Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Ghan - Alice Springs

The second side trip occurs when the train arrives before lunch on the second day in Alice Springs.
The Alice Springs Railway Station.
Quite a few passengers left the train to go to Uluru or other attractions in the center of Australia. Since the stop at Alice Springs was for four hours, several side trips were offered including a ride on a camel. However, needing the exercise, I simply walked into town down this path. It took about 10 minutes to reach the downtown area.
Information about the old Ghan train that ran from Adelaide up to Alice Springs.
The old sleepers and some rusty track. Unfortunately they set the tracks 4'8" apart instead of the 3'6" of the original narrow gauge track width.
Statues to the camels which were the original means of transport in the area.
The sky is incredibly blue.
Downtown Alice.
The major industry in Alice Springs appears to be selling aboriginal artifacts.

Imaginative rubbish bin container.

The Todd River which is usually dry. Every year the locals hold Henley on Todd Regatta where boat races are held on the dry river bed. The boats have no bottoms and it is foot power that carries the boats along.

There were a few aborigines sitting on the river bed.

In certain ways, I think of this river bed in Alice Springs as the real center of Australia.

Imaginative way to save a tree.

Of course, Alice Springs has blocked off its main street to create a mall. It's a pretty good one.

Every second shop is selling aboriginal art which is quite distinctive and colourful.

Cafe culture.

Red Ochre has a restaurant in Alice. It was just before lunch time and I came back there later to eat.
 My favourite Aussie restaurant is the Red Ochre in Adelaide which serves Australian flora and fauna.

Bottle brushes. These were as red as I have ever seen them.

A local pub.

Many supermarkets in Oz offer shaded car parks.

The first hospital.

Bottle brushes on the ground.

Imaginative arcades.

Lunch at the Red Ochre. I recognized two fellow travelers from the Ghan and they invited me to eat with them. There was quite a selection of stuff to eat but I decided to have a simple burger just to see what they would do with such a simple meal. The burger was really delicious, a far cry from the mass produced muck of McDonalds.
After luch I decided to climb the nearby Anzac Hill to get a view of the town. A steep pathway leads to the top but it only took about five minutes to climb it.
The view of the city and surrounding ranges and hills is terrific.

Monument to the fallen.

The MacDonnell Range that lies just to the south of the town.

The train line heading south.

How Alice Springs got its name.

Interesting design at the station.

People waiting to get on the train.

I'm pleased that I finally made it to the Alice. I wasn't sure what to expect and it was enjoyable to walk around and explore for a couple of hours. But I don't feel any need to go back.

No comments:

Post a Comment