Tuesday, October 7, 2014

His: Living in America: Field Trips/Excursions Part 2

Two weeks ago I started my story about the Central Australia field trip that I took when I was in 10th grade. If you missed that post you can read about by clicking here so you don't miss anything. Here is the second part of the story.

Day 6: After packing up our gear and hoping on the bus we headed to Kings Canyon. It was a few hours from Uluru but it was well worth the trip. The Sides of the Canyon towered above you on each side and in the bottom were plenty of gum trees and thousands of boulders that were perfect for rock hopping. Sadly I didn't make it to the top of the canyon but it still a great experience.
 There were boulders littering the valley floor and it was fun to be able to jump from rock to rock.

The canyon walls tower over you and make you feel smaller than an ant.

From Kings Canyon we headed to Alice Springs which was another 4 hours away. The road from the Canyon to the main highway was a dirt road and one of the bumpiest roads I have ever been on. We were all happy to see the paved highway after 2 hours on the bumpy road. We thought we were headed straight to Alice Springs but the teachers had a surprise for us on the way. We pulled over at what looked like someone's farm but it was a camel farm. We were able to take a short camel ride and we even able to get them to run. I was brave/silly enough to hop on the camel and let the handler run with it. The camel's bouncing made the dirt road feel smooth as glass but i had a good time and glad I had the opportunity to try it. We then hopped back on the bus and headed into Alice Springs for the next two nights.

One of the students and one of the teachers getting ready to try a camel ride.

Day 7: Alice Springs is a fairly small city by most standards but is the only city for hundreds of miles and is the shopping hubs for anyone who lives within a 6-8 hour radius. We spent a short time shopping in the town centre before we went out to see some of the sights around the city.We saw an old telegraph station that kept Alice Springs connected to the rest of the world, Stanley's Chasm and a big canyon with a big pond in it among other things. It was definetely parts of Australia that we would not have seen anywhere near my hometown. It was a long day and it was nice to get back to camp and get a quick meal then off to bed.

Stanley's Chasm has a narrow valley which is under shadow for most of the day.
 I found this Rock Wallaby near the trail at Stanley's Chasm. It was a little nervous so I couldn't get any closer.
An Ochre Pit. The Aboriginal people would use this chalky like material to create cave paintings and for face painting.

Day 8 and 9: The next two days were mostly spent on the bus as we headed north to Tennant Creek and then east towards the Pacific Coast. We were meant to stop at the Devil's Marbles but due to a delay we weren't able to stop. The highlight of these two days was the ceremonial pushing of the bus over the state line and visiting the hotel/pub that was used in the Crocodile Dundee movies.

  Source The Walkabout Creek Hotel
Day 10: We spent the morning at the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame in Longreach, Queensland. The Hall of Fame is a large museum dedicated to the people that made a living in the Australian Outback. It was really an unique experience and gave visitors a small glimpse on how difficult it was to live in the Outback. From there it was another long ride on the bus to Mount Isa for the night.

 Source The Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame

Day 11: This was another travel day and our last one before getting to the Pacific Coast and the Great Barrier Reef. There was nothing of note to see except a few termite mounds that were taller than us. After more than a week in the desert it was nice to see white sandy beaches and something other than red sand and salt bush. We also got to stay in a bunkhouse, rather than a tent for the first time in a week which made the long day on the bus worth it.

Come back next week to hear about the last few days of the journey including the Great Barrier Reef and the Gold Coast of Australia. What has been your favourite part of the trip so far?

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