Friday, April 25, 2014

Alice Springs

We are on the last leg of our trip — five nights in Alice Springs, in the Red Centre of Australia. If you look at a map, you’ll see that it is very isolated. It is relatively near Uluru/Ayers Rock, an iconic formation that is sacred to the Aboriginals. We’ll be taking a day trip out there on Saturday. 

Alice is about halfway between Adelaide on the south coast and Darwin on the north. A major highway and the Ghan railway go through town. It was an important location for a repeater station on the Overland Telegraph Line and a European settlement was started around 1870. It was an active staging base during World War II. The population is about 20% Aboriginal out of 25,000 or more.

Our travel here was unremarkable; we flew from Adelaide to Sydney, stayed overnight, and flew here the next morning (our only early flight, 7:25 AM). We are staying in the Elkira Best Western Resort Motel, which is far from new, but charming and comfortable. Our first outing was a walk to a nearby supermarket, where we laid in supplies for breakfasts and lunches in our room. After dinner in the hotel restaurant, we took a walk around the next block to the south. It is filled with historic homes that have markers on the sidewalks. Most were built during WWII. This morning after breakfast I repeated the walk and took a few pictures on the way.

Today, April 25, is ANZAC day, a day of remembrance of the combined Australian and New Zealand forces who fought at Gallipoli in 1915, where many lives were lost. Many places are closed for the national holiday and we are taking it easy in anticipation of our marathon trip to Uluru tomorrow (we leave at 6 AM and return at midnight).

The "Red Centre" from the plane
Fountain in hotel courtyard
Bruschetta -- brought because our dinner took a while to cook!
Chicken breast stuffed with red peppers and cheese, too much cream gravy
Butter Chicken
Park and hill across from hotel
Historic home
Another historic home

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