A town called Alice
Trip Start Oct 13, 2011
48Trip End Jun 07, 2012
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We arrived in Alice in the evening and got checked into the hotel. It was too late to really do anything so we just got ourselves settled, did a bit of washing then watched a bit of tennis before heading out for some dinner at a Thai place me and Conor found in our book and thought it would be cool to go to to show my parents my new eating habits
The plan for the next day, our only full day in town, was to go and see the Flying Doctor Museum, the Telegraph Station and a nature reserve called Desert Sands, voted number 1 attraction in Alice Springs by Trip Advisor! As you can see, that was a rather ambition itinerary for one day and unsurprisingly we didn’t quite manage to get it all done. Our first stop was the Flying Doctor Museum. So after a lovely continental buffet breakfast (I am making the most of the nice food while with my parents!) we set off to the museum, only to find when we arrived that they had no power so couldn’t open
The next day we were all catching the Ghan train down to Adelaide. As the train didn’t leave till 12:45pm we had decided to go up to the Old Telegraph Station in the morning, as I was really keen to see it! The only ways to get there were by walking about 3.5km, not something any of us were particularly keen on in the heat, or by taxi. So we decided on taxi. As we had booked a taxi from reception, we were a little bit perplexed as to why our taxi driver didn’t really seem to know where we was going, why we had been picked up in a rather smelly, old, people carrier and why he had asked for a phone number from us when we said we had also organised a taxi to take us back to town. All was to become clear later…
Despite the slight taxi confusion, we made it to the Telegraph Station in one piece! When we got there we were really impressed with the set up. The museum consisted of some buildings of the original settlement, with the interiors set up how they would have been at the time. I really loved it, it was a bit like being at Milestones in Basingstoke! If any of you have been there!
Conor: We started off by going on the walk to Alice Spring, i.e
We spent an hour walking around the telegraph station which was really good as Annabel said. It was very well put together with recreations of the rooms and lots of history to read.
After this we walked back to get our taxi and found someone waiting for us. As we drove off I noticed the taxi we arrived with passed us and not long after Annabel’s mum got a call on her mobile, the number of which we had given to the initial taxi driver. He wondered where we were, and eventually it turned out he was not the guy we booked and had stolen our custom. Shocking!
Anyway, we carried on in the correct taxi, collected our bags and drove to the train station to meet the Ghan train
Well, there’s not a massive amount to say about sitting on a train for 24 hours, but I’ve got to say we really enjoyed it! We sat, ate, drank, read, played cards, talked and watched the world go by. The lounge car was really comfortable and much better than sitting in the normal chairs. Watching the outback go by was brilliant. As we had learned at Desert Sands it was by no means a desert, with trees, scrub and even the odd animal. We saw a few Red Kangaroos at one point as well as some Emus
The only real downside of The Ghan was that we were on it for Australia Day and these went unnoticed. We have heard since that not much happens publicly for Australia Day, but still I kinda felt like we missed out a bit.
After an okay (but less than perfect) nights sleep we woke up and went back to the lounge car. We were meant to get into Adelaide for 12.30 in the afternoon. This was pretty crucial for us as we were picking up a hire car and had one day to drive the 600 or so miles from Adelaide to Melbourne, which would be tight! Annabel’s parents also had a flight to catch at 4.30pm. Anyway, we discovered after breakfast that the train had stopped for 4 hours overnight and had to borrow another train’s engine, as our breaks weren’t working perfectly. That sounded reassuring I can tell you! The long and short of it was we were running 2 hours late, which made us a little bit nervous about our long car journey. We eventually pulled in to Adelaide at 3.30pm and made our way directly to the car hire. After sorting things out with the dreaded hertz we were ready to go by 4.30, so way behind schedule! We hurriedly said good bye to Annabel’s parents and drove off to the east. We had a lot of ground to cover before night fall, but that’s a story for the next blog post! Hopefully we’ll get that up soon!
Hope your all good at home!