It’s been a whirlwind few weeks in Melbourne, mostly because I got sick, hung out with friends and did a few day trips. Though I had pondered doing one of the bus trips traveling from Melbourne to Alice Springs, for timing purposes I booked a flight instead. So, right now I write to you from the center of Australia. They call it the Red Center, and in a few short hours I leave for a three day camping and hiking adventure in the Australian outback. It’s a completely off-road adventure and we won’t have any internet access. Which means I won’t share any stories until I am back here at the hostel. (Consider this your warning Niki and Lisandra, please don’t act on your threats to call the embassy when I am offline for a week!)
It’s going to be an adventure, and I don’t actually know what to expect. Other backpackers have shared their stories of visiting Uluru and the other sites, but none of them had rain during their trip. And by all accounts, we’re going to get it. The forecast calls for rain throughout Australia’s red center — and that is not normal! In fact, it very rarely rains, just a couple days a year. (UPDATE: Holy smokes did we get some rain! It rained on Uluru, Ayers Rock, which made the whole weekend a muddy and sopping-wet camping adventure).
The sporadic updates these past weeks are on account of a couple things. I visited with my friend Row and it was such fun. Row couchsurfed with me in Los Angeles over the summer, and he finished his own yearlong RTW trip just last week. He’s back home and invited me to crash on his own couch this time around. The only downside, I caught an unholy cold during that epic storm of the century. And though I fought it hard, I lost my voice for several days. I denied that it was happening though, and likely made it worse. I had a sore throat and had started to lose my voice, but continued talking until it was truly and totally gone. Neither a peep nor whisper passed my lips for two days. That got tough during a client call, where I was sitting on a sidewalk at 5am in front of an office building pilfering their wifi… the internet here is truly awful. But other than the issues doing my work from this couchsurfing spot, it was nice to be at a real house with a stove and coziness while I nursed my voice back.
We went on a few adventures around Melbourne and I went on a day trip of the Great Ocean Road. But as time clips along, I left behind my friend and continued onward. It was a right proper plane ride to get to Alice Springs — Australia is huge! It looks small on maps because of the types of map projections we use, and on account of it having no attached land masses, but it’s actually fairly comparable to the continental U.S., which most don’t assume.
Anyhow, I continue to log the nitty-gritty planning details on my Australia Travel Guide, which should come in handy if you plan your own trip! More soon, cross your fingers that it doesn’t rain on me in the Outback.
Currently reading: I’m big on reading books about the country I’m visiting. It’s easy to swap books on the hostel bookshelf. I just finished reading Rabbit Proof Fence and am heading into the Outback with Tracks: A Woman’s Solo Trek Across the Outback.