Australia - Alice Springs (via Devils Marbles)

Trip Start Dec 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Day 1

Another early start saw us wake to the sounds of a nearby intruder, a wild emu who had found his way into the campsite and was making his way around the various caravans and campervans looking for tit-bits. When he didn't find much to his liking he tried the bin and then approached Verdi, hoping she might be in a generous mood (PICS).

Once we got on the road we had a straight, uneventful run through to the Devils Marbles, just south of Tennants Creek. The Devils Marbles are a series of massive granite boulders, that have been formed over millions of years and are dotted around a small area of outback land, precariously balanced and defying the laws of gravity. The aborigines' theory is that the Devils Marbles are the Rainbow Serpents eggs. They were a spectacular sight and looked as if they could roll on top of you with any slight gust of wind (PICS).

Leaving the Devils Marbles we drove across the Tropic of Capricorn (PIC) and then completed the journey to Alice Springs (PIC), arriving in the Red Centre's most famous town at mid-afternoon. After driving around the town we visited the Desert Park, an outback-themed center that explores the diversity of Flora and Fauna throughout the Northern Territories and the rest of Australia. The center is exceptionally well put together and very informative and interesting; it has mp3 players, which you can wear that give little commentaries on the different areas of the park, guided by a local aborigine. Our favourite bit had to be the nocturnal house, which featured a lot of the cutest and shyest animals that Australia has to offer (PICS), including a dopey Echidna who seemed to spend his entire time plodding around his pen aimlessly looking for something that he never found - at least not while we were there!

Departing the Desert Park just as it closed we had just enough time to get to Simpson's Gap in the MacDonnell Ranges, a natural feature which is a popular water hole for locals and tourists alike (PICS), before the sun set displaying some fantastic colours (PICS).

Our final stop was the campsite, picking up a pizza en route. The change in temperature was already apparent, as we had begun to move southwards, with the cold creeping in at night despite the daytime still being very warm.
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