Sunday, June 03, 2007

I didn't do much yesterday morning. I was heading into town to buy some food when someone told me there was a good market down there. I'm always up for a good market. When I got there, though, I found there wasn't much handcrafted stuff. Just a lot of food stands and flea market things. Of course, I can never walk through a market without buying something, but now I'm officially done with souvenir shopping.

I wasn't originally thinking of buying many souvenirs because I'm traveling light. But then you buy something for one person and think, "Well, now I have to buy for THIS person," and next thing you know, you have a suitcase full of souvenirs. I can't remember if I wrote about this before, but I had planned to buy everything in Sydney and Melbourne and then ship it from Melbourne. I bought most everything, put it in a box and went to the Post office. That's where I was told it would cost $120 AU to ship the box. I thought she must be mistaken. I asked how she could ship it the very cheapest, and it was still like $65 and it wouldn't arrive for up to 3 months since it would go by boat. I ended up shoving everything in my luggage and have been horribly overpacked since then.

I decided to take a sunset camel ride yesterday evening as it was only $40 and who wouldn't want to ride a camel? They're really cool animals, gentle giants. I enjoyed it much more than I ever have riding horses as camels don't seem to have the sketchy factor. I always feel like I don't know when the horse is going to decide it wants to buck or run off. My camel's name was Greyhound - he used to be a racing camel and is now retired. He was very sweet. We rode in a caravan (I think you'd call it) for about an hour as the sun went down. Then we got to help feed them which was pretty much just giving them a bunch of hay. One thing about riding a camel is that they're big, and when you factor in the hump and the big saddle, you're WAY up there once you climb on. If you should ever find yourself in Alice Springs, I highly recommend it. Here's some photos from the ride:

I thought I had another night in Alice Springs. This will seem stupid, but ever since I crossed the international date line, I've had problems keeping my watch on the correct date. It's usually right for half the day and then it moves to the wrong day. I keep trying to correct it, but I'm constantly confused as to what day and date it is. I thought I didn't have to take the train until tomorrow, but I looked at my ticket last night and then looked at a calender and realized I have to catch the train today.

The good news is that I got the money back for the extra night. The bad news is I won't get to do all the stuff I had planned for today and tomorrow here. I was going to go for a long bike ride and then visit the kangaroo sanctuary. Remember how I talked about all the kangaroo carcasses on the side of the road in the Outback? Apparently, it happens when the kangaroos feed too close to the road. You'd think they would have figured out that they could feed there and get hit, or feed anywhere else in the thousands of square miles that DON'T border the roadway. Oftentimes, the kangaroo is a mother with a joey in her pouch. Though the mother dies, the joey often survives and is stuck in the pouch until he is either rescued, or he dies. This organization goes out and tries to rescue as many joeys as they can, raises them, and then releases them into the wild. I would have really liked to have gone to hold the baby joeys, but they're not open today.

I have long travels ahead of me. I get on the train at 6pm for another 24 hour train ride. I will then spend one night in Darwin, where I can hopefully do my laundry. I then have two plane rides starting around 1pm, though I won't arrive in Sydney until 8pm. I have another single night in Sydney, and then catch a 4 1/2 hour flight to Auckland. The final 12 hour plane ride home from Auckland should be no big deal after all this. I could do it with my eyes closed...which I probably will.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That camel looks a bit iffy!Love the pic with the shadows. I hope the train ride goes by fast. Hopefully you can sit by someone pleasant to talk to!

9:32 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Love the camel pics!!! very cool,and I hope you have a good last day or so down under and a safe trip home

7:13 AM  
Blogger LA said...

Love those camels, and the picture with the riders in shadow is totally cool.

Have a safe journey back, Edit!

4:43 PM  
Blogger Kelly J. Compeau said...

I like camels -- especially when dipped in Chinese cherry sauce. Yummy!



PS If anyone cares, please visit my blog and get the low-down on a recent interview I did with Sci-Fi Talk webmag.

9:30 AM  
Blogger M-M-M-Mishy said...

Oh, lovely photos! I'm sure you'll have an entire album full when you get home.

Have a safe trip home! I'm sure Wally misses you as much as you miss him.

12:34 PM  

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