Melbourne, AU/Alice Springs, AU – Wednesday, Feb 19th, 2014

I woke up early to pack and the SkyBus shuttle picked me up at 6:30am.  I work on writing during the 3 hour flight to Alice Springs, AU getting closer to catching up.  I bought new headphones for this trip and they have been great for all the flights I’ve been on, M-Voda Crossfade M-100.  After I get my bag I find Alice Wanderer shuttle service.  It’s a type of bus I have not taken yet.  It’s a 20 passenger bus with 2 steps.  I transfer to the bottom step then bump myself up the second step then transfer to the seat, $27 round trip beats $40 one way via cab any day.  I talk with Andrew, the driver, about tours to Uluru and West MacDonnell’s.  He says besides airport pick up Alice Wanderer also does tours and they use these same of buses for the tours.  I get to Ibis Styles to check in and there’s a 3″ step to get up to reception through the door.  I get up easy but this will be trouble for most wheelchair users.

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The room is much better than Nomads.  It has a TV, so I can at least get updates on the Olympics, a phone and A/C.  I go back to reception and talk with Heather, who checked me in, about tours.  I mention the Alice Wanderer and that I had no trouble getting on/off the bus.  She calls them and I book the Uluru Tour for Friday, pick up 6am.  I head out for a short wheel downtown to Todd’s Mall which has a bunch on shops and restaurants.  Alice Springs is flat so no hills to deal with in the city.

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It is pretty hot and the flies are not too bad right now but I’m told will get much worse at Uluru.  I have lunch at Sporties which is accessible on Todd’s Mall.  After lunch I find the Alice Wanderer office.  It has a 6″ step to get into the office so I ask an Alice Wanderer driver who’s outside to help me up the step.  I go in and talk with Elizabeth about which tour would be better the 4×4 Palm Valley Tour or West MacDonnell’s Tour.  Palm Valley is out of season so West MacDonnell’s it is, I book this for Sunday.  I stop at The Rock Bar for a beer on my way back to Ibis Styles for happy hour from 5pm-7-pm.  The Rock Bar is accessible off Todd Street with a ramp to the front entrance and an accessible bathroom off the deck in back.  I make it to happy hour and the Ibis Bar has a similar 3″ step to get up as reception but they have a small ramp to the door.

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I have a few beers and practice pool.  Although I can make it, the bar bathroom is not accessible.  Small door openings, very tight corners to move around and can’t shut the door to the bathroom.  Time for bed to get up early and get laundry done since I could not do it at Nomads.

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