Published: June 22nd 2006June 22nd 2006
Uluru at sunset
Going through a bright orange stage
We left Perth and the west coast of Australia - heading for the outback and a few days around Uluru (Ayers Rock). Our flight into Alice Springs was uneventful apart from an announcement that people on the right side of the plane should look out the window now. As we were on the right side we did and was rewarded with a fantastic aerial view of Uluru!! Some people paid fortunes for a helicopter ride but lucky us got the aerial view included in the flights!
Next day we had the long drive to Uluru from Alice Springs - before we got there we stopped at the Olgas - a rock formation made from huge domes of rock. Had a walk inbetween two of the domes and they are absolutely massive! Then we headed to Uluru for sunset which was pretty cool because as the sun goes down it changes colour - from bright orange, to a dark red and finally a grey colour. That night round a camp fire I got a try on a didgerdioo and although I managed to get a few notes out of the thing - it's bloody hard to 'play'! Next day we got
Again a orange-like colour. You can see why it's called the Red Centre round here!
up early for sunrise at Uluru which had the same colour changes but in reverse! This only concreted my views that sunrise is over-rated and that sunset is much better because it isn't so damn early in the morning! Anyway after this I climbed Uluru. Even though it's a rock it's a pretty big rock and the sides are very steep so it was fairly hard work - made even harder because the wind was very strong! 5 minutes after I started climbing the Park officials closed to climb because it was too windy so that tells you how strong the wind was and how lucky I was to get to climb it!! The views from the top though are fantastic - totally worth the climb! After getting down went for a short stroll around the base of the rock - checking out sacred Aboriginal sites, rock art and other stuff! Finished the day driving to Kings Canyon National Park. And the next day was up early for a 3 hour stroll around Kings Canyon - I say stroll - the first part of the walk was up a steep hill which the Australians have christened 'Heart Attack Hill' althought
From the top of Uluru
well worth the climb - you can see how windy it was from the dodgy quiff i've got!
it wasn't that bad - the Aussies are just soft! The stroll was sweet as - the canyon was pretty spectacular - the best bit however was buried deep inside the canyon - the 'Garden of Eden - where water build up has created a kind of oasis in the canyon. It's a pretty cool contrast between the barren landscape at the top of the canyon and this garden of eden with lots of trees, plants and little lakes. Once the stroll was finished it was time for the long drive back to Alice Springs.
That night at Alice Springs - we went out for dinner and I couldn't resist trying a Kangaroo steak. Even though Ames did her best to try and put me off! It tasted a lot like beef but was a bit softer - easier to chew!
And that was it for the red centre of Australia. Beckie - even though i'm nine hours ahead i'm making sure i'm up to watch all the England games. It's pretty good as i'm watching them surrounded by Germans, Swedes, French, Americans, Aussies etc and there's a lot of banter and a good atmosphere. The Germans have
some blind optimism that they'll win it (!!!!!!!) and are very slow to remember to 5-1 hammering we dished out to them a few years back! To be honest I wish we got Germany in the second round so we could knock them out earlier! But anyway - i'll be up supporting England in a bar in Sydney when we play Equador - even if it will be at ridiculous 'o clock!