Matt and I decided today we were going to do the telegraph station, since it is the reason the town existed. Well, due to a lack of communication, or me not listening when I was told 4 times, depending on who you ask (I swear, it's like we're back to being a married couple almost immediately!), I think this walk is much less than it is. It isn't a huge problem, I just wouldn't have worn flip flops for an almost 8 kilometers round trip walk, and I would have applied sunscreen to more areas than my face. Needless to say from that explanation, the afternoon was spent in recovery for my feet and sunburn. But, at least despite the fact that Matt had the necessary distance information, he was burned too, haha.
We walked along the Todd River, which this year, like almost every year, is just a river bed, not actually containing any water. The walk was pretty exciting, punctuated by the sighting of occasional wildlife including beautiful birds, a kangaroo, and a rock wallaby, as well as the occasional attack from a rustle in the bush or a flying grasshopper, sending Matt swinging and restraining screams because he would think it was a much more formidable insect. He kept saying he loved that we were in the Outback, the Bush, and after pointing out several times that we were on a designated city walk, with occasional signs pointing how to go, I let him have his title of being in the "Outback." It did have a very secluded feeling to it, until the walk back when we encountered a man with a Virginia Tech hat, making us feel our remoteness and coolness of being North Carolinians in the Outback fade to not even the only ACC fans on this trail. But despite that, we got amazing pictures, and had quite a great walk through the "bush." We arrived at the telegraph station, just as it was really beginning to get hot. We walked around and looked at the various buildings, sweltering in the heat. The highlight was an Aboriginal man named Alec who works there now but had also lived there at the age of 5 when he was taken from his family. He showed us a picture he was in a told us a little about life on the station. He also told us about witnessing the Japanese bombing Darwin when he wasn't even 10. He has an amazing life story. He told us he loves country music, and hopes to take his granddaughter to Graceland one day. He also likes Taylor Swift. He soon announced it was time for lunch, and we shook his hand and told him goodbye. We spent a little time in the gift shop buying cold drinks before heading out again into the blistering heat. We made our way back to town and crawled back into our air conditioned den, where we soon discovered how burned we were, but mysteriously mostly on the right side of our body. One discovery we did make out there was a bird that sounded very much like a person whistling a tune. We looked around forever, expecting to see someone coming that was whistling, or someone sitting beneath a tree, but all we eventually found was an odd little bird that could carry a tune. We googled later and discovered we had encountered was called a Pied Butcherbird. It's a pretty fascinating specimen.
We spent the afternoon vegging out mostly, and made spaghetti for dinner. We tried to get in bed early because tomorrow is hot air ballooning and pickup is at 3:45am!