Today we had a free day in Alice Springs which meant a slow start and a long breakfast in a cafe. I think everyone welcomed the change of pace after lots of early mornings and late nights. I woke up with a full blown cold unfortunately which the dry heat of Alice (36 degrees) was not really helping.
After breakfast we walked to a local reptile centre where we saw lizards, snakes and a crocodile all in captivity, including a taipan which I preferred behind glass after we had seen that one out at the breakaways in Coober Pedy. Then what is now becoming known as the East Coast Crew (Sarah, Fanny, Tom and I) walked back into the centre of town with John to start picking up things we would need for The Ghan and Darwin and in my case some hot lemon drinks and throat tablets.
I don't know how it happened but at one point I got separated from the group so I wandered back toward the Todd Street Mall to sit on the grass and people watch for a while under a shady tree. After we were all done in town and had gone to get food for the train from Coles we made our way back and to the Train Station.
The Ghan is such a sight to see. I fell quite lucky I got to travel on it with such a cool group of people for company. For us it was 750 meters long and had 2 locomotives to pull it. The seats are old business class seats in the 'Red Cars' which to say this is effectively economy was really plush and comfortable, though I heard the Ghan does cost a heck of a lot to travel on. I could have gone to sleep straight away due to my run down state but I think I spent most of the evening in the food car chatting with a small part of the group and drinking hot lemon or tea.