It's day four and we made it to the Outback today. Right now I am sitting in an internet cafe on Todd Mall in Alice Springs, the largest city in the Outback. Located in the Northern Territories (I think that's where Crocodile Dundee was from), Alice Springs is probably the biggest city for over 1000 kilometers. From the window of the plane on our three hour trip from Melbourne, there was not much to see besides arid, flat desert (though it is more lush than Arizona).
Zach and I have rented a manual Toyota Corolla (smaller than those in the states) for our trip tomorrow to Ayers Rock and for bumming around Alice Springs. Despite being a little lost on the way from the airport to the hotel, we did encounter our first kangaroo of the trip -- unfortunately, it was not of the live variety. We are looking forward to the 4+ hour drive tomorrow through the outback in the hopes of finding a more lively specimen.
The plan for tonight is to do a little star gazing with the Spirit of the Night tour company. Per the tour books, the sky in central Australia is about as clear as it gets, so I am very excited to see the stars without disturbance from bright city lights.
There is a sign in the middle of Alice Springs...we are currently 15,749 kilometers from Chicago (roughly 9700 miles).
Will post again soon...perhaps from Ayers Rock on Friday.