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I had spent three full months preparing for this trip (GPS points ready, maps, SatPhone, etc.). This was supposed to be a trip to the middle of magnificent nowhere: the Kimberley. We were going with Loic and Benedicte Carbonnier, our Houston friends (they since have moved to Washington state). Both couples had enough miles on Continental to afford two round-trip first-class tickets on Quantas. Problem you have to reserve not more than 11 months in advance. And there are only two tickets available per flight. Fortunately, Quantas had 2 flights per day. On July 13, 2006, I made reservations for four one-way tickets, two on each flight for June 13, 2007. But I had to wait until August 4 to book the return flights. And guess what. It worked. 

We arrived in Sydney on on June 15 (2 days time difference), spent the night there and flew the next day to Darwin where we picked up our cars on our way to Katherine - Kunururra - Wyndham. In Wyndham, a big surprise was waiting for us: tracks to the Kimberley were flooded and closed (this was the last time I cried). We continued our trip towards Halls Creek hoping for a miracle. Tanami Track closed.

The next day it started raining. We drove back slowly to Alice Springs and then on to Uluru.
Ben and Loic had never been in the Outbacks. So we went to Warakurna: wood fire, nice sunset and visit of the Giles Weather Station the next morning. Then back to Uluru, Kings Canyon (very nice campground) and Finke Gorge National Park ("Parking lot" on the map??). From the main road, it took us one hour to cover the 15 miles to a nice campground with very friendly Australians (don't ask them what they think about the Aborigines, you'll start a nuclear war).

That was it. Return to civilization via Alice Springs, flight to Sydney, on to LAX and Houston.
Bye! Australia! one of the nicest and friendliest country I have ever been to.
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