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Kings Canyon

Written on: Wednesday August 27th, 2008

A journal entry from: Around The World Without A Plane

The other major tourist stop-off in this otherwise bare expanse of Australia is Kings Canyon in Watarrka National Park. A half days drive took us to the camp-site where Coco and I went at it 1-on-1 at their basketball court, before Loz and I were dragged up on stage to make fools of ourselves by a an aged couple who seemed like they'd been in the entertainment business for as long as Europeans have been in Australia later on that evening.  The canyon itself is either a worthwhile warm-up act for Uluru and Kata Tjuta or as it was for us, a sweet dessert. However, unlike delving into a huge chocolate fudge cake, we were made to work off the excess pounds with a steep climb up to the canyon rim, then a 6km walk around its sheer cliffs.  After our very worthwhile stroll we began the drive back towards Alice Springs and were surprisingly met by what seemed like half the kangaroo population of this huge continent. Generally speaking you don't see a lot of these marsupials during the daylight hours. They normally begin to cause you problems around dawn or dusk, but here in the intense heat of the mid-afternoon sun we met good on 40 of them all just standing in the middle of the road staring back at us. The roos had been lured on to the tarmac by the recent unusual downpour of rain that had overnight passed over us. With the desert ground, the valuable water had quickly been soaked up by the ground, but the road surface had provided the perfect facilitator to stop the rainwater from immediately disappearing and thus we were met by an army of kangaroos slurping away with their big plasticy tongues. We would literally slow right down to a crawl in the car and pull up directly in front of them. Only then would these stupid creatures decide to bounce themselves off the road. No wonder travelling in this part of the country you see so many of them lying dead at the side of the road, especially with the gigantic road-trains speeding up and down the highways.