I was finally back on track with my trans-continental journey. My next tour departed Alice Springs at sunrise, and we would be taking a five day road trip through the Outback.
I was travelling with a company called Groovy Grape (under the umbrella organisation of Real Aussie Adventures). Our guide and driver, Dan, got us to write our names and nationalities on the minibus windows. It turned out that we had only two non-German speakers in our group – myself, and Jessica from Sweden. That gives you some idea of how many German backpackers there are in Australia!
Our team bonding began sooner than expected when we broke down in the Outback on our first day. At first I thought it might be some kind of prank, but we ended up waiting three hours for rescue. We had plenty of water, but no phone signal – Wolf Creek, anyone?!
To pass the time, we found novel ways of using loo paper.
Eventually we were rescued, and set off again in a replacement bus. Dan put on some classic tunes – think Jimmy Barnes, Midnight Oil and Cold Chisel…
Our first stop was Kings Creek Station. This is a working cattle and camel station (ranch), and it’s the largest exporter of wild camels in Australia.
Maike and I went for a camel ride. It was great to do this again (I had a go in Wadi Rum) and our camel had a bit of a run! Camel racing is big in Central Australia, but I’m not sure we’ll be doing it any time soon.
We saw some other interesting animals at Kings Creek Station. Here are some ‘Flaming Galahs’ of Home and Away fame:
And here is a wedge-tailed eagle:
In addition to camels and cattle, Kings Creek Station kept some emus:
After more driving we reached our campsite for the night. You can see why this part of Australia is called the ‘Red’ Centre – the sand almost glows. Technically it’s not desert, but ‘semi-arid zone’.
That evening we slept around the campfire in our swags (a sort of cocoon in which you put your sleeping bag). It got surprisingly cold at night, but I loved being under the stars. We saw a dingo slinking past, and also found a baby scorpion.
Anyway, I’ll finish off this post with a sign we found at our campsite. So ‘Straya…