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There was no sign of Hugo Weaving in a dress though

sunny

After yesterday's driving marathon, we had another one today. Instead of driving on sealed roads however, today was spent driving about 250kms on dirt tracks through the middle of the desert. In preparation, we had filled up the petrol tank, filled up all the water bottles we had, bought a 10 litre container of water and stocked up with non-perishable foods. All these precautions are necessary in case we breakdown, as it can be upto 48 hours before you see someone that can help you. Fortunately, we made the drive unscathed :)

At the end of this track, there were a number of picturesque gorges and ravines. Some of these were only accessible by 4WD, so never being one to back down from a challenge I approached these with gusto. A few expensive-sounding bangs and crunches from the suspension (and a few choice words from Heather :), soon had me slowing down from 80kmph I was doing. With a $2,500 excess on the car, any damage was going to be expensive.
At about 4pm, we arrived back in Alice and checked back into the YHA where we had originally started our red centre tour. To round off the evening, we visited the Lassiters Casino. This is famous as it appeared in the movie "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert". We made it an early night because those 250kms (plus a further 300 or so on sealed roads) were knackering, not sure what Heather's excuse was :)

Posted by jefranklin 18:00 Archived in Australia Tagged road_trip backpacking round_the_world Comments (0)

Two up, three up, throw up...

Well, the 25th is ANZAC day itself and traditionally, following the march through town, all the retired servicemen head off to the local watering hole and play two-up. Being averse to gambling, I was not going to rob some OAP of their life savings, but was more than happy to partake of the alcoholic beverages. Sadly, I had to drive us home (I really must get Heather a driving licence), so limited the intake to a mere one.
Still, all in all, it was a very good weekend.

Posted by jefranklin 22:49 Archived in Australia Tagged road_trip Comments (0)

18 holes and 45 km

Once we had recovered from the previous night (plenty of Coke needed), we headed into the main strip of the Kangaroo Valley to check it out. The style of the buildings reminded me of a town in the wild west, so feeling all inspired and arty, I took a number of photos. The plan was that I run the pictures through Photoshop and make them all old fashioned (sepia tones, grainy, etc).

Following the trip to town, we headed to the Kangaroo Valley Golf Course for the round we had booked. After we had paid our green fees (and I had hired a set of clubs) we set off. The woman that served us had tried to convince us to rent a cart as well, warning us it was a long course. We assumed she was doing the "hard sell", so resisted her offers. As it was about my third time ever playing golf, I naturally was terrible - fortunately there was only one person behind us, whom we let play through.

Now, I know that golf courses shouldn't feel cramped, but this was ridiculous; I had never been on such a long course. It did have it's advantages though. We got to see a flock/herd/gaggle of kangaroos with their cubs/calfs/joeys (out with the camera - click!). By the 12th hole, I had had more than enough, so pulled the petulant child act ("I want a beer now") until Heather caved. We headed straight to the 19th hole and got a round in.
We had planned to go out to the local tavern for dinner, but decided that the 19th hole offered more attractions in that we didn't have to move. This gave me the opportunity to have a couple more beers before I had to drive again. Heather, being the non-driver that she is, took complete advantage and sank a lot more wine and beer than me.

When the meal came to a close though, we headed back to the cottage where we were staying and I soon caught up with her...

Posted by jefranklin 22:39 Archived in Australia Tagged road_trip weekend Comments (0)

Maybe there was a problem with the space/time continuum

We had decided to spend this ANZAC weekend in the Kangaroo Valley, which is a couple of hours south-west of Sydney. We picked up our hire car (a Holden Commodore -aah! I am turning more and more Aussie!) as I didn't trust our wreck Xoe to make it without several phone calls to the NRMA. After an inordinate amount of time spent packing, we headed off to the M5 using the route plan that I had printed in a fit of organisation. Big mistake.

The first issue was that the instructions directed off the M5 only to rejoin a few miles down the track. The second issue was having navigated us to the middle of nowhere (I swear I heard duelling banjoes and a bloke saying "Squeal like a piggy"), the directions seemed to send us in completely the wrong direction. The end result was that the 2 hour planned trip took closer to 4 hours. On the positive side though, we did get to see a couple of wombats pottering along the roadside.

On arrival, I pulled out my camera to take the compulsory arrival pictures and I had left my main memory card stuck in the reader! Fortunately, for some unknown reason l had packed a spare. It was long past time for a drink...

Posted by jefranklin 22:34 Archived in Australia Tagged road_trip city_break Comments (0)

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