From Camels To Elephants (and everything in between)

A post, mostly in pictures, covering my time between Alice Springs and Bali; including Darwin, Adelaide, and Toodyay (near Perth), via The Ghan and the Indian Pacific.

After riding the camel I went straight to the train station in Alice Springs, where I was surprised to find one of the Autobots loading our luggage!

robots in disguise

I saw a lot of bush fires as we headed north, some of them quite big, and very near the train tracks (ie: right by the window!). What I didn’t expect was all the smoke and ash in the air when we arrived.

smoke over darwin

I spent a week in Darwin just chilling out. I went to the movies a fair bit, including a screening at their outdoor Deckchair Cinema,

deckchair cinema

which was great fun. I also went to the night markets, which started with a gorgeous sunset by the beach,

darwin sunset

and ended with me eating this very salty deep-fried twirly potato thing.

twirly potato thing

chomp!

Darwin is really hot, even in winter (when I was there). It kind of reminded me of Ibiza, and not in a good way. The main street was pretty full of people getting drunk, and a lot of the shops were quite touristy,

toys!

though at the same time there was a plethora of unexpected wildlife around the place, including a great many wedge-tailed eagles flying about.

eagles

Having nothing specific to do there I got to do a full yoga session every day,

yha yoga

something I managed to carry on even after I left, finding time and space to do some in Alice Springs on the way back south.

alice springs yoga

The journey south again did get a little tedious at times. I mean there was the little side trip to Katherine Gorge you could go on,

katherine gorge 1

living the dream

(NB: That thing on the river in the bottom picture is a canoe. How lucky are they?! :))

where I managed to get another headstand shot,

65. katherine gorge headstand

but once the sun went down,

sunset on the ghan

there really was nothing to do but watch old episodes of The Big Bang Theory.

deja vu

Anyone get a feeling of deja vu? ..lol..

keeping yourself amused

With regards to my yoga, I was quite proud not only that I had managed to do it every day while in Darwin, but that I’d kept it up on the train. I was on track to a new beginning. That’s when the thing with the ambulance happened, and kind of threw a spanner in the works.

As it turned out, that wasn’t the only trip to the hospital that week. Two days before I was meant to catch the Indian Pacific back west I came down with abdominal pains right in the area of my appendix. Not wanting to be on a train in the middle of nowhere when my appendix burst I thought it best to go get it checked out. Cue another ER and another CT scan to see what was going on in there.

Turns out it was just and inflammation of the lymph nodes in my digestive tract, right by the appendix, which closely mimics the signs of an appendicitis but thankfully isn’t one. I was cleared to leave, and the next day (on the train) leave is what I did.

This was the reverse of the trip I’d done in January, but it was quite different doing it in winter rather than summer. I mean the train was the same, but when we got to Cook, in the middle of the Nullabor Plain, instead of this,

welcome to cook

adelaide, that way

we had this.

rain in cook

cook, part 2

But at least this time I got to see more of Kalgoorlie than just the train station. I was able to do the tour, and see what a Kalgoorlie Super Pit Gold Mine looks like.

that's the front

super pit

66. kalgoorlie super-pit headstand

the superpit

My brother’s place near Toodyay was also very different in winter. When I went there it Christmas it was all hot and dry and red,

australia skies

but now it was much lusher and greener and a darn site cooler!

australia skies

I even got to see some of the torrential rain they get there,

rainy days in WA

something while always seemed to put a smile on my brother’s face, lol. Aussies love their rain. “We need it!” was an oft heard phrase. πŸ˜‰

I got to know the farm a lot better when I was there this time, as I had six weeks or so to look around the place, and nothing else to do but sleep,

all tuckered out

cook,

unexpected kangaroo

the first loaf

and chill out after all that traveling.

contented

There’s all kinds of sights to see if you just have a good look around. There’s beauty in the landscape,

mark's farm

from the top corner

from what man has done,

the cottage

the old water source

the new water source

(Honestly, that was our water supply. We drank it unfiltered. There are frogs in there! Apparently that’s a good sign.)

to what came naturally,

blossoming almond trees

almond in the sky

almond blossom

almond blossom detail

roos in the paddock

orang clouds

cloudscape

moon cloud

sunset skies

farm sunset

and everything in between.

We all went to AQWA to see the fishes,

do you see them?

do you see what I see?

we attended the Avon Descent when it came through Toodyay,

avon descent

boat 3

run

boat 1

jump

spectating

looking away

on stage

what's this

and we toasted the odd marshmallow by the fire (before fire season starts and you can’t do it no more).

watching the sparks

this one next dad

warm yourself

sitting by the fire

But by far the most eventful day was Mark’s birthday. He and Gill got up well early to go on a dawn balloon ride, leaving me to feed the horses, get Luke to school, and get myself to yoga by 9 o’clock.

It was all going smoothly when I went out to feed the horses and found this waiting for me.

foal 1

foal 2

Believe me, that hadn’t been there when we went to bed the night before!

Of course it was expected. The horse had been due to give birth for weeks, and it could have happened any time (we’d had a few near misses in the previous weeks),

waiting for a birth

but of course it had to happen when the two people who knew anything about horses were hundreds of feet up in the air.

Thankfully everything was alright, and Luna, as she came to be known, was happily wobbling about the place, coming to grips with life in the outside world.

She was all legs and knees to begin with,

flash of white

mother and child

two heads

but it was only a few days later that she was fully loosened up and looking truly elegant.

standing tall

feeding time

munch munch

With all that I even managed to get Luke to school and hit yoga well early. The class went well, and I was even asked if I’d like to teach the next one! (which I did, and I’ll be blogging about both classes next time)

I spent my last week in Toodyay helping Mark’s mate Nick edit some videos for his website (a more arduous task than was expected, but all done, and satisfactorily so), and now I’m in Ubud in Bali, where I came with the express purpose of riding an elephant!

I’ve done that, and much more besides, but that’s for another post I think. That’s probably plenty from me for now. Expect more shortly, but for now I hope you’ve enjoyed my whistle-stop summation of a good two months of my life or so, condensed into one post! πŸ™‚

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