Time for another English report about my last adventures. I've covered my time in Alice until mid August in German with my last few texts. So just as a summary for you folks: Alice is a wonderful friendly town and despite of my bicycle accident I had a lot of fun and met heaps of really nice people! And to everyone who told my it's boring or dangerous - shut up, get on the Ghan or a plane and try it yourself - I can only recommend it!
After my last shifts in both my opal shop and the bluegrass restaurant I had 1 day to organise and pack befor i set off on the Larapinta Trail. That's a walking treck once again through the beautiful West MacDonnell Ranges. I joined the party of my work friend Cella, her husband and a friend of them. In 5 days we covered 3 of the 12 trail sections up peaks, along ridges and through beautiful gorges. It was good fun and again very satisfying but also my hardest walk so far. Hiking through an arid environment is very different to all my walks through rainforests or often shady bush land. Not only that this was the week when it finally became springtime with temperatures around 30 degrees celsius. It also meeans you don't cross creeks and waterfalls all time or if you do they are dried out. Every 2 days you come to a water tank and your pack gets very heavy again. But your reward are awesome sunsets and -rises, the views at all and of couse to only meet other people once a day. So if you're looking for a little adventure next winter - this could be your choice.
Back to civilisation I had another 2 nights in Alice before I left for Mimili - a little community just after the NT/SA border. I stayed there a bit longer than 3 weeks to babysit 2 gorgeous little girls - Frankie just turned 1 whilst I was there and her big sister is 2 3/4. Their mum Claudia and dada Tom are running the community arts & crafts centre and are the MSO (doing all the office work for the council and lots more). As there is no childcare provided for the little ones they usally have to go to work with their parents everyday - what is of couse pretty boring and makes you a bit 'uneasy'.
Anyway we had a good time and everyone of you who knows how crazy I am about kids can imagine how much I loved 'my' girls. And their parents, especially with Clauds I felt we're already much longer friends. As the whole family is about to leave Mimili I'm sure we will catch up at some time in Victoria.
Being already in South Australia I decided to sneak into Coober Pedy - the worls's opal capital just 3 hrs down Stuart Hwy. A very weird place, most of the town's underground as people are living in so called dug outs to protect themselfes from the very high temperatures and because this area is literally treeless, so there was no building material accessable in the old days. I lasted there exactly 36 hrs and was kind of relived to find myself sleeping at my friend Chandler's place in Alice again after 2 nights underground. But never the less it was an interesting day with tours in and around town and into a working mine. And good food. As there are more than 40 nations living in town you can find some nice restaurants. My first night I dined at a Greek tavern that even turned up on TV lately and the other night I went to an Italian.
A few more days in Alice , a last farewell and off I went on an Adventure Tours trip up to Darwin. (that's the company my tour guide housemates in Hobart are/were working for) What? Antje joined a tour group? Yes I did because I choose it was the more interesting journey than going 24 hrs by Greyhound coach. The Ghan timetable didn't suit me and the plane was only $30 less than a guided 3 day tour including food and camping. It was alright, we had some fun and I already knew that I'm coming back to the best part of this trip - Katherine Gorge.
So arriving in Darwin I turned around after 2 nights to go back down to Katherine again to catch up with my friend James I met half a year ago in Perth. Because we enjoyed this Nitmiluk National Park so much we actually spent 3 nights at the gorge and another 2 nights at Edith Falls, the northern part of the NP with swimming, bush walking, canoing and relaxing of couse.
Now I'm back in Darwin since 2 nights and haven't done much yet. (But finally my tax return) I'm still acclimatising, to both the hot and humid wheather of the build up season and being back in a city. That's it so far. I'm going to the movies tonight - Deck chair cinema and will keep you updated at this plase hoping for some comments or emails about what happens in your lifes.
Hugs and kisses yours Antje.
P.S. to all the Erfurt folks - you don't believe who I run into last sunday. Marco Weiss (former Boeckmann). I crossed the road and someone waved at me. Couldn't believe it. Had a nice stroll over the sunset markets and enjoyed the sunset at the beach.