Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Meat Pies and Blow Flies

I had a week relaxing in Darwin and soaking up all things Australian. I have felt like a foreigner in my own country, to see drive through Bottle shops, Holden utes with dogs in the back, to hear the Aussie slang as thick as the amounts of vegemite I was spreading on my toast, it was sure strange to be back after 5 years. I also got to appear on the Northern Territory ABC radio talk show for hour, I do have a face for radio!!

Eventually I set off south down the Stuart highway, it had to rain just to remind me I was not out of the tropics yet, it added for some interesting riding as in a few spots along the way there had been so much rain that it was flowing deep and fast across the main highway, there were several cars that could not even go through but the trusty mother ship sailed through no problems forming a huge bow wake.

The rivers of water across the Stuart Highway.

In no time I reached Alice on the long straight roads I remember longing for in Indonesia. I was joined by my mate I worked with in the UK, Al in his 4WD, we explored kings Canyon and swam in the remote desert waterholes along the Mc Donald Ranges before looping back around to The Alice for a taste of the night life, interesting to say the least!

The road trains that snake along the long straight roads of Outback Australia. Now that's a truck!
Then it was further south again, dirt all the way to Port Augusta, we headed off toward the Simpson Desert following the Finke track, this gave me a chance to look at the terrain on which I hope to race in the future The Finke Desert Race, looks like fun just need a sponsor now!

Just in case I had forgot!
With the Simpson desert closed we only visited the edge, Dalhousie Spring, a hot oasis in the heart of Australia, although there were no other travelers out there we were not alone we had the company of a couple of million flies, wow I could not believe it, ever since arriving in the red centre we were almost carried away every time we stopped, I thought this was one thing the glossy travel brochures don’t advertise, come see the red centre and the millions of flies, I have never had them anywhere in the world like in the Northern Territory.

I took a very similar photo in the desert in Kenya, except its called the red centre here for a reason, amazing colors.

Young Aboriginal boy in the community of Finke.

Aboriginal kids lining up as Al hands out a few lollies, more reminders of Africa.

Color coordinated!

A border crossing with a difference, no customs, no craziness, just a sign in the middle of the desert.
Dalhousie hot Spring, an amazing Oasis.

I guess the heat out there makes people have strange ideas, a pink roadhouse!

What its only 15340 k's to London, I must have made a wrong turn somewhere, took me over 100 000 to get here!

As I followed the lonely desert road I still had to remind myself I was in Oz, the GPS read 730 k’s to the finish line, here I was now traveled over 100 000 and only 700 from the end, I wondered what it will be like not having to ride anywhere everyday, not set up my tent, check the oil level, cross a border, dodge crazy drivers which I must say the roads seem empty in Australia and what people you do pass they wave just to break the boredom of the endless roads. This emptiness was what I had dreamt of, the stars at night are simply stunning, the sunsets beautiful and the quietness of it all and what else have I enjoyed, of course a few meat pies!
Al enjoying a chicken parmy and cold beer in the famous William Creek hotel, yes they are knickers hanging from the ceiling!