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Published: March 10th 2017
Thursday March 9, 2017
A day in 2 parts: morning a free program at the resort and an afternoon sunset hike around the Uluru rock.
The morning activity was with a local aboriginal who, in the circle of sand, explained us about the tools and weapons used by the locals. Interesting the explanation regarding the different instruments, in particular the boomerang. As it turns out, different tribes in different parts of the country use a similar instruments, but adapted to the animals they are supposed to hunt and kill. Here in the centre of the country, the boomerang is for killing larger animals (kangaroos, emus, etc.). As such the boomerang is heavy and a little curved and does not come back to the thrower. The ones that we typically consider boomerangs, and that come back, are used in the coastal areas for hunting birds. The heavier boomerang in the centre of the country has different models, each one for the hunt of specific animals and one heavier than the other.
Spears are a natural hunting weapon, as it is for many other aboriginous tribes in the wolrd. What was interesting to learn that the .. have
designed and developed a sling shot throwing mechanism that extends the flight of the spear significantly. It functions as the instruments that are now a days in use for throwing balls for dogs to be retrieved.
The explanations given were a well spent hour of our morning.
In the afternoon we parted by minivan and 8 people, all our tours are with small groups, to the most revered rock formation of the local tripe of Anagu. After driving around the rock made out of sand stone, we were explained that certain parts could not be filmed or fotographed as they are sacred and some other parts are not to be visited. In, general the given limitations are observed, although there are exceptions, particularly the japanese. They either don't understand sufficent English or don't give a damn. My guess is the latter. A point of discussion at Uluru is, whether or not to permit the climbing of the rock. Here there are 2 confliction positions: on the one hand, the law, permits the climbing, and the other hand the aborigines see the climbing as sacrilege. The two positions are difficult to combine, but, according to our very nice Italian
guide, they seem to have found a way. In order to forcome accidents, the government has installed a chain to facilitate the climbing of the rock, but the chain only starts some 25 meters from the base and getting to the chain is quite an endeavor. At the same time, Uluru lies in the National Park of the same name and is managed jointly by the aborgines and the government, with the locals as rangers of the park dictating when certain activities can be undertaken. As such the climb frequently is closed down due to weather conditions: high winds, too hot, it may start raining, etc. You get the picture.
We made 2 walks, at different places at the base of the rock. Nice easy walks with lots of interesting things to see, particularly wall paintings. The rock in it self is impressive and it is facinating to see what mother nature has done to the rock by means of erosion over time. There are also many drawings in the caves. Then we drove to another point and there we had some delicious snacks and champagne, in the middle of the wilderness! An interesting point to mention: the government
of Australia has really gone out of its way to facilitate tourism in this area. Infrastructure, roads, WCs and other facilities are excellent. One item though for me was more than exceptional. On our last stop where we had champagne, the shelter, believe it or not, had "wifi". Virtually in the middle of nowhere, amazing.
The tour ended with observing the sunset. Although we have had little luck with regards to sunrises and sunsets ( too many clouds), the results were still spectacular.
We finished the day with a good meal at the Sail of the Desert restaurant and went to sleep rather early. It has been a day full of excercise.
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