Alice is always hot and dry unless it is raining and hot. I have seen the Todd River overflowing on three occasions; this is a river where the boat races feature boats which are carried by the participants as there is rarely any water. The Todd is usually a sinuous sandy serpent with no bite. That is how it is today for certain. The riparian eucalypts’ leaves are hanging down and the river is dry. The air temp is above 100 but it is a dry heat – people say that like dry heat won’t kill you. It will and quickly.
Anyway, we arrived and loaded up our coach and headed off for the Telegraph Station and possible Euros (a large gray kangaroo). No kangaroos today so on to the School of The Air. This is the central schoolroom for over 100 children scattered over thousands of square kilometers of red outback. They are station (ranch) kids, policemen’s children, park ranger offspring, and migrant workers’ youngsters. It is a nice educational stop. We then head to the Royal Flying Doctors main office where we learn how doctor services are provided to outback folks. Another eye-opener of a stop. Then on to the reptile place where we were shown snakes and lizards of the area. The poisonous snakes of Australia are really poisonous for sure but they have very very small fangs and most can’t penetrate clothing. Not rattlesnake-type fangs here.
I was welcomed to Alice Springs by a couple old friends; a Crested Pigeon and a Yellow-throated Miner (one of the many honeyeaters of this island continent).