That town called Alice

It seems trains travellers are split into two groups – those who sleep like babies, and those who can’t sleep at all. GW is renowned for being able to sleep anywhere, but we now know trains are the exception… Consequently I was woken at 5 am by a bleary-eyed husband who was bored with his own company. It did mean we watched the sunrise and that is still my favourite time of day.

GW on Ruby

We stopped in Alice Springs for lunch where we headed off to ride camels through the land to the south of the Gap. It was everything I hoped it would be. The gentle giants ambled along through an arid landscape with the McDonald Ranges rising ahead. Our guide could have stepped straight out of Raiders of the Lost Ark 🙂 All we needed were billowing white gowns and we could have been movie extras ourselves.

It was fitting we were riding camels, which along with their Afghan drivers, gave The Ghan its name. They were the backbone of transportation in the centre of Australia for so many years. We’re about to head deep into that country in the iron camel that replaced them.

Ruby fronting up for a nose scratch

Afterwards, wandering through the Sunday markets, the flavours of the fast food stalls reflected the ethnic diversity of the dusty town. Coffee machines sat side by side with Curry vendors, Korean pancakes sellers and Bushtucker produce.

Back on board The Ghan and we headed out through the Gap again and into the desert. Miles and miles of red earth, silvery grass and trees that look as though they’ve turned in on themselves hiding from the heat. Sunset was magnificent.

We headed to bed, me with my fingers crossed GW will sleep in 🙂

Sunset from The Ghan

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12 thoughts on “That town called Alice

  1. Kerrie, it was lovely meeting you and your parents. I hope you had a safe journey home yesterday.

    We have an Albert Namatjira print at home and it was amazing to see how accurate his colours and textures were as we rolled through the landscape.

    Adelaide’s given us a very cold welcome, but this morning’s walk along Glenelg to Brighton was perfect after three days on a train!

  2. I must admit, and knowing the man, i don’t know how he would take this, but a camel’s expression reminds me of Red Symons from Hooks!

  3. Your sunset photo showed just how beautiful the paintings were through every window on the Ghan these last few days. From the inspired beauty of Albert Namatjira’s watercolours in the north to the hills of the Flinders Ranges which captivated Hans Heysen in the south! Their palette was colours where yours is words. It was a pleasure to have met you both. Happy boat hunting:)

  4. Yikes, Margareta, I’d better be careful. This is my second trip there! I always consider myself a child of the ocean. Then I stand in the middle of the outback and wonder why. It’s a very beautiful place.

  5. Oh yes! Neville Shute did a fabulous job of describing outback Oz! Lucky you came to Cairns though – who’d drink champagne with me, Liz??

  6. Don’t they say if you visit Alice three times, you’ll stay forever? I’m up to two and temptation is beckoning especially with your gorgeous photo’s Helene. Keep having a lovely time 🙂

  7. How cool, Fleur! There were a few people getting on and off in small towns along the way. A very beautiful part of the world! And congrats on finishing Purple Roads 🙂

  8. At least Iron camels don’t spit and try to bite. Given that you are a pilot, next time try the Sopwith variety! 🙂

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