Sunday, 15 May 2011

Days 96, 97 and 98. Long roads and beautiful sunsets.

Location: Alice Springs.
Country: Australia
Day number: 98
Mood: Tired

So, it's the evening, and I'm sat here writing while Aya gradually gets more and more intoxicated on Mango Wine. It's been a quiet few days. We set off from the Whitsundays and started driving west along the Barkley Highway. The first day was quiet, and then with a shock I pulled the car to the side of the road and we emerged, jaws dropped and eyes wide. Never before have we been able to see so much... nothing. The outback rolled on and on, bushes and some grass here and there. In the distance, about 350 kilometres away stood a rolling mountain range. We could see for 350 kilometres. The real reason I pulled over though was because the sun had started to sink below those mountains, and the entire sky had erupted into shades of crimson and orange. Words and pictures cannot describe the colours that bled their way across the sky.

And then the second day, after another 900 kilometres of driving, we saw one even better. It seems every time Australia amazes us with views that make us gape and sunsets that make us solemnly gaze as if in a trance it just goes and creates an even better one the next day. Some of the views of the trees silhouetted against the darkening sky... it's as if we're in... well, I can't think of a decent enough analogy.

Today we pulled into a little roadhouse to top up our fuel (fuel prices went from 139.9 in the city to 199.9 in the outback. Yeah, we died a little) and stepped into the bar to pay when we were surrounded by labels, bills and messages from travellers the world over. The bartender excitedly welcomed us and happily started showing us things from where we were from. I donated a rare $2 American Bill I was hiding in my wallet (a present from Amir's family when I was there). He had all sorts there, trust me, we have tons of pictures.

Yes, pictures... so many pictures to upload. At one point after we crossed into the Northern Territory, the speed limit shot from the usual 100 up to the highest we've seen so far: 130 kph. With a cackle of glee I hit the gas before having to slow back down to 110 as we needed to conserve fuel. When you see a sign saying 'No more fuel for 370 km' and the van only does about 420 you start to conserve fuel. We have spent more than 300 dollars on fuel already since getting to Alice Springs... actually, I think we hit 400 today. Ouch! Hurts my wallet..

So tomorrow we're off to Kings Canyon and Uluru (Ayers Rock) before we finally head south along the Stuart Highway, into Southern Australia (Bringing my total of territories up to 5!) and on to Adelaide!

Well, I hope everyone is well, internet is scarce out here in the middle of no where. Be amazing as always.

Andy

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