I realise a 3,000 km road trip all the way to the Red Centre without visiting Uluru is a bit like going to Paris without visiting the Eiffel Tower but we already visited Uluru and did all the big 'touristy' things on our trip around the country a year ago. Did you know it is an extra 10 hour round trip from Alice Springs? I asked the Kids whether they fancied a side trip to Uluru and I just about had a mutiny on my hands. Even well-travelled Kids have their limits! If you are interested though you can read my previous Posts about Uluru, the largest Rock in the World, here, The Kings Canyon here and the beautiful colours of the Red Centre here.
Rather than playing tourist, this trip was about relaxing and enjoying the local surrounds and spending time with my In-Law's who live in Alice Springs. I had a break from my camera too so all of the photos above were taken on my iPhone and have done the rounds on Intsagram already (apologies for the that!). We visited some local gorges and waterholes and the Aboriginal Ochre Cliffs are something I hadn't seen before. The red, yellow and brown Ochre are clearly visible in the Cliffs and are used by the Aboriginals in their traditional ceremonies, painting and cosmetics. The Kids spent hours every day exploring the hill beside their Grandparents's home. On the final night I climbed the top of the hill with them and was blown away at the view of the MacDonnell Ranges in the background.
The highlight for me was the Full Moon mountain bike ride through the West Macdonnell Ranges. My Father-In-Law is a keen Mountain Bike rider and for 14 years I have been hearing about his Full Moon bike rides through the West McDonnell Ranges. Our trip happened to coincide with a Full Moon on Anzac Day and so The Pianoman and I decided to join him and my Mother-In-Law on the infamous ride. We managed to get a couple of lovely girls from the boarding house at the School where my In-Law's works to look after the Kids and at 7pm, the four of us were dropped off at Simpson's Gap and were to make the 30km journey home. It was the most amazing experience. The conditions were perfect and it was incredibly light and quiet and serene. Just breathtaking and definitely something for the Bucket List if you happen to be in Alice Springs on a Full Moon. I learnt something though - either 30km is a very long way or I am very unfit - a sore backside proving that maybe both are correct. Upon return it was a toss up as to whether a nice drop of Red or a bath of Epson Salts would be the more beneficial remedy. Unsurprisingly, I opted for the former.
We are now down on The Great Ocean Road and nearing the end of our trip. The long drives are all behind us now and it will be nice to spend the last few days in the one spot. I must say I had hoped to check in a lot more often than once a week given there was so much time in the car, however there is no reception outside the petrol stations on the road to and from Alice Springs and none underground in Coober Pedy so it has been tricky. So I apologise for the radio silence from my side and I am looking forward to getting home and catching up on all your news.
Hope you all have a lovely weekend!