|Tropic of Capricorn|
We had to meet someone, last night, at 6:30 PM. We were there in plenty of time and waited... and waited... and waited. Finally we commented to someone that we had expected to meet someone at 6:30. He said “But it’s only 6 PM!” First we thought our watch had died, or the battery slowed down. Then we realized we had crossed a time zone and the time was 30 minutes earlier than we thought. We passed that timezone four days earlier and we had not noticed! Ha. But then we slowly recalled all the times this week that our timing had been off. “Remember that roast dinner where we were way too early?” “Oh, remember that the sunrise was so much later than they had told us!” The worst one: “Remember we left because the Aboriginal dances were not on at 4 PM as they had told us...” I guess it’s easy to lose half an hour when you’re on the road. When I asked why there were no signs along the highway or timezones on the map, they exclaimed "Oh! That would be a good idea!" :-)
Today we drove 650 KM from Alice Springs to Renner Springs. And that was after we did all the groceries for the next few days. Imagine driving that distance in Europe (Amsterdam to Orleans) or in North America (Vancouver to Portland, Oregon) with only a handful of tiny towns in between. Many towns are called a ‘station’ and are simply a gas station with a store and pub, serving drinks and food, a toilet and a phone and that’s it. Some of the towns have come up with innovative ways to try and make a tourist stay longer (and spend money). Alleron (population: 10) has erected a 12’ statue of a man. Apparently a naked man. I’m sure you can buy caps and mugs and t-shirts with the figure on it. It’s even on the map.
Wycliffe Well has pronounced itself the world’s UFO capitol and advertises sightings of aliens. The pub is painted in spaceships. I’m sure you will see them if you stay long enough.
Perhaps the prize goes to Banka Banka which promotes a visit because they have a rock that looks exactly like the profile of Winston Churchill. We miss that sight because it was off the highway...
We have been in awe of an absolute endless view of desert. Nothing. No town in the distance, no chimney anywhere. Just 360º of emptiness. We haven’t seen natural water since leaving the east coast, 5,000 KM ago.
We are now camped next to the Desert Hotel.