After yesterday's posting, Zach and I visited the Royal Flying Doctor Service's Alice Springs Headquarters. The RFDS supplies medical care to 80% of Australia, by flying doctors and nurses to remote locations where medical help is not readily available -- really, very cool. We then dined at the Overland Steak House, which is famous for its variety of main course options, including kangaroo, camel, and emu. Although I stuck with the standard filet mingon, Zach was a bit more adventerous and had kangaroo mignon. A small bite showed it to be sweet and very tender.
Despite being extremely full, we then travelled away from the city of Alice Springs into the countryside for an evening of star gazing. Our guides were able to explain many of constellation as well as how the color of a star changes as it ages. Being so far from a major light source (e.g. a major city) allowed to see the beautiful night sky very clearly -- who knew there were so many stars up there? It was a terrfic experience.
This morning, we travelled by car from Alice Springs to Uluru, a major site for the Aboriginal people. The drive was not overly eventful, just 4+ hours of outback landscape (similar to Arizona, but more green) and numerous dead animals (mostly kangaroo roadkill). We did encounter a group of camels on the side of the road -- Australia actually exports camels to the Middle East (believe it or not).
After arriving at our hotel near Uluru, we had a quick bite to eat and relaxed before starting on a sunset tour of Uluru. Unfortunately, the weather became very overcast later in the afternoon, lessening the experience. We were able to walk part way around the base of the rock (really an amazing site) and had a great view of it from the sunset viewing area, but there was no sunset of note tonight. We might drive back on our way to the airport tomorrow, but we'll see.
Tomorrow we will be travelling to Cairns on the northwest coast of Austraila for sun and scuba. Will post again soon (out of internet time).