Our Adventures in the Outback
Group photo at Uluru
Carrie, Julius, Michele and Glenn - the four intreped travelers at Uluru.

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July, 2017 - Welcome to Alice Springs

Long flights brought us to the welcoming arms of Julius and Carrie in the desert town of Alice Springs, Australia.
From their fenced in back yard there is simply the desert with a backdrop of the MacDonnell Range Mountains.  After a yummy lunch
Carrie by Menu we began our fast-paced full-on adventure at the Olive Pink Botanic Garden, just a few minutes
ride from their home and our first spotting of kangaroos and Western Bowerbird.
Kargaroos   bowerbird

Alice Springs Desert Park
Our visit began with a presentation about dingos:

True wild dingos are becoming rare, largely due to interbreeding with domestic dogs. There is a great effort underway to protect the
purity of the wild dingo bloodline. Consequently, dogs are not allowed in any national parks in Australia.

We also saw a show about birds of prey.

A buzzard using a tool to break open an "egg."
Barn Owl
A barn owl swooping in delighted the audience.

A presentation on aboriginal languages, of which there are hundreds, included a Bingo game where we connected photos of desert animals, fruits, vegetables and habitats to their Arrenti word. Arrenti is both the name of the Aboriginal people of this area and the name of their language. The attempt by Westerners to phonetically record this previously only oral language struck our ears as absurd. First the ranger told us that the initial “a’s”  in the spelled words were not pronounced (so why include them in a phonetic spelling???), but we heard the “a’s” in arrkennke (bush coconut), amirre (spear thrower) and aherre (red kangaroo.) Two “rr’s” sound like “ch”, “p’s” like “b’s” and so on. Yet the Aboriginal ranger or traditional owner expressed gratitude for the effort to preserve these languages, many of which no longer have any living speakers, or are only known by a handful of nonagenarians.

Neighboring clans will learn each other’s languages, only for listening and understanding purposes, but it is considered disrespectful to attempt to speak a language that is not your own. The traditional owner’s languages are so deeply embedded in their culture that one could never legitimately use another’s language without growing up with it. There is extensive use of hand signals that also vary from community to community.

Simpson's Gap

Simpson's Gap
Glenn, the lonely explorer, toddling along at Simpson's Gap
Simpson's Gap
 Moonrise at the Gap

We watched a wallaby and her tiny joey feeding just a few feet away from us as dusk fell over the towering red quartzite walls of Simpson’s Gap.

Wallaby and Joey
Michele and Carrie at Simpson's Gap
Michele and Carrie enjoying the beautiful surroundings    

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Last Updated November 11, 2017
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Website contents 2017 by Glenn Simonelli & Michele Stone.
Photographs by Julius Simonelli, Carrie Wallace, Glenn Simonelli & Michele Stone