by Peter Nelson 

Leaving Adelaide, we journeyed east under some misbegotten impulse to make money picking fruit.  Wound up in a pear forest in Renmark in 107-degree heat where the blistering sun baked the shirts off our backs and actually straightened the stem of my imported pipe!

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The Barossa Valley, home to some of the best vineyards in Oz. And the last bit of greenery we were to see for a couple of months.
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An abandoned old hotel in the middle of nowhere.
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NEVER sit on a metal swing during the Oz summer!
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The Kansas farm boy feels right at home.

After that, we treated ourselves to an air-conditioned ride on the train from Parachilna to Alice.

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The train station in the heart of “downtown Parachilna”. No people within miles. If you want the train to stop for you, you have to stand on the tracks and flag it down.
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Dry, dry country.
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Dry as far as the eye can see.

 Alice Springs.  A long hot dusty dry road.  

Once more into the breech.  Of promises.

 Far from anywhere.  Probably the hottest town in all Australia.  But it’s been cool and windblown ever since we arrived.  A real four-wheel-drive frontier town, the only green spot in the outback desert for hundreds of miles in every direction.  And just like in the old American West, there are hitching rails on most of the main streets.  Except there aren’t any horses tied to the rails.  Instead it’s camels!  Camels were imported to the central Australian deserts decades ago, and what animal could do a better job of transporting people and goods into miles and miles of empty sand with no water?

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Camels at a hitching post in downtown Alice.