Man do I sure know how to drag out a 4 day weekend recap.
So, At long last we had made it to Alice Springs. Now a note on Alice Springs and the aboriginals. If you've never been to Australia you may think that there are just Aboriginals prancing about all over the place, but you would be wrong. I very very rarely see them...anywhere. They're not in Sydney, I saw none in Queensland or Cairns, none in the Hunter Valley and none in the Blue Mountains. Now I think I know why. I think they ALL live in Alice Springs. It was very...strange. Not because there were aboriginals there per se, but because they were there in such numbers IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE and really nowhere else.
But, back to Alice Springs. Cute, cute little town. Had we known better we would have done our trip exactly opposite of what we did. We should have flown in to Alice Springs, hung out there for a day then drove to Ayres Rock, done the whole sunset and hiking thing there and then headed back for more Alice Springs. Seriously, way more to do in Alice Springs then Ayres Rock.
So, Alice Springs first claim to fame is it's telegraph station which finally linked Oz to the rest of the world in 1872. The other claim to fame is the Royal Flying Doctor Service which is for all those who live and travel in the (decidedly unred) Red Center of Oz where there is no medical services for hundreds of miles.
The Telegraph Station is very well preserved and we totally thought we would pop in and pop out and be done with it, but ended up spending the better part of 3 hours milling about. It was pretty cool and I highly recommend it if you're ever in the area...and by in the area of course I mean if you've purposely flown to Alice Springs because there's no other way that you would randomly end up here.
Interesting story that I never knew, at some point the telegraph station was turned into a school for the "half-castes" all the little half european half aboriginal children that had resulted from the English taking aboriginal "mistresses". They essentially stole these children from their mothers and raised them to think of themselves as white and to marry whites or other half castes, not aboriginals. It's terrible obviously, but I think it's quite interesting that they encouraged them to be white and took them into their community rather than treating them as outcasts.
Nothing but this for hundreds of miles in all directions, pretty amazing that they ever made the telegraph station out here in the first place.
This sign for the spring in which Alice Springs took her name
IN the spring.
AND the Royal Flying Doctor Service! Unfortunately it didn't open until late in the afternoon and we had to get back to Uluru for our dinner under the stars...which I'll tell you about next!