The dirty swag didn’t keep me awake, but the cold certainly did. Woke up far too early – ended up having to go have a shower to warm my feet up before dressing in layers and heading back. Clearly it worked, since Beth had to prod me awake when Mark roused us up.
When we arrived at the canyon, our final day starts off at the bottom of a charming place affectionately nicknamed ‘Heart Attack HillKings Canyon is mostly a moderate hike, but the hill you have to climb in order to get up there is brutal. They also insist that you carry at least 3 litres of water with you in order to survive this hike in the sun – and with good reason.
This hill was hell. The last few days of cold sleep have given me a sore throat, which means breathing is already pretty raw. Clambering up an extremely steep hill in the heat would be bad enough without that extra handicap.
There’s two places to rest along the way though, and once you make it up, its pretty smooth sailing. On top of which, once you get up there, the landscape is something incredible.
It’s like something out of a sci movie or a fantasy game. Apparently a really bad movie was filmed here once, but it probably says a lot about my personality that my first thought was that if you could get Wild Arms cosplay up here it would be a fantastic photo shoot.
The area wasn’t normally inhabited – the local aboriginal people kept it in case of droughts – they knew the land wouldn’t support them full time so never came up here unless their usual lands were unable to support them. Its not somewhere most Europeans came either, so its remained in pretty good condition.
In the centre is the Garden of Eden, named as it’s a small oasis in the middle of the desert landscape. The types of rocks and the layout allowed for a permanent pool of water to remain here, and the plants have grown because of it in the shaded canyon.
Of the three places we visited, this was unanimously the favourite of everyone, so probably best it was left till last. Unfortunately, we still had to endure a long trip back – which was only broken up by lunch, and a quick stop at a camel farm. We had a quick ride on a camel, which is pretty damn terrifying. Its very high, and its difficult to keep balance when they really get going. Fun though.
And my platypus didn’t win – was close though, ended up in the final three. But the prize went to the doctors and their beer portrait. They were rewarded once we arrived back at Alice Spring and had a few hours to recover before heading to the Rock Bar.
All the tours end up here at the end as a celebratory goodbye, and the food’s actually a good price. I had the Rock burger, which is $10, and even bigger than the burgers at the Roadhouse, so I was pretty happy. Ended up having to use a knife and fork to eat eat – not something that I normally have to do, even with big burgers.
Sadly, I had to head off after that as I wanted to finish getting my bag packed. Tomorrow I leave Alice Springs and head towards South Australia.