richoztrek: Richos trek oz 2013 travel blog

Our only photo from Alice Springs! A couple of thorny devils from...


Getting from Kings Canyon to Alice Springs by road can be done a couple of ways: the shorter one including 150 km of unsealed road as part of the trip, and the longer being all sealed but about 500 km in total. When we heard that the unsealed option was fairly corrugated we knew, for the sake of Old Bess, that we had to go the longer way.

The drive went smoothly and we pulled into the Big 4 caravan park in Alice Springs mid afternoon on Friday. It's generally the case that the Big 4 brand costs a bit more but you know what you're getting - a well set-up park, with plenty for the kids to do. We spent two nights at this one, camped beside the Parkyns, and the kids all spent plenty of time playing on the jumping pillows. The caravan park (and Alice Springs) feels as though it's been plonked down in the middle of the Macdonnel Ranges - the rocky red and orange mountains seem to rise up on all sides, looking especially striking in that early morning and late afternoon light.

We didn't have a great deal that we wanted to do in Alice. It was a bit more of a re-stock and refresh stop before moving on. The one thing we had heard talked up was the Desert Park, where a range of desert fauna is displayed. On Saturday we headed out there, having heard they were also having a family fun day with various extra activities. We only ended up there for a couple of hours and spent most of that time enjoying the display of nocturnal desert animals, including snakes, bilbys and bats. Our list of jobs to get done in Alice meant we couldn't really stay much longer. Sal and Tania headed off to the shops while back at the park the kids convinced Kev and I that the pool water was warm and they all wanted to have a swim. Let's just say there was very little time spent in the water, and lots spent lying in the sun!

That afternoon Sal took all the kids down to a didgeridoo performance put on by the caravan park and they all really enjoyed it. The next morning before we set off, I took the kids down to the free Sunday morning pancakes. It's a great idea - people from all over the place sitting down to breakfast together. We met some more Victorians (we seem to meet heaps of them!) who gave us some more tips for our trip. The pancake operation is pretty slick too. They reckon 990 pancakes one Sunday was their record! Will was trying to break the record of 13 pancakes eaten by one person ... and almost made it to three. They provide all the toppings and free tea and coffee and cordial also - nice to not have to prepare your own breakfast when you're about to travel for the day.

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