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Krista's Travels

The Outback - an 8 day bus tour

USA | Sunday, 21 December 2008 | Views [398] | Comments [2]

Uluru at Sunrise

Uluru at Sunrise

Where to start?! Well, it all started in pretty little Alice Springs, the biggest town in the Outback with a somewhat mixed reputation due to racial tension and horridly hot summers. I was there at a wonderful time, however, after the highest rainfall on record for the month of November. It was green, with small mountains all around, and the town is small and manageable for a big city-hater like myself. My bus tour picked me up at 6:30 am on December 13, and I joined 17 other travellers: about 4 germans, 13 swiss, and myself (I think I was in the minority!). The tour operator was stellar, very friendly and talkative, and one of their most experienced driver, so the tour went smoothly right from the start. I sat up front with the wide open outback horizons stretching out in front of my eyes for eight days. There was a lot of driving, as we covered a lot of ground, ranging from 3 to 7 hours of driving per day. Uluru was fascinating, an we escaped the hords of sunset/sunrise viewing tourists by walking the 10km trail around the base of the amazing rock. It has been turned on its side and is like the tip of an iceberg sticking out of the earth, with the oldest geologic layers on the east side and the newest on the west. There are other rocks and hikes nearby that are even more cool: the Kata Tjuta, or "Olgas". From the "red center", we travelled south across the changing desert landscape, watching the trees thin, shrink, and dissappear. By the time we arrived in Coober Pedy 7 hours later, we were in a truly dry place, maybe the driest my eyes have ever seen. Coober Pedy only exists because of opals, but the opal mines in that area provide 90% of the world's opals. I was interested in this mining because it is entirely based on luck and therefore no big mining companies get involved: it's all the little guys trying to strike it rich, just like in the good old days, and thus only attracts those willing to take the risk. Most people live in homes that are built into the hills, because temperatures can get up to 140 degrees in the summer...ACK! Luckily when we were there it was only about 95, it was during a cool spell...Because of all the rain, most dirt roads were closed all over so we couldn't do the real adventury route out of Coober Pedy that we were supposed to do. Instead it was more time on the highway as we made our way to the Flinders Ranges. This was my favorite part of the trip. Not quite mountains by our standards, but certainly an amazing part of south australia, the Flinders Ranges are a dry, rocky set of mountain ranges and provide an oasis of green and interesting topography after a sea of flat dry dessert. We camped way up on the top of a mountain with starry starry skies, and hiked in several places. On our last day we did a wine tasting in wine country on our way to Adelaide, and I hated every variety we tried, haha!  I have fabulous memories and made some good friends on the trip, played alot of Yahtzee, and didn't learn a word of German. Now I spend 3 days in Adelaide, a city of 1.1 million inhabitants, interesting considerign all of South Australia (the size of several large US states) only has 1.5 million.

Comments

1

Hello Krista...Ah, it all sounds so amazing!! Hey who needs a man when you can hug a koala. I'm so happy you are having such a great time. Loving your site too. Well just checking in to wish you all the best. Love Nikki

  wren faery foxglove Dec 23, 2008 2:04 PM

2

Great to here from you, and read about Australie
It al brings back a lot of beautiful memories.

We loved it over there, and in Cooper pedy we did some
opal digging ourselve. We found a couple, they were smale not worth enything the juweler sad, bud to us they are wurth a fortune. wel i wil read more an outher time, now i have to get ready for work. Wish you lots of fun Down Under. Rein.

  rein de kroon Jan 20, 2009 4:41 PM

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