Alice Springs, 6th February 2005
My backpack is not lost anymore. Kudos to Mel Fowler (Ghan) and Dennis Russell (Adelaide Luggage department) who did everything they could to trace it.

I did have to live with just 2 T-shirts from Sunday to Monday. It is nice and simple, possession do not make you happy, but a bit more clothing would come in handy.

I like Alice Springs. It is a surprisingly pleasant town, full of shops, how convenient, as Great Southern Railways had given up hope to find my backpack. I did maintain hope for the best, yet prepared for the worst. So as a berry picker I had to go window shopping for replacements, till I got blisters on my feet.

In hindsight, it was not needed, but should you ever end up in Alice Springs without luggage:

What to do

It is an unexpected pleasure to stay a week in Alice Springs.
  1. The ANZAC Hill offers a fantastic view over the town, green island in a dry desert.
  2. The Alice Springs Telegraph Station (walk north along the river, do take a hoed, fly net, sun block and water) grazing kangaroos has a nice picnic area, with electric BBQ's, toilets, a drink water refill and plenty of shadow for reading a book in leisure and watch the kangaroos graze.
  3. The Telegraph Station is the starting point of several walks, well indicated with different colours. There are enough of them to keep you busy for a few days.

    Invention: chilled drinking water

    1. Squeeze a plastic bottle of mineral water and put the plug back on.
    2. Put the squeezed full bottle in the freezer.
    3. Take a frozen bottle of water with you.
    4. Enjoy ice cold drinking water for hours.
    38 degrees does not seem like a pleasant temperature for walking, but it is thanks to the dryness. The sweat evaporates even before it left your pores. So it looks as if you do not sweat.
  4. The Botanical Garden (Tuncks Rd) is the most special I have ever seen, a quiet spot at the other side of the river.
  5. The cinema in Todd Mall (Northern part, close to the Bi-Lo) has a nice, extensive supply of surprisingly good movies and on weekdays too. It is a nice place for a cool down and enjoy something to eat in the enclosed restaurant.
  6. Recommended place to stay: Mount Nancy Motel (Stuart Highway, North, opposite the exit to the Telegraph Station), quiet environment, at walking distance from the Telegraph Station, spacious rooms for 3 persons, own bathroom, working and silent air conditioner, a fridge that freezes 2 bottles of mineral water in one night and a laundry for dirty cloths.
  7. When your luggage is either refound or replaced: The tourist information centre (Gregory TCE, east of Todd Street) has a large offer of all tours of the various operators. Collect plenty of folders here and find yourself a place in the shade to go through them all.
The blisters on my feet have healed, my backpack is here, washed my clothes, my skin got used tot the Australian sun, I got 30+ sun block, a hat, a fly net, slippers and two bottles of frozen drinking water, so: It is time for the highlight of my holiday, a walk around Ayer's Rock, or Uluru as the local Aboriginals call it.

Till next nut,