Well what do you know? I’m staying in Alice Springs one more night. But don’t worry, tomorrow I promise to be back on the bicycle.
Why am I still here? Well besides all of the awesome town food, there’s fast and reliable internet – at least as fast and as reliable as I’ve come to expect in Australia.
If you have never been to Kangaroo Island (or maybe if you have, but the question of internet speed doesn’t really do much for you), then you may, as I did, wrongfully assume that they country has some decent internets available. Unfortunately, for the 23 million people who call this country home (and me), this is not the case.
Perhaps I’ve been spoiled or simply have an unreasonable hunger for blazing-fast download speeds, but when I can get better internet service in the mountains of Nepal than I can in Australia, it gives me pause (and no, I don’t care that I am out in the desert – this is no excuse as it’s not too impressive in the major cities either).
It’s been surprisingly difficult for me to find the internet connection required to download my much-needed podcasts (have I mentioned how boring riding through the Outback on a bicycle is?) and upload new material to Halfway Anywhere. The last place I had a reliable connection, the best I’ve had in Australia, was in Coober Pedy (at the Outback Bar & Grill – and no, not the chain restaurant – a legitimate Outback bar and grill).
Apparently, the root of Australia’s internet woes has a lot to do with a company called Telstra, garbage infrastructure, an absence of competition, and a lot of politics – all things that we’re going to avoid here (except Telstra, we’ll talk about them later). All you have to know is that the internet situation in Australia is a national embarrassment.
I’ve often found the internet to be a lot more reliable (and faster) if I tether my phone’s internet instead of using whatever wifi is available. However, cellular data is not cheap (it’s infuriating).
And on the topic of phones, if you plan on embarking on an adventure through the Outback, you’re going to want to get a Telstra SIM card (they’ve got an essential monopoly on the Outback’s many locations).
If you don’t believe me, then hop on the WikiCamps AU app (Android/iOS) – a croudsourced app with campsites, campgrounds, RV parks, etc. from all around Australia – and behold their different filters: “Telstra Reception” and “Other Movile Reception”. Says a lot about the difference in coverage, don’t you think?
Well now that you know what I’m dealing with down here in terms of my internets (aka how I remain in contact with you, the outside world), I hope you will excuse my sloth.
Besides, after 1,521 mi / 2,447 km of riding (that’s further than Boston to Miami; or for my European friends, Amsterdam to Moscow), I think I’ve earned more than just one day of relaxation (aka beer and pizza).
- DAY OFF IN ALICE SPRINGS
- DAY’S DISTANCE: 0 mi / 0 km
- TOTAL DISTANCE: 1,521.08 mi / 2,447.84 km