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Oceania

Northern Territory

It's happening.

Anything you can imagine. It's happening. Tom tit, unscented pits, overly large spiders, dutch oven's. It's happening.

The Outback was calling and Vicky's second encounter with a starved rodent kicked of a beautiful week in Australia's desolate outback. It was Alice Springs, and a new hostel for Chelsea, Vicky, Emily and I. The best thing being about the town was a local hottie selling meat pies at the bakery. Luckily, the next morning came quicker than expected as tour guide Duffy welcomed us aboard the bus as we jammed to Jack Johnson, Men at Work as we educated him about Mary Kate and Ashley, Our Lips are Sealed-down under! That evening we slept in our swags, commonly known as 'scabs' and avoided passing gas in our air tight accomadation for the night. The sky was covered in stars and the next morning we woke up to -2 C, jumping from scab to fire, hitting the bus and making our way to see the sunrise at Uluru. The rock was spactacular, and the walk around the base was just as awe-inspiring. Our evening was spent singing about a home amoung the gum trees, picking some plum leaves...or something. The final day with Duffy the Vampire Slayer, was spent tanning our plae stems, and hiking to Kaja Gorge, capping the night at Toddy's place for a true Alice Springs expereince. A snake in the bar, and children under 12, no ID required, it was the Aussie outback, just hungering for a golden gay time.

Breaking from our constant sightseeing "troppo in the tropics" continued as we made oour way towards Darwin. Not before a an out of this world lunch hour at Australia's only UFO sighting gift shop. A higlight of the journey was Mick's collectables: a world where being a pack rat is not only a hobby but a profession. This guy has nothing on your grandma and a first hand encounter provided us with Canadian Tire money and being able to see 7 different animals on the Canadian Toonie. Mick's travelled the world but never left his pub in Banka Banka. Places like Tenant Creek provided rest for the evening in partially used sleeping bags, using every tree as a lavatory. The 1500km trek turned into a long distance pub crawl as we hit Daly Waters, a pub with a new definition of the English language. But the best stop yet had to be Pink Panther, combination RV park, petting zoo, pub and convience store. Equipped with squaking birds, snakes in cabinets and an attendant who looked like an aged sea turtle. A long drive, we continued to thermal hot springs, floating down the naturally heated pools certain a croc would jump out anytime. Although spiders were vast and crocs beconded, our journey continued to Kakadu National Park with British guide Craig. Craig not only gave his Aussie tour in cocknet slang but educated us in both Aboriginal and English cultural heritage. Craig's many talents didn't stop there, driving the road to Jim Jim Falls, we manvored around each bend, air lifting in our seats, A peacful and genuine landscape, the top end was filled with multicoloured birds, palm trees, red escarpment and lets not forget cans of beets, corn and the art of making coleslaw. Dodging crocs and bedbugs allowed us to lose ourselves in the expanse of the Australian outback. A loss but also a gain, friendships and scents that will last a lifetime. my girls, you made this week and through long awaited pertrol stops and days without showers, either way:

It's happening.

Brittany Hayward