Friday, 8 October 2010
The view from the plane as the plane touched down in Alice Springs was exactly how I imagined the outback to be, a flat barren landscape, mainly red with some greenery as well, however the amount of greenery is unusual, but it has rained alot this year, which is unusual. Alice Springs is a very small town with a couple of blocks of shops in the central business district and thats about all. An afternoon was long enough to see the whole of Alice Springs. Next morning, it was a 5.10am pick up from my hostel and then a 4 hour drive to Kings Canyon. Kings Canyon was formed about 480 million years ago, it's made up of two types of sandstone rock. We took a 3 hour hike, up, over and in the canyon. It was a really hot day 35 degrees but a dry heat. I was pestered by a lot of flies, the insect repellent didn't seem to have much effect. It wasn't a difficult hike but so hot. We visited the Garden of Eden, right in the middle which has a small lake. After clambering back down we headed back to the the campsite for a BBQ, camel sausages, kanagaroo steaks, both really good. We had another really early start the next day, 4.30am to catch the sunrise at Uluru by 6.26am. It was spectacular as the sun rose the rock turned different shades of red. We then walked round the base of the rock, which took about 2 hours. Up close the rock has large craters in it, and caverns. There is a climb to the top of Uluru but it is often closed due to high winds or rain or death! 77 people have died since 1985. The Aborgines who own the land do not like visitors to climb Uluru as it is a sacred site for them. There are parts of the rock where photography is forbidden as they are sacred spots to the Aborigines. After Uluru we headed to Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), part of the Uluru National Park. These were formed millions of years ago and are made of conglomorate rocks from the sea bed. It is strange to see the rocks sticking out of the landscape. They have been gradually eroded by the rain and wind into dome shapes.
We visited the Cultural centre in the afternoon, and then did the Mala walk round Uluru where Sheldon, our tour guide told us loads of interesting stories about Uluru and the Aborigines. We then caught the sunset at Uluru, where we had champange and nibbles....cool! We headed back to camp and I spent our last night sleeping in a swag under the stars. Beautiful!