Weather: Sunny, 34c (Thursday 12th September)
Today was hot, hot, hot – with a lovely warm breeze blowing through (thank goodness). We spent the day in Alice, wandering around the shops; picking up gifts (including some lovely fabric for myself with aboriginal prints on them) and taking lots of photos. In one of the art galleries we were given the ‘5 minute tour’ by one of the members of staff and she explained about different patterns used in painting by men and women and that only certain patterns can be used. It really opened our eyes and made us think about the items that we were buying and the meaning behind the patterns. After lunch we started the touristy part of our outback trip and went to see the sites. First off though, here are a few picks of Alice – including my meeting with some local Police Officers:
It was really neat to have a chat with them (for those who are not aware, I was a Police Officer in the UK prior to emigrating to Canada) and they were able to answer a question that had been bothering us from the night before – why were Officers on duty outside the IGA (supermarket) when we went to buy some food? It turns out that there is a huge problem with alcohol being consumed in areas where it has been banned – and therefore they were checking up with shoppers, making sure that they did not have contraband to drink illegally. I find this rather sad, as the main offenders appear to the aboriginals people. Sadly, this is an issue that we also have with the First Nations in Canada.
We then went to pay our respects at the war memorial which is situated at the top of a hill, overlooking the town. Amazing views.
Next up was a trip to the Royal Flying Doctor Service – I am embarrassed to say that I did not realise that is was for real – I thought that it was just a TV show (I consider my wrists to be well and truly slapped!!)
We then couldn’t resist the ‘Old Timers Museum’ which was essentially a large Quonset/shed, but was really quite interesting. Of course I gravitated towards the old sewing machines and it is quite amazing to realise all that they have gone through – traveling across country as the pioneers forged their way into the wilderness.
We finished off with a walk around the Alice Springs Desert Park – and guess what we saw???? Kangaroos! Woo Hoo! So exciting to see them, they are such cool creatures. There were a couple lying down on their sides, legs crossed – so funny! We also saw a pregnant mum with a young joey and another baby in suspended animation waiting for its turn to be born. My trip is complete!
We leave Alice tomorrow and head for Ayers Rocks – also known as Uluru. Looking forward to that!