We took a flight to Alice Springs from Sydney (which is on the coast and in New South Wales, which is the state where Rachele's family lives, for those of you who don't know about Australian geography). The flight took three hours, and throughout the majority of the flight Michael and I looked out the window and marvelled at the fact that all you could see was a huge expanse of red, dry, cracked earth. You really feel like you are going out into the middle of nowhere.
When I stepped off the plane in Alice Springs, the first thing that hit me was the intense heat. It was about 1pm, and the sun was beating down. Even the wind was hot. The air was so dry you could almost feel it pulling the the moisture out of you. You don't need to bother drying your hands after you wash them, just step outside the air does it for you. The earth is bright red, and it gets into everything and leaves its mark. My formerly white sneakers will now forever serve as a reminder of this trip. Worst of all are the flies. The place is swarming with flies that are not shy about crawling all over your face, into your ears, nose, mouth and eyes.
And for some reason, I fell in love with this place. It might have something to do with the beautifully bright sky, the crystal clear air, the stunning sunsets and sunrises, and a night sky that is so thick with stars you feel like you could reach out and touch them. It is a place where you can literally drive for hours and see nothing but the little two-lane road you are on and land rolling by on either side. You pass at most a handful of other vehicles, the drivers of which all smile and wave. Of course they do; who knows when you will see another person? It is like no place I have ever been.
This is a medicine chest from the 1960s. There was a joke in the museum about a man who said they had run out of #9 pills, so he just gave his wife a #4 and a #5 and she was just fine.
Needless to say, I really liked Alice Springs. I will write about all the adventuring into the outback in the next post.