Outback Adventurer: Alice Springs to Kings Canyon

Trip Start Aug 11, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Monday, August 19, 2013

Today we were back in Alice Springs and heading off to Kings Canyon via a morning visit to Bush tucker and Aboriginal Dreamtime site. for our night stop.  

Tonight we will be sleeping under the stars in the middle of the desert.   This is really roughing it in my book! This is even beyond camping! From what I understand, there's not even a tent; so we'll see how that works out.  We left our accommodation at 7am.  At the first stop of the day we had the opportunity to try traditional bush food as well learn about the local aboriginal people. From my point of view, the most interesting aspects was more getting an appreciation for the rationale beyond aboriginal beliefs and mentality and how it significantly differs from the more westernised beliefs.  

Some of the food which was on offer were bush peppers, bush tomatoes, bush coconuts, spotted dog (sweet damper with raisins), bush orange, bush lemon grass, wattle seed, witchetty grubs and kangeroo tail. We also got the obligatory Contiki sales experience, where were offered the opportunity to purchase aboriginal artwork directly from the aboriginal artists who were at the site.  Finally, we also learnt about the weapons that the indigenous people used and had the opportunity to throw a boomerang and try to take out a pretend skippy. 
Whilst I am usually quite cynical by the way in which Contiki (and all tour groups, for that matter) often push you at all opportunities to buy off the vendors that they "select"  This one was not that bad, comparatively speaking anyhow.  They gave you the option to purchase from aboriginal artists and all the money is going directly to them. Being completely fair, the prices which were on offer were significantly cheaper than further on the tour too.  If you're interested in aboriginal art work whilst in Alice Springs.  This is the place to check out. 

After the Bush Tucker stop we had a lunch stop about 2 hours out of Alice. For our lunch step for way, way over-priced crap food for lunch.   I guess that's the price for being in the middle of no where.  And despite the emu next door, that's exactly where we were.  The middle of absolutely nowhere. 

After our lunch stop it was about 278kms or about 3.5 hours in the bus through to Kings Canyon.   On the drive out it was just amazing that amount of sheer nothingness.  Just the same desert for km after km. I knew Australia was big, and there was enormous amounts of vastness, however, it isn't until you get out here that you realise just how empty it is. 
Once we got to kings Canyon we went on a 6.5km hike to the top of the canyon and around the rim.  The first km into it was a good workout, it was pretty much climbing the entire way up.  Once we reached the top the remainder of the hike was fantastic.   It was at this point in time I realised I really fail as a tourist.  I left the camera on the bus and my phone was flat.  So I wasn't able to take any pictures.  I am sure I'll find some later from other people in the tour to add to this entry later. 

After the tour we headed to our campsite that we were staying at tonight.  For the record: I don't do camping.  So this would be an experience.   Better than camping in traditional tents, tonight we were given a swag to sleep in -- under the stars.  A swag? I didn't even know that these things really existed?! I thought they were just a factious word made up as it conveniently fit into Waltzing Matilda?!
Anyhow, I guess this entire trip is about getting outside comfort zone and having experiences that usually wouldn't.   So I guess it is what it is is.  We had dinner once we arrived at Kings Canyon station and then built a camp fire to sit around and have a few drinks which we'd purchased the day before. 

I called it a night around 10:30 as we had an early morning and, given I was sleeping in some pitiful canvas bag on the ground -- I was likely be up before the birds tomorrow anyhow. 
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