The magnetic polarity of the planet has gone nuts. This is very clear to me. The Artic Circle has moved, it is now centered over Alice Springs.
It all started back on Wednesday, in Katherine, when the sky fell in. This weird, wet, and cold substance fell from the sky. I don't know what it was, but I high-tailed it outta there. I drove south, as fast as I legally could, 130km/h, until it eased a little and a more economical speed could be sustained.
Emerging from my car some 800 kilometres south, it was sudden and absolute. It was cold. Bloody cold.
Last night in Alice, it was -4.6 degrees at 5.30am. Ok ok, that was the Apparent Temperature Reading - which is always useful to make a temperature sound colder or hotter than it was, nevertheless, it's a real measurement of how the temperature feels. The real one was -0.6. It was cold. The days are nice though, sunny, 18-20 degrees. The nights, 1 or 2 degrees, for the next week anyway.
I have spent the last couple of days organising my next hike, on the Larapinta Trail. I will be walking the 223km trail over the next 12 or so days. Just imagine all the election banter I will miss. Mind you, I've pretty much missed it all anyway. I voted today at an early voting centre in Alice, still not avoiding the leaflets being shoved in my face. Enthusiastic mob.
I spent three hours sorting and packing my stuff, which included organising two food drops. An old man sat in the sun reading his paper, occasionally looking up to peruse my busyness, still marvelling at how I survived last night in a tent.
I saw my first sign pointing to Adelaide yesterday. There was a handwritten one below a big sign north of Alice. Someone had spray-painted "Adelaide ??" at the bottom of the roadside destination sign.
Here's a nice photo from my drive down from Katherine into the Artic Circle. It is the Devil's Marbles. Each rock is a person was frozen to death in the last couple of nights. Truly. Forget the geology.