The Gypsy with the red notebook

How to discover yourself and the world with inspirational journeys

Days 14 e 15 – Red Centre. Alice Springs’ Secret

Thorny Devil, Alice Springs

A couple of hours flying over large red rock surfaces and I’m in Alice Springs. The airport is very small, the shuttle runs only after the few flights departing and arriving, so I will have to take a taxi to get to the hostel. I will spend an hour with the Qantas Call Center, to change of the return flight: I really don’t want to think about the return now… BTW, after the Whitsundays I will fly to Italy from Sydney, not from Brisbane anymore.

The Secret Traveller’s Alice Inn is a family-run hostel, managed by a nice young German who have created a little hippy dream, with great attention to detail: a small garden with swimming pool and colorful hammocks, lights and colored nights, the 3-bed female room is actually a violet minibus. My roommates are Julie, an exuberant American Jew from Pennsylvania, who has been travelling for 4 months throughout East Asia, keeping eating kosher in some ways, and Terry, a German student from Stuttgart. Another nice cultural mix like in Melbourne! 🙂

In the middle of nowhere there is very little to do: Alice Springs is nothing more than a couple of streets with pubs, supermarkets and local craft shops. The most exciting thing you can do is to drink a few beers, but only at the pub or at home.

In Australia it is forbidden to drink on the street or in parks, and even the purchase of alcohol is subject to many restrictions. I will really miss drinking a beer listening to a open air concert or during a walk, here! You will never find alcohol at Woolsworth or Cole, you need to go to the – very expensive – alcohol shop, and even here the sale is until 10 pm. Then they close.

Alcohol is, as everyone knows, also the most serious social issue for the Aboriginal population. Here, for the first time, I really experienced the situation of the local aborigines: very poor, sad, they wander the streets often barefoot and drunk. In a parking lot, at seven o’clock in the evening, I will see one of them on the ground, while some policemen are trying to pick him up.

Friday is a surreal day: it’s raining in the desert. I go with Terry to Alice Springs Desert Park (the entrance fee id not really cheap!). We wander among emu, colorful birds, nocturnal animals and red kangaroos, much bigger and more muscular than their wallaby brothers. There is also the mythological thorny devil, the little devil all made of thorns of the desert, which seems to move in “slow motion”. In the evening I go shopping aboriginal products, waiting for the main course. Tomorrow I am leaving for a 3-day tour in the desert, to discover the mythical Uluru…

Alice Springs Desert Park, Dingo
Alice Springs Desert Park, Emu
Alice Springs Desert Park, Thorny Devil
Thorny Devil
Alice Springs Desert Park, Red kangaroos
Red kangaroos
Alice Springs Desert Park, Barn Owl
Barn Owl

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