Trip Start Jan 27, 2008
Trip End May 12, 2008

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Flag of Australia  ,
Sunday, February 17, 2008

Woke with a start at midday.  My head was ok but my brain took a while to warm up.  I obviously remembered to down lots of water when I got in last night. It was time to do the chores, internet and washing. I gathered the clothes together, bought some powder from Suzzanne, the sweet lady who runs the place and loaded the machine. 30 minutes later it was done and was on the line.  Just like being at home except the washing is dried and ready to wear in about 40 minutes.

I have a walk around the centre, grab an ice smoothie from Wendys in the air conditioned mall (joy). Then its off tp the Global Gossip internet cafe for a major catch up.  Although the guys had agreed to meet there at midday (I rolled in at 2pm) it later transpired they had not bothered, choosing the internet at the hostel instead.

After a pleasant coffee at The Bluegrass restaurant I wander back to the hostel ready for Macka to pick me up again.  Dinner tonight is at Annie's hostel, where a couple of the Dutchies are staying. The place is huge, buzzing, with iconic 50's era magazine covers plastering the walls and outrageous, but true headlines from the local paper above the bar.  "Drunk Driver Crashes Plane", "Hopes Fading For Missing Virgin" etc etc

We stay here for food and final goodbyes for most of us. Hartmut is missing but I will see him on my flight tomorrow. After a bargain meal (Camel Pasta, $5) and a few beers, this time punctuated with the odd coke, its all over. The slower tempo music ushers us outside at 11.30pm.

I walk Gail back to her resort - crossing the river at night is a bit dodgy for a single guy let alone girl.  En route my phone chimes, and it's Teddy, finally texting me.  Typical - she has only just seen my email. After dropping Gail off I text her back suggesting a quick coffee now as I won't have time in the morning before I leave. So I'm then waiting on Todd Street outside a closed Bojangles, and dodging the zombie like Abos, off their heads, and swaggering about me. I keep moving and try to pull as hard a stare as I can muster.

Teddy and her boyfriend Scott arrive 5 minutes later and its back to theirs in the car for quick beer and catch up.  She feels a little isolated since coming here from Bulgaria but otherwise they seem fine. They have I modern condo within a gated community.  Scott tells me the code on the gate hasn't been changed for months but the mere presence of the barrier is enough to keep the zombies out. He telle me that there are more ploce per capita in Alice than in the rest of the country but that this is still not enough. You can't even but unleaded petrol outside the town centre because the guys sniff that too. A substitute called Opal is used.

They drive me back at 2am and we promise to meet up if in Bulgaria at the same time, Teddy tries to get home twice a year if possible - a staggering 50 hour door to door journey via London. At the hostel its an earlier arrival than last night but I'm confronted by a double locked chain, that wasn't there before.  There is a caged guard dog going mental. Oh crap looks like I'm locked out. But with Scott's help I'm over the fence, through the shrubs, past any associated deadly spiders lurking there, and back in my room.  So now I'm learning the craft of how to break and enter property.
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