In the late afternoon we finally arrived in Alice Springs - "a town on the banks of
the Todd River." The Todd River looks just like our
rivers - completely dry. After a quick stop at the hotel to
check-in and drop off our luggage, it was back on the bus for a
tour of the original Telegraph Station
on to ANZAC Hill
for the sunset and an evening view of the city.
We could have spent more time at the Telegraph Station. Our
local guide, Alec, was extremely interesting and had great stories from his
years spent in the orphanage at the station. His father was
Scottish and his mother was Aboriginal. As an infant he was left in the
bush to die but was rescued by a missionary worker. He didn't
consider himself one of the "Stolen Generation" since he
received a good education and had a relatively good life.
That night we dined at the Overlanders Steakhouse where John had
a kangaroo fillet steak (no fat, low cholesterol).
The next day in Alice Springs was free time. We toured the
city on foot. We were going to rent bikes but we couldn't find the
place. After talking with numerous people/tour offices, we
found out the bike rental business was from a private home. At one of the local
art galleries we listened to the history then a demonstration
on how to play the didgeridoo. At least John kind of got a
sound out of it. At sunset we walked back to ANZAC Hill to
catch the sunset over the
Our last day in Alice Springs was one we'll definitely
remember. The sunrise hot-air balloon ride was cancelled due
to high winds. After breakfast we went to a local truck stop to
find a Road Train.
We then toured the Alice Springs
Cultural Precinct, home to some of the most interesting cultural and
historical attractions in town. Nearby was the Royal Flying
provides medical care to scattered settlements in the Outback.
The Ghan Train was due to depart at 2pm.
While waiting to board the train, one of our tour members realized
he had left his video camera on the bus and went back for it.
He tripped over a forklift blade, split his knee open
to the bone and was rushed to the hospital. His wife managed
to get their luggage taken off the train while we were boarding. After
being treated and sewn up in the emergency room, he and his wife
flew to Adelaide, spent the night and rejoined us the next
It's a 19 hour "world
class rail journey" from Alice Springs to Adelaide and even
though we were in First Class, we felt each and every one of those
959 miles. Our accommodations were great. Our cabin had good sized
bunk beds and bathroom facilities with a pull-down sink and
underneath a pull-down toilet, and shower. The food and service in the
dining car was excellent. Unfortunately, when you tried to get some
rest, the train shook so much that our insides felt like jell- o.
I guess we're just not train people. Even John (who sleeps
anywhere and any position) had problems sleeping on the train.
Next stop Adelaide