A Travellerspoint blog

Adelaide - day 2

sunny 29 °C
View Round the World in 164 days! on KerryMc's travel map.

21st December 2008

Ooh - a lie in! Bliss! What's even more amazing is being provided with scrambled eggs, tomato and spinach for breakfast and a proper cup of coffee! I could get used to this!

Vivi is on a mission to show me her City and its surrounding area so we get going. The first thing I'm impressed with is the fact that the Penfolds winery is only 5 minutes away from her house! Lets go try some out...!

We then head off to Mount Lofty in the Adelaide Hills which overlooks the City for a few snaps! Its getting hot out there - phew!

Back in the car and off to Hahndorf - a German settlement village - feels like walking into a bygone era! All very ye olde! My Mom would love this place! So many little shops and cafes to enjoy but being near to Christmas, its busy! Aarrggghh!

With the heat getting the better of Vivi and I, we head back to Toorak Gardens for lunch and a rest... because we're so hectic!

Tonight we had thought about going to Carols by Candlelight - a City Council initiative where you take a few deckchairs, a picnic and some drinks down to the park and enjoy some carols by candlelight (funnily enough!). However, going on a drive around the City, we realise that practically everyone else has the same idea and that perhaps we're not that keen on sitting out for it! Wimps, eh?

There's still plenty of time to get into the Christmas spirit in this 30 odd degree heat!! Weird! Where's the snowmen??

Posted by KerryMc 19:43 Archived in Australia Tagged luxury_travel Comments (0)

Alice Springs... to Adelaide

Going home! Well as close as it can be!

sunny 31 °C
View Round the World in 164 days! on KerryMc's travel map.

20th December 2008

I've been looking forward to today since leaving Heathrow on 10th November! I'm seeing family for the first time in ages! Yay!

Getting into familiar mode, I start my day at the Alice Lodge backpackers with free coffee and cornflakes and then head on out to the airport for my 11.30am flight to Adelaide - my home for the next 7 days.

Adelaide is the home of Vivi, my cousin, who is more like an Aunty and I can't wait to see her! She is kindly taking me in for Christmas and has been my Southern Hemisphere contact since being 8 hours ahead of home! Thankfully, its a few degrees cooler in Adelaide than Alice Springs but I am greeted by the familiar dry heat and sunshine which is becoming all the more expected on my way around the country!

Vivi is at the gate to meet me from my flight and its so nice to see a familiar face! I could cry! She whisks me off through Adelaide's very modern airport - I'm impressed - and down to baggage claim where, for the first time in ages, I don't have to be concerned about where all my bags are at once! We pack up Vivi's car with my ever growing collection of luggage and head off to Toorak Gardens, Vivi's home in Eastern Adelaide.

I'm overwhelmed by all the greenery and flowers in the City - it seems easy to negotiate and very quaint - fairly British actually (aside from the large number of Irish bars!).

We get back to Viv's and have some afternoon tea - how very splendid! I'm in heaven! Then take a walk around to Viv's local shopping area, Burnside, where I find so many great places to be exploring later in the week. Imagine having Jigsaw and Nine West in a local shopping area... very plush!

Vivi is quite the chef and has prepared me some fresh rainbow trout and salad this evening. This, together with the prospect of my own bed and room for the first time in ages has made me the happiest person! How great is all this! Luxury!

Suffice to say, I'm soon to retire for the evening to take advantage of getting some comfortable sleep!

Posted by KerryMc 19:08 Archived in Australia Tagged luxury_travel Comments (0)

Red Rock Tour - Day 2

sunny 38 °C
View Round the World in 164 days! on KerryMc's travel map.

19th December 2008

Now are you sure that is my alarm going off because I'm sure I've only just got off to sleep - that is probably because I have only just started to sleep - rigid from the fear of the number of spiders that are running amock in the hut... I am just not born to be an adventurer!

4.30am... I'm so enjoying this!

Up and off to Uluru for the sunrise. Despite the pain of the early start, its a beautiful sight to behold and quite awe inspiring. To put this into perspective, aside from Kata Tjuta, the land everywhere else is flat and this massive monolith looks like its appeared from nowhere. The pictures will probably do it more justice because there are so many different perspectives you can have on one place... quite stunning.

Being the adventurers that we are, we're off to walk the base of Uluru - about a 10km walk - which, at 6.30am or so, isn't such a difficult prospect as its flat and its still fairly cool in the early morning sun. There are certain parts around the base reserved for no photographs due to aboriginal beliefs and each section forms part of aboriginal dream time.

Anyway, the important thing for me is that I walked around the whole way - get me! I was so impressed with myself! Was very tempted to jump in the waterhole near the end of the walk (imagine a water hole at the base of Uluru, crazy!) but given how many aborigines I'd upset, thought better of it!

From there we headed on up to an Aboriginal Culture Centre to have a quick look round and then onto Kata Tjuta.

These structures are quite amazing and my mind boggles at how it all works - I'm sure my Mom could tell me with all her knowledge about glaciation!!!

We head on a walk through Kata Tjuta but not a long walk which is probably just as well as its heating up nicely and my sandfly bites are driving me mad! Where's the tea tree cream!!!! I think I'm more impressed with Kata Tjuta than Uluru - should I say that? But probably due to the Homer Simpson connection more than anything!! I'm such a kid!

From this point, its time to start thinking about our trip back to Alice Springs. We are a million miles away after all! We stop off for a picnic in Yulara first and then hit the road. Jess has some serious mileage to get through and I have some serious z's to catch up on!!

We arrive back in Alice Springs at about 6.30pm and despite the offer of a night out with the group, I'm more focused on packing my bags for my flight tomorrow and my bed! I'm so exhausted!!! What a lightweight!

Posted by KerryMc 18:38 Archived in Australia Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Red Rock Tour

sunny 38 °C
View Round the World in 164 days! on KerryMc's travel map.

18th December 2008

Oh how rude... my alarm goes off at 4am and I am not impressed! Its still dark outside!

I'm up and ready for my 4.45am pick up time by Adventure Tours - our chauffeur for the next days is Jess and even at this early hour, can tell I'm going to have a giggle with her!

We pick up another 11 people (some Danes, some Germans, a Korean, an Aussie and some more Brits) and we hit the road. I hadn't quite realised how far Uluru is from Alice Springs - its not a short hop thats for certain!

Our first pit stop of the morning (the only one we actually pass in the next 5 hours or so!) is at Erldundra - a petrol station with Emus and these giant echidna and lizard structures... I have a feeling the people who live around here don't get out very much...! This is the place that I bought a necessity though - a pink face fly net - we're so going to be seeing these on the catwalk next Summer! No seriously, the flies in the outback have serious attitude and flock around your face because of the lack of moisture elsewhere. I didn't want any of them making a nest for themselves in my eyes!!

Ironically, despite the intense heat (its going to be up to 40 degress over the next 2 days during my trip), Jess tells us that the Red Centre is the greenest it has been for at least the past 8 years with a fair amount of rainfall recorded. Jess had even seen it rain on Uluru in the past few weeks! Crazy!

We continue on our quest to the first of our destinations - Kings Canyon - stopping at another roadhouse for the most welcomed cup of iced coffee ever and then later for a picnic Jess style.

Its baking hot and we've been on the road for 8 hours. Perhaps I should have flown directly to Uluru instead!

We finally arrive in Kings Canyon and the idea is to do a full 5km hike up into the canyon but rather than wanting to kill us all from heat exhaustion and dehydration, we head out on the fairly docile 1.5km creek walk which, given there is a waterhole during our walk, is very refreshing (at least until we realise that there are leeches in the water!).

Back on the bus and time to head another 3 hours or so to Uluru (Ayers Rock to most of us!). We bypass Mount Conner - a bigger monolith than Uluru but a privately owned one so can't get near it really. It is here that I have one of my first (and I wish the last but sadly not to be) encounters with sand flies... in my new Jungle Jane mode, i'm quick to go and explore the salt lakes that exist beyond a sand dune by Mount Conner and I'm soon regretting it from the number of sand fly bites I manage to get within 5 minutes climbing up the dune. Evil things!

We arrive in Yulara - the township next to Uluru - where we're 'camping' for the night. I have the option of my own little hut or I can 'swag' - sleep out under the stars in a sort of sleeping bag. Given the number of bugs I can see, I am thinking that swagging is just one step too far for a City girl like me and I wimp out... We're in time to see the sunset at Uluru and I hadn't quite realised the proximity of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) which is another rock formation nearby. The formation looks like Homer Simpson lying down! I take far too many pictures of Uluru...

We have a bbq for tea and then we all head off to bed early - another early start in the morning (4.30am) if we want to catch Uluru at sunrise...

I'm comforted (?!) by the number of companions I have in my hut of the insect variety... I'm a City girl, get me out of here!!!!!!

Posted by KerryMc 23:19 Archived in Australia Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Cairns... to Alice Springs

sunny 38 °C
View Round the World in 164 days! on KerryMc's travel map.

17th December 2008

So it was goodbye to the East Coast, goodbye to Gayle and hello to Alice (Springs) and dry heat! It was a welcome change from the sticky humid north east coast!

Travelling inland in Australia is quite a bizarre experience because there really is nothing going on! Just lots of arid dusty land with a few dirt tracks! Random!

Landing into Alice Springs, you really know you're out in the middle of nowhere as the Royal Flying Doctor Service are based here!

I was picked up and taken out to my hostel, the Alice Lodge, which is to be my home for tonight and for another night on my return from seeing the 'Red Centre'. The accommodation is ok and I welcome the fact that they have a pool considering its over 37 degrees!

I decide to take a walk into the town, its about 4pm so wasn't expecting to see much. In fact, there isn't a great deal to see and I don't feel too enamoured by the place. There are lots of aborigines sitting around drinking alcohol and it makes me feel fairly low that they seem to be forgotten!

Not feeling particularly safe, I grab myself some things for my tea from the supermarket and high tail it back to the hostel.

I've got an early start again tomorrow - the earliest yet! I'm being picked up at 4.45am... if only those noisy cicadas would let me sleep!

Posted by KerryMc 21:31 Archived in Australia Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

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