Laurel and Greg, enjoying some adult beverages.
The next day Olivia flew off to Queensland with Macaela, but we stayed two days longer to check out Alice Springs. We quickly realized that this was a mistake. Alice is not a town that exists because people want to live there. Alice is there because a town needed to exist in that area. Also, it was well over 40 degrees Celcius every day. Insanely hot. Even with sunscreen, the sun made your skin feel like it was sizzling instantly. We quickly determined that there wasn't much to do anyway, so we rented movies and stayed in the blessedly air-conditioned comfort of our hotel room. "Super 8"- fantastic. "Friends with Benefits"- probably better than it had a right to be.
We did venture out briefly to climb ANZAC Hill to get a view of the city and take a few pictures. Alice Springs has a population of about 50,000 and sits in the middle of a large canyon. Here's a view of the main road, Gap Road, so named becuase they dynamited a gap in the ridge in the background to get the road through.
Here are a few more views from the hill. Pretty, but barren. We cannot imagine living here, especially before electricty was invented.
ANZAC Hill is so named because on top of it rests Alice's monument to the ANZAC veterans of the Northern Territories who have lost their lives in various conflicts. At this point in the blog, we are hoping we don't need to break down what ANZAC is anymore.
Flying back, we knew we had a couple hour layover in Sydney, and we had been issued individual one-time passes to enjoy the Qantas lounge when we had been promoted up to the second tier "Silver" status. That's pretty much the only thing Silver gets you, so we decided to make use of our passes. We entered a whole other world. A world of free food and alcohol, nice people, and a waiting area so nice you may not actually care all that much if your flight is delayed, since you know, free alcohol. Look at this!
They say that when you are someplace you've never been, expecially when you feel it's above your station, you're supposed to act like you've been there before. We failed miserably at this, and pulled what is perhaps the most tourist thing anyone has ever done. We took pictures of the Qantas lounge. Comfy chairs! Your own store, so you can be sure that the issue of "Vogue" you're buying has never been sullied by the hands of the great unwashed downstairs. Just amazing.
Oh my God. Oh my God. Free internet. Oh my God. We haven't seen this since we left the States in 2010. Did Greg really have any need to check his email? Of course not. But he could, and that is what was important.
Guys, it took us six months, but that was our epic trip to the Northern Territories with Olivia. Such a great idea, we owe you one, Olivia! Everyone, if you are ever in Australia you need to get out there and see the Outback with its amazing rock formations and canyons. Just don't plan on spending any more time in Alice Springs then you have to.