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Alice Springs, The Return

blog-0010076001398436094.jpgOur last trip to Alice Springs we were southbound toward Uluru. This time we were returning from Uluru and Kings Canyon. Our normal travel pattern is to avoid backtracking over the same route. If at all possible we will take a different road on a return trip. In this case there is one road from Alice Springs to Uluru. There was an alternate route from Kings Canyon that would cut off some distance and give us different scenery. That road was a dirt road. We gave it a try but found it badly washboarded which seems to be standard for the dirt roads here. The road was 99 kilometers long and the campervan rides like a truck. We decided it wasn’t worth saving the fuel and seeing some different scenery just to have the campervan fall apart around us.

We rolled into town late in the afternoon and went immediately to the grocery store. Our tucker (Aussie for food) was getting thin. We spent $186 Australian, $174 US to restock the cabinets. Tucker is not cheap here in Australia. Then we headed for Wintersun Caravan Park. This is a Top Tourist park and we chose to stay here because the park we stayed in before had internet but it was so expensive and limited that I refused to use it. As we were checking in we asked about the internet and found out theirs wasn’t in service due to some kind of problem which couldn’t be resolved before we planned to leave. We decided to stay anyway, we could eat lunch tomorrow at McDonalds and take advantage of their free internet. We parked, put groceries away, ate dinner, showered and hit the sack.

The following morning started with breakfast and then Louise wanted to get the laundry caught up. I helped her haul the three sacks of dirty clothes and linens to the campground laundry. She loaded the machines and returned to the campervan for a brief rest. Then when the machines were done she went back to hang the laundry on the line. All the parks here have extensive clothes lines for patrons to use for drying clothes. They almost universally prohibit putting up lines on your site. I joined her and carried clothes out to her to hang on the lines. With that done, we set out for McDonalds.

The food at McDonalds is almost the same worldwide. There are some local differences, one of the biggest is that the McDonalds restaurants here incorporate a coffee shop much like the Tim Horton’s in Canada. There are two counters, the restaurant counter and the coffee shop counter complete with all the rolls, etc. We’ve used the internet at other McDonalds here in Australia and had reasonably good luck but this restaurant had really poor internet with very slow downloads and frequent interruptions in service. We gave up after accomplishing little in an hour. Our next stop was to get fuel for the trip the coming day. We headed for the Shell station on the north side of town. On the way we stopped at the local Britz office and had a couple of problems fixed. Britz has free internet at all their offices so we jumped at the opportunity while the repairs were being done.

Back at the campground we collected the clothes from the line and put them away. Then we spent some time looking at the coming weeks and getting some idea of what we might be able to do with the time that remains for us in the campervan.


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