Devil’s Marbles: an early sunrise on the outback

from July 3

Today I was up at 5:15 a.m. to get on the road for a trip to the Devil’s Marbles, where we had breakfast and watched the sun rise. The rest of the day was more driving, until we get into Alice Springs in the late afternoon.

The Devil’s Marbles were a bunch of large boulders in the middle of the desert. I’m still not sure of the story behind the name, though I did learn the scientific explanation of the rock formations. I’m not going to attempt to repeat it because I’ll probably get it wrong.

From the way our guide described it, I thought the Devil’s Marbles would offer a cafeso we could sit on the rocks and watch the sun rise with a warm cup of java in hand. That wasn’t quite the case. We were in the middle of nowhere, and breakfast was essentially cold cereal poured into a bowl at the back of the bus.

The sunrise was pretty but mostly overtaken by all the cloud cover, which was a bit disappointing. Still, the view was spectacular for the few seconds it lasted, and I got some great photos.

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The group met up for dinner at Annie’s Place, a popular backpacker’s pub. The food was cheap and good, but I didn’t stick around to party. Wasting my money on alcohol isn’t a priority for me anymore, and I hadn’t connected with anyone on the tour that I really wanted to spend time with.

Overall I was disappointed with this leg of the trip. Despite covering the distance, the road trip could have been so much better. The guide spoke to everyone as if we were children, and I felt like I was on a school trip, not a grown adult exploring the outback.

We’ll get a new guide in Alice Springs, and the Uluru safari I’m sure will make up for it.


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