Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Alice part 2

Lasseters offers its guests the free use of a mountain bike and funnily enough, I wanted one. I had two hours and forty five minutes which I calculated was sufficient for me to get around and tick off four items on my 'to see' list, as well as pop into The Rock Tour office to check in before tomorrow's tour.

First stop was Olive Pink Garden, just down the road from the hotel. I rode in, parked at the kiosk/gift shop, and walked to the top of Myer's Hill. From there I enjoyed a panoramic view of Alice Springs, before descending the rocky path back to my wheels.

Next, I rode along the walking/riding path which runs beside the Todd River. The path eventually turned from concrete to dirt and I encountered a sign which advised novice riders to choose the blue track. I buttered my face with sunscreen, took some water and a few deep breaths and headed off. Boy, I am glad I took the blue track because I nearly died several times (slight exaggeration) on my way to the old Telegraph Station. Seriously, I expected to crash at some point, but I didn't. Thankfully...although a bit of a crash would have made for a more entertaining recount.

At the end of the ride, (that's not me in the above photo by the way), having followed the somewhat scarce and ambiguous signs to my destination, I hit the sandy banks of the Todd, and there was water. Shock. Horror. Once safely across that puddle, I toured the historic precinct, had a Coke and a bite to eat, then called the hotel to say I would not be back on schedule. The ride to the station had taken a longer than I anticipated.

I left the Telegraph Station, filled with admiration at the feats of Australian pioneers, and returned to town, where I first visited The Rock Tour office, then cycled on to the Alice Springs Reptile Centre, where I made a new friend. 

Next was a trip to Coles for some snacks for tomorrow, then a short ride back to the hotel.

I relaxed with a beer and watched the footy, then went to Lasseters casino (attached to the hotel) where I ate a goat and Guinness pie at a restaurant called The Goat and the Bucket, then played roulette for the first time in my life. A friendly croupier showed me how to play and watched with some amusement as I blew $20, before wishing him well and leaving the table.

Back in my room now, and packing for my camping/hiking adventure which begins at 5:40am tomorrow morning.

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