We visited Kings Canyon on the last day of our three day tour. It was great to get the hiking boots on again and have a good walk around the canyon rim. When we started it was 28c, and a couple of hours later it was 36c, and it was still only 10am. The temperatures out in the open rose to around 46c during out tour – quite a bit hotter than I experienced in Asia!
The Canyon was impressive, with pretty amazing formations due to an old sea that used to cover the land. There was a nice billabong (water hole) in the middle that allowed us to cool off for a bit mid walk. It was nothing like the scale of the Grand Canyon though, but you can see the resemblances in appearance with huge gorges formed in the area. The stories from the Aboriginal people make it even more interesting, with each mound of rock thought to be the remains of old explorers.
I arrived at Alice Springs quite tired after the 0430 start, sleeping outside in swags, the walk around Kings Canyon, and the drive back from there. We had a new driver taking us back, and I had a fantastic travel related conversation with him, getting tips for New Zealand, and hearing of other exciting adventures he had done in the past. We also got an explanation of the ‘twisters’ that form on the plain between Alice Springs and Kings Canyon….they look like twisters but are formed the reverse way with heat from hotter and colder areas on the ground forcing the air to swirl around in what appears to be a twister, or tornado. Since the area is so hot, there were loads of them – we counted around 10 a one point, and apparently they get that strong that they’ll make quite an impact on a car passing through them. We also observed quite a lot of wildlife around, and a shitload of roadkill from cows to kangaroos.
A funny night was had exploring a couple of the bars in Alice Springs, in particular XXXXXXX. It’s old style in here with saloon doors at the entrance, nuts to eat, and the floor littered with their shells. The funny thing about this place is that the old traditional bar has gone hi-tech with webcam connections, and a website that allows your mates to see you, put in requests for you, and even buy you a drink at the bar! Needless to say it was a bit harder to get up early the next day for my 0630 start for my two day road trip to Adelaide.