Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Alice Springs

Alice wasn't too bad. I definitely wouldn't rate it as one of the top towns we visited. There are lots of things to do around Alice though.

The town itself, while boasting quite a few shops, wasnt much to look at. We stayed a fair way out of town away from all the problems... or so we thought! We had an issue on our final night that resulted in me frantically dialling 000 while trying not to wet my pants with worry.

Some idiot had been mucking around with explosives in the Todd river (which is presently just a river bed) and there was a massive explosion, which I felt though my entire body, followed by a decent sized fire. This all happened about 75m from our caravan!!! The police seemed none too surprised, or worried, when I rang them... apparently this isn't an isolated or unusual event.

I started off my time in Alice Springs hanging out in the hospital emergency room. It was absolutely packed. Little Diddy is being quite pesty and removing her mask in her sleep. We have been given strict instructions that she can not sleep without it and if there are any issues then we are to take her straight to hospital. I tried wrapping her up in a muslin wrap but little houdini wriggled out of that within seconds.

The nurse at the hospital was not helpful at all. Even though I had a letter from Diddy's respiratory specialist she did not seem interested. She reluctantly gave me some splints before sending me on my way. The splints are supposed to go on Diddy's arms while she sleeps so she can't get to her face but the nurse hadn't measured Diddy's arms so they were the wrong size. Rather than go back into that germ infested hospital room I decided to embark on a mission to find some kind of wrapping device in Alice Springs that would stop Didabell from tearing her mask off. Two hours and a million shops later, I stumbled across a second hand shop that had just the right thing - thank goodness!!

While in Alice we visited the most amazing place. It is called Palm Valley and it is this strip in between a gorge with the most beautiful, vibrant yellow and green palms. The gorge itself is bright red and the contrast makes for a simply magical place. You can only access it via 4wd and even then you need a proper 4wd. Toy ones don't cut it. There were a few prados in our group that scraped underneath. I will include some pics of it below. (although they really don't do it justice!!!)

We also took the kids to the Desert Park and on a sunset camel ride through the Mcdonnell ranges. They are such lucky kiddies!!! The desert park was amazing. It really gave me a new understanding and appreciation for the desert ecosystem. I had no idea it was so complex and full of life. I always imagined deserts to be hot, lifeless places with nothing much of interest in them.

The sunset camel ride was also another brilliant experience I would recommend (although I didn't get to experience it myself - somehow I always end up minding the younger two while Ben does these things with the older ones). If you do it in Alice Springs then you pay about half the price of what it costs at Uluru (and the MacDonnel ranges are equally as impressive).

My fossil collection has continued to grow with new purchases being made in Alice. I am also collecting cloth badges for the kids from everywhere we go so that I (and when I say 'I' I mean 'mum') can sew them on a blanket for the kids. These badges cost approx $5 each so it had worked out to be quite an expensive collection. I have bought them one from almost every town we have stayed in!

Anyway that is just about all I have to say about Alice. Must move on now because I still have Uluru to do!


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