Saturday, 4 June 2016

Half-lap Day 27: Alice Springs

We took things fairly easy in the morning, enjoying the opportunity not to rush to get ready. I checked my email and one of my travel newsletters told me about a website to find the cheapest gas bottle refills – very handy as that was one of the things we were planning to do today! LiAM and I headed out in the late morning to get the gas bottle refilled, buy him some new swimming shorts (which we did, he found some he loved) and buy enough neck coolers for everybody as the 2 I’d already bought worked so well. As we drove in to town we saw lots of people walking in, dressed in Port Adelaide colours, obviously on their way to the AFL game. The sports store where we bought LiAM’s swimmers were selling tickets to the game and said there would be a queue at the ground, so we got Tony’s ticket for him. It was also cool to listen to the AFL station on the radio, as they were broadcasting from Alice Springs and talking about the things that we could see ourselves.

We had some lunch back at the tent then headed out again, dropping Tony at the ground – it was exciting to see the crowd gathering. The kids and I then went to the reptile park. We arrived as the 1pm show was about halfway through, and I said we’d prefer to go to the 3.30 show, so we started looking through the gecko cave while the show was on. Very cool to see so many different types of geckos and read about the different survival techniques they have. We wandered then through the rest of the park – seeing lots of snakes, lizards, skinks, frogs and turtles. It was really fascinating and the information was all interesting. Outside they also had a perentie, and a salt water crocodile, both pretty exciting (although the croc was just sitting there, occasionally opening it’s mouth. The perentie was prowling around and was much more fascinating). Cool to see lots of thorny devils as well.

We had looked at everything by about 2.30, so we went for a walk before the show. We walked back into town and went to Target where Caitlin had bought some cheap lollies a few days before, everyone wanted to get some and this was the best chance to do it. Back to the reptile centre where we had a look at all the animals again, then sat down for the presentation. The girl was really good, explained a lot about the different reptiles, and then we got to hold them – a blue-tongued skink, which was cool but not new, the kids hold a friend’s pet blue-tongue quite often; a bearded dragon which was very exciting, he held on to our hands with his feet and happily sat on our arms; and a 3m long, 7kg Olive Python!!! He was heavy, and wound his way around our torsos, arms and legs. It was an amazing experience which we all loved. Millie was only able to hold him for a very brief time, and he wrapped himself right around her body several times so she felt a bit constricted as she was unwrapped! I was impressed with the girl who gave the talk too, she put no pressure on anyone to hold the snake, but by the end, everyone had had a go, even the people who were very scared.

We spent a bit of time in the gift shop, the kids spending some of their money on little crocodiles and snakes, and me buying some birthday gifts. We met Tony at woolworths where he’d bought dinner, then back to camp where we had spaghetti bolognaise. Tony had enjoyed the game, although not the result. After dinner I went back in to town to do a big grocery shop so we had supplies for our trip continuing north, then back to camp and to bed to read for a little while.

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