

By the time we got near Alice Springs the price of beer had doubled in price from Adelaide. Some areas are “dry areas”, no drink at all. God I know quite a lot of my blogs have mentioned beer but I’m just using it as an example (honestly)...........i would imagine the price of toilet paper had increased too….lol :-)

We stopped off in Cooper Pedy and I saw for myself a lot of middle aged men and women just hanging around the street drinking, it was quite sad really. Some people feel once the aborigine community got payment some stopped working as they were getting money easily. This led to plenty of free time. This led to having nothing to do. This led to drinking…..and it just escalated from there. I hope the younger generation gets more help so things can change for the better.

Cooper Pedy is an opal mining town. And it’s so hot there. So a lot of the houses are build underground into the rock. They look really good, but I think I’d miss having a window…..I wouldn’t be able to curtain twitch…

Throughout the whole journey shops were pretty scarce so when we came across one…........ALL IN. One shop in Oodnadatta was pretty amazing. It doubled as a coffee shop, post office, hardware store, petrol station, off license, tourist info centre, shop, counseling service, library, gift shop, chemist and a garage…….and get this….. it had WIFI…..hilarious.

Eventually got to Ayers rock. It really is a giant. Walked 11 km around it. We visited it for sunset and on Australia day had breakfast near it watching the sun rise. Awesome. Pretty beautiful to witness. Also took a helicopter around the rock and Kata Tjuta/Olgas this was very exciting. When we were flying all I could think of was the opening scenes to Magnum PI…lol….except our pilot was better looking….lol

Time means absolutely nothing when I’m travelling. I am aware of the month and where i am in the countries but the time and date mean nothing (it’s ok I know it’s Monday and I’m still in oz) but I guess I haven’t been in a rush anywhere since…since a while back anyway….(like I said I can’t give you the date…lol).

I was amazed that I never came across a snake in fact I was nearly disappointed. Until I walked into a bar in Alice Springs and asked the barman…”hey can I wear your snake”….yeah he had a small live python around his neck….his name was K O. So I got to see all the wildlife I was expecting to see….maybe not in the environments I had imagined. ;-)

Overall what an enjoyable tour, really had great fun. And met some amazing people along the way….it was total Karma mannnnnnnnnnn……………………;-);-);-);-);-);-);-);-)

  • Wish I was there by Gearoidin
  • x by mandy
  • xxxx by Big Coz

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