The only problem with staying in the excellent (and clean) recommended hostel (Toddy’s Backpackers in Alice Springs) for the fantastic tour that leaves every day to go to the rock is that when you’ve just come back from said fantastic tour and are very very tired and want to sleep in, there are people getting up at 5 am all around you to go and experience the same amazingness you just did. Ugh. Thank God for eye covers and ear plugs.
Eventually I did get up and get moving, checked out, took a wander town to Todd Street Mall, bought a few more postcards (I am a postcard-AHOLIC) and some souvenirs and wandered back up to the hostel for the shuttle to the train, which then took me allllll the way back to Adelaide, 23 hours later.
By now, you’re probably as sick of reading about my train journeys as I am of taking them, so I’ll spare you the intricate details. Suffice it to say that I had a very nice train buddy again (I’ve been very lucky with train buddies) and therefore a lovely dinner and evening chatting with Adele, not the singer but equally as cool. So cool, in fact, that she insisted her family drive me up into Adelaide and drop me off at the bus station – Thanks Adele and Adele’s Dad! I left my bags and immediately headed into China Town for lunch, in search of SUSHI. Eventually I found something adequate – NOTE: Vancouverites: Australian sushi generally is what you might get at the crappiest of Lonsdale’s eateries, so make sure to get your fill before you visit – and had a nice chat with a firemen who had visited VanCity a couple of times; he gave us and the city rave reviews, what else??
Hunkered down in a cafe for the afternoon and caught up on all things Facebook and the like, before meeting up with Sharlee, a friend from my exchange days in Scotland who I hadn’t seen in nearly 5 years. The exchange program at Strathclyde Uni is still going strong though, I met a girl on my rock tour who was from Glasgow and had exchanged to QUT, the university Sharlee came from in Brisbane – small world! We had a fantastic evening catching up and went out for a lovely dinner at the Royal Oak in North Adelaide.
The next morning we all got up early and she dropped me off at the bus station for my 5 hour trip back to Naracoorte – home at last!
It was definitely a bit of a whirlwind trip, however, I really wouldn’t recommend more than 2 days in Darwin, unless you plan on spending a week at the pub. Likewise, give about a day to explore Alice Springs, and definitely make it out to Uluru and Kata Tjuta at the very least – tack on Kings Canyon if you have the time. Perth probably needs about 4 full days to really give it it’s due – make sure you’re there over a Sunday to see the markets. If you really only have a couple of weeks to give the western half of Australia, it is possible to hit up the highlights cheaply on the train, though if you could afford to fly it would give you time to see a bit more of the west coast, which I hear is fantastic.
For me, though, there is some change in the winds . . . read the post above this one to find out . . .