Australia Outback

March 20th, 2007

I orginally didn’t plan on heading to the middle of Australia, but then i decided i had to. I mean, why go all this way and not see the part of Australia that is really unique to Australia? It added a thousand bucks, 10 days, and definitely a worhwhile experience to my trip. Sarah and I booked a 6 day package tour thru Groovy Grapes that spent about 3-4 days in the middle, then the other days driving south to Adelaide. It was a fun trip, met some cool people, had a nice hot desert experience, learned about Indigenous culture, and saw one big ass rock – Uluru.

Uluru is the most recognized natural wonder in Australia. It was impressive, and i’m glad i saw it, but its not the most amazing thing i’ve ever seen. I appreciated learning about the indigenous tribes and the overall experience more .. sleeping under the stars, enduring the heat of the outback, getting pissed at hundreds of flies in my face for days, and doing hikes and walks around Uluru, Olgas, and Kings Canyon. Specifically the little swim in Kings Canyon was great – refreshing and unique. We also learned about 2 types of trees that are poisonous – thats right .. a splinter from the wrong tree and its off to the hospital. Australia is not the safest place in the world. You knew that.

The Groovy Grapes tour was totally fun – Joe, our driver, was a very easy going guy. Almost too easy for some – he would often be late in the mornings, but i’d much prefer that than to somebody who was strict on schedules. Our fellow travelers were all cool – everybody could take the heat and hiking with a smile, would help out with dinner, cleaning, loading the truck, and whatever else needed to be done. I liked sleeping under the stars in a swag (a durable sleeping bag thing). I’d also learned a few more drinking games. Coober Pedy was a nice bonus for the trip. I really liked all the underground stuff – the mines, the houses, our hotel, and the museum. But it was alot of driving, especially the last 2 days .. i’d say 2000 km the whole week.

The trip ended in Adelaide – not exactly the outback, but i’ll sum it up here as well. My last 3 days in Australia were in Adelaide, and it was nice. Our first night most of the groovy grapes crew went out, starting off at a thai place before having a few beers. At the thai place i finally ate kangaroo, and it was delicous – kinda like a nice cut of beef. Adelaide was the first time i felt no desire to see all i could see. I wanted to chill and enjoy myself – and i did. I stumbled upon the Future music festival – an all day DJ music event in the park. Green grass, lots of people watching, dancing, good music, and a few beers. Soo nice. The next few days i basically hung out, Sarah and i did a little exploring and had a nice Indian dinner as my last real meal in Australia.

Australia was great. A bit pricier that i expected, so i didn’t want to chill out there too much – much prefer to do that in SE Asia. I got roughly 3 months there , then a month in India, then it’s back to the USA (maybe a week in europe). Wish me luck in Thailand!