Alice Springs

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Pictures:  Telegraph Station  |  ANZAC Hill  |  Dinner  |  Didgeridoo  |  Sunset  |  Road Train  |  Cultural Precinct  |  Royal Flying Doctor Service  |  Ghan Train  
History:  Alice Springs  | Telegraph Station  |  Road Train  |   Royal Flying Doctor Service  |  The Ghan Train 

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 Tucson 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 and then 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 town.

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 Doctor Service that 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 morning. Unbelievable

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