Monday, May 10, 2004

Miles of Nothingness

We hit the road from Katherine for two full days of driving. The Northern Territory is the least densely populated region of Australia. The Stuart Highway from Katherine to Alice Springs drives right through the heart of the desolate outback. As the miles clicked by we watched the scenery change from tropical to harsh dry landscape.
Northern Territory roads are famous for two things. First, there are no speed limits on most of the major roads. Second, transport trucks are known as road trains as they often have up to 5 or 6 long flat beds behind them. Passing them on the two lane highway made for quite the intimidating experience at first.
Near the end of the first day of driving we stopped at the Devil's Marbles. This is just the sort of random freaky geological configuration one could only encounter in Australia. For miles stretched giant rocks eroded into near perfect spherical shapes and balanced in precarious positions. The sun was low so the lighting was perfect for an extended photo session.

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The bizarre Devil's Marbles

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Potential Team Reak album cover???

We also made a short pitstop in Wycliff which hold the distinct honour of being the UFO siting capitol of Australia.

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Officially in X-Files Territory

With aliens on the brain we pushed on after dusk when we encountered some bizarre lights heading towards. The strange vehicle seemed to be nearly on top of us on a head on collision course one moment and miles away the next. It turned out to be only a bus and the flat landscape caused strange illusions with the headlights. But we still had huge laughs of our fear of aliens coming to probe our brains (and fearfully other things.)

Gas prices were a ridiculous $1.35/litre in the middle of nowhere

We stayed the night at a campground in Ti Tree. After driving nearly 1000 kilometres south there was a marked difference in the temperature. We pulled out our toques and retired straight away so we could start another day of driving.
The next morning we drove two hours to Alice Springs and then continued the five more to Uluru. Considering we were driving to what is arguably Australia's most famous tourist destination we were surprised at the small number of vehicles on the road.

<< Katherine | The Route | Uluru >>


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