Monday, July 11, 2011

The camel cup, Immie's Birthday and back to South Australia

Whoops, bad blogger here! Obviously we've been having lots of fun and adventures if I haven't found the time to jump on the computer! We've had a great couple of days and have left the Northern Territory and are back in South Australia. Saturday saw us celebrating Immie's birthday! (It was actually 2 days early but we thought she'd have a better day in Alice Springs than on the road for hours and ending up who knows where.) So the morning was very exciting, with lots of presents involved of course. Then we headed off to the Alice Springs Camel Cup! This is a pretty big event with lots of people there. It was a similar feel to the Geelong Show, with food stalls, craft marquees, souvenirs and of course camel races! These were pretty hilarious to watch. Pretty much every race there was one riderless camel by the end. And the camels tried to go every which way but forward. In between they had kids races and other funny events. It was certainly a great way to spend our last day in Alice.

Next morning (Sunday) we were up bright and early with a long day of travel planned. We left Alice Springs (and the NT) and made our way back to Coober Pedy. The trip was long (approx 680kms) and pretty dull for everyone concerned! The kids did very well though and only really complained in the last hour or so. We didn't get to Coober Pedy til about 5 pm and the place was absolutely packed. Luckily we got a site and bunked down for the night.

Yesterday (Monday, Immie's real birthday!) wasn't as long a day in the car - a lazy 375kms from Coober Pedy to Woomera. It was a pretty interesting place. It's a defence town and has only been open to the public since 1982. Woomera was used for rocket testing and the launch and tracking of spacecraft in the early days of space exploration. They have a great display of restored rockets, bombs and spacecraft. Apart from that there's not much there! Apparently they only have a population of about 200 and if you don't work a minimum of 30 hours a week, you're not allowed to live there! Consequently they have an unemployment rate of 0! (Took lots of photos but they're on the iPhone and I didn't bring the cord to connect it to the laptop!)

The caravan park was pretty good, with big drive through sites so we didn't have to unhook the van. The best part of it though was the little bar in the grounds! It opens at 4pm every night and if last night was anything to go by, it's a very popular place! We wandered down just after 4 thinking we'd have one or two drinks - we didn't leave til it closed at 9.30! It was great swapping travel stories with all the other campers. Then by great coincidence a family from Torquay (15 minutes down the road from where we live) arrived. The kids had a great time playing together and it was nice to hang out with some people from home!

Tonight we're at our last stop in South Australia - Peterborough. It was another 300kms on the road today, so once we got here around 2pm we just relaxed. The caravan park here seems pretty nice too (very cheap too at $32). We've spent the afternoon catching up on washing and showering and will hopefully have an early tea and early night. Tomorrow we'll check out some of the sights on offer here - lots of trains by the looks of things! Then we'll head for the fourth state on our little trip, Broken Hill in New South Wales!

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