Back in Civilization

Trip Start Nov 13, 2006
Trip End Mar 13, 2007

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Where I stayed
Parachilna Hostel

Flag of Australia  ,
Saturday, December 30, 2006

Well, I am out of the outback. I took the bus south from Darwin for 3 days through the middle of nowhere. We went kayaking in Katherine Gorge, which was  pretty but so hot that even the water was hot and not refreshing at all. I had a pretty good group on that bus though, so it was fun even while we were just driving on the bus.
I only spent one night in Alice Springs before getting back on the bus to go to see Uluru, Kata Tjuta, and Kings Canyon. It was about 47 degrees (C) at Kings Canyon on the first day and one girl in our group got sick within the first 15 minutes of our hike up to the rim. Consequently our guide, Uncle Lumpy, made us turn around and do the easier hike. On the second day it was a bit cooler and cloudy, so we hiked though the Valley of the Winds in Kata Tjuta and around the base of Uluru. 17 km in one day in 40 degree weather! It was very beautiful though and we saw a really amazing sunset.
After that we spent 4 days driving from Uluru to Adelaide. We hiked up to Mt. Ohlsenbaag at Wilpena Pound and saw some amazing views. A couple days were nothing but driving, but we still saw some sights along the way. We stayed overnight in Coober Pedy, a mining town in the desert. Our bunk house was carved into the side of the hill, like most of the buildings in town, and was a constant 25 C no matter what the temperature was outside. On the last night of the tour (Christmas Eve) we stayed in Parachilna, which is basically a pub, a hostel, and a railroad. We had a Christmas party at the pub and had a good time in the middle of nowhere. My group was pretty quiet on this tour and a lot of them didn't speak very good English, so they usually talked amongst themselves in German. It was kind of hard to get to know many of them, but at least they were all nice. I was hoping for a better group, since that was my longest tour with the same people, but I think my group for the next tour was better.
I got to Adelaide on Christmas evening and had a small get together with the people from the bus. I stayed in Adelaide for one day, but it was Boxing Day so everything was closed and the city was like a ghost town. Oh well. After that I got back on the bus to go through the Grampians National Park and along the Great Ocean Road. It was very beautiful, but I am still partial to the California coast. ;) Now I'm in Melbourne and getting ready for New Years Eve. That's all for now. Hope everyone has a great New Years!
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