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April 18-22: Exodus
19AThe second day in Alice Springs opened in the rain. We went to Todd River to see the flood. The river boasts of its unusual "boat race": People enjoy the race every October by "rowing" boats (Contestants carry a boat-shaped frame holding by hands and run on the dry river bed barefooted, rising red dust.) Today, the would-be contestants can enjoy actual water, however.
Our original plan on the second day was to join a "Camel to Dinner" in which we could ride a camel in the evening and enjoy the following dinner. The third day's tour was "Outback Ballooning" which featured enjoying a beautiful sunrise from a hot balloon. All were washed away.

My husband have been confirming until this morning if the main event "Three days tour to Ayers Rock" was on schedule. On the fourth day in the morning, a pick-up bus came and collected all the tourists. The rain still continues. Before driving out, the bus dropped in a branch office of the tour company for the last confirmation. Alas, the road to Ayers Rock was closed this morning due to flooding! Act of God cancelled the tour. All the tourists rushed to the office counter to be refunded. We had no choice but return to Adelaide by changing our schedule.
It took almost two hours for processing the refund at the branch. The bus dropped off the tourists to which they left two hours ago. On the way to our hotel, Todd River is swelling up higher than yesterday.
TV weather forecast said a big storm, for the first time in ten years, are raging down to the Central Australia. We have stayed here five days and we couldn't set our rain coats aside. We have never seen a blue sky. We have been expecting to climb Ayers Rock. It could be a mistake that we intended to climb it, the sanctuary of aboriginal people.
April 22:
We at last decided to evacuate this wet town. As we couldn't go out for a walk because of the rain, we went out when the rain stopped for a while.

This is Billy Goat Hill. As the sigh reads this is a sanctuary of aboriginal people, we gave up to enter.
This is Anzac Hill, on the north end of the downtown. A national flag flutters heavily in the rain on the top of the Hill.
We could look over the town shrouded in a heavy cloud. The Gap in the distance leads a Stuart Highway to the airport and to Adelaide. Both sides of the road are desert.

On the top of the Hill is a memorial tower of Anzac. In World War 1, the Allied Forces of Australia and New Zealand landed a cliff of Gallipolis of Turkey and won a battle. Following wars memories are engraved on the stone. In the days during World War 1, Alice Springs was an important relay point of war supplies from Adelaide.

A road across the Todd River is closed like this. The flooding comes over the promenades on the riverbank. I could see a rare face of the "Dry River."
A big Gum tree with white trunk stands in the river park. There are many tall gum trees around here. Every landscape painting in Central Australia contains this tree without fail.

At 10 a.m., a shuttle bus to the airport picked us up. It is very pity, but we have no other choice but "Exodus" with a large case. It is still raining. We haven't seen the sun even a moment. The wet Gap is the last gate to Alice Springs.
Todd River is flooding like this.
Stuart highway to the airport is partially flooded like this. Cars run with high water splashes. If the rain continued more, we couldn't have reached even the airport.
At the airport, I found myself with another shopping bag in hand. The pattern on the floor is of beautiful aboriginal design.
We are not sure for what purpose we came up here to Alice Springs, but all are Act of God. We didn't have a drink in desperation but toasted to come back again the next chance. We wrote to my son, mother, and other friends.

I am waiting for our flight at the rain-wet terrace, thinking suntan cream and sunglass were useless this time. We got on board, wet in the rain. The stewardess asked me "Have you enjoyed?" I was at a loss for an answer.

As the plane approaches Adelaide, the thick cloud has gradually given way to the blue sky. Yes, a blue sky was like this, indeed. I was very delighted by the blue sky for the first time in six days.
We finally returned West Lakes Resort Hotel, the first hotel we stayed at our arrival to Adelaide. Our room this time is on the fifth floor. Looking from the terrace, the strong sunlight reflected on the West Lake water is quite dazzling.

We feel something tired, but we are relieved, because we could evacuate from the water hell safely and find ourselves again in the shinning sun like this. We promised to visit Ayers Rock another chance.