Thursday, June 9, 2011

Outback, round 2.

If you didn't know, the Australian Outback is mainly a desert. A desert by definition has less than 10 inches of rain a year. This isn't much. That didn't stop it from raining all three days I was in Alice Springs though. No worries, the river still didn't flow. It didn't rain hard enough.

The good news is a little rain has never stopped me; in fact it often encourages me. There's nothing I'd rather do than through frisbee on Bowman in summer storm. However, I had no discs, no Bowman field, no clemson, and nobody to throw with so I made do with ATVing, biking, and exploring the desert park.

The Desert Park was somewhere between an aviary, a zoo, and a national park. They had lots of different birds, showcased the three major outback environments (Sand, dry riverbed, woodlands), and had all of the animals I hadn't managed to see yet in Australia. My new favorite: the Thorny Devil. Check him out:
First of all, they walk with a swagger (seriously). And they are able to drink with out putting their mouth in a puddle because they can draw water up through special channels from their feet. What more do you want in a lizard? The legless ones were just weird...

ATVing, or quad-biking as they call it here, was fun. They are really easy machines to operate and it was really cool to ride around the cattle station for simply the rides sake as well as to see how the cattle farm is operated. 

Anyways, ATVs aren't very safe in my experience. And I only have one morning of it. We had been riding for around 4 hours, and we reached the top of a hill. All of us cut our bikes off, and listened to a spiel about how to ride down the super-steep incline on the other side, we were encouraged to not be afraid to give it all the brake it has got because gravity will get us down. 

I was the last one to ride down the hill. I gave the guy in front of me a little room, then gassed it enough just to start rolling. Then I gave it some brake. Then I gave it some more brake. Then I gave it all the brake i could give it. My brakes were broken. And I was now careening down a super rocky, super steep hill on a 650 pound vehicle. For whatever reason, I wasn't too worried about myself at the time (in hindsight I should have been). I was however worried about the dude I was about to ram though. All I knew to do was yell. So I did. I just yelled really loud that my brakes weren't working. And then it hit him. Literally. But luckily neither of us flipped, and his brakes slammed on held both of us.

Bottom line, I could be very broken right now, if not dead. But I came out without a scratch.

So now that my near death experience has been covered, and (this song proved itself relatively true) we can move on.

My last day in Alice I rented a bike and rode 30 miles through the bush. I rode to a place called Simpson's Gap that actually had a small flowing creek! It rained the entire time, but I figured I'd be soaked with sweat if it was dry anyway, so what's the difference. It was a really relaxing ride, and Simpson's Gap was really beautiful, and it was relatively cheap! The best part however was seeing some wild kangaroos, including a mom and her joey. 

Just to settle all debates, Kangaroos are better than Koalas.

Anyways, I have got around 2.5 weeks left here. Exams, ho!

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone back home.

Peace and Joy,


P.S. Lion comes this summer. Roar. and iCloud is super exciting. Is it bad if I watch the Apple Keynote?

P.P.S. I lost my phone. I never lose things. This is extremely demoralizing.

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