After our early morning hike we hit the road. If you google directions from Uluru to Alice Springs you can see that it's a mere 460 km away, which if you drive fast is about a 5 hour drive. BUT, while googling Dom discovered there is ANOTHER way to Alice Springs that involves several hundred kms of unsealed (in the US we just call them DIRT) roads, making the trek 640 kms and approx 8 hours. So you just know we took the long way.
I just love Australian signage. This was definitely one of my favorites for 2 reasons. First, this sign is in the middle of nowhere, if you'd made it this far WITHOUT driving on the left that would be some feat. The second is of course that fact that it specifies "in Australia", as though you could be anywhere else but Australia....there's not another country for hundreds of miles...
I had no idea there were wild camels in Australia! They were just crossing the road...hanging out. Very cool.
The only thing for miles and miles were these tiny little "towns" that consisted of exactly what you see here. Toilets, showers, possibly a restaurant, campsites...and emus. Ha!
Little sidenote here...from the time we stepped into our car we were plagued by suicidal birds. That's right I said Suicidal Birds. Have you ever plagued Angry Birds before:
That's what we had on our hands....Angry Birds. They would be sitting along the side of the road or in the road, NEVER IN THE TREES and as soon as the car was anywhere near them REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY ACTUALLY NEEDED TO MOVE OR NOT they would dive headfirst TOWARDS THE CAR! It was ridiculous. Sometimes they would fly out of the way and then immediately turn around to FLY BACK INTO THE CAR. At first I was completely traumatised after we'd hit one or two, BUT THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO! I don't know how many we hit, but after the first 3 you just sort of accepted it. Poor little suicidal birds.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love bones? If this life of mine had turned out differently I would be a forensic anthropologist. Whoever decided to put skulls on a stick in the middle of nowhere is awesome.
And more wild animals...a skink! At least I think it's a skink, I saw a sign somewhere about skinks back in Uluru and since we saw about 10 of these along our drive I decided they must be skinks.
And even though it's called Red Centre Way and the middle of Australia is called The Red Center, this has been the wettest year in 70 years and the middle of Australia was decidedly...unred. Other than the unsealed road which you can see from the piccies is quite clearly red the vegetation was green and downright lush! Not exactly how I was imagining it to look.
And then just as we were about to hit Alice Springs after a LONG day of driving, we encountered this:
As I said it's been a really wet year! But not to be deterred by a river in the road Dom made the executive decision to ford the river...I was not so sure about this decision but since the only other road going to Alice Springs was a good 2 hours behind us we went for it. Obviously we survived the fording of the river, but again, not what you'd expect to see in the middle of Australia!
Next we finally make it to Alice Springs...