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Published: February 15th 2014
UluruThe Rim Walk
Taking pictures at sunset.
The views from King’s Canyon are most definitely worth the extra trip if you are visiting the Red Centre – and I would suggest if time is short you make straight for this wonder of the world and bypass Uluru. The landscapes are other-worldly and less congested with day-trippers than the infamous Ayer’s Rock. A rugged pair of shoes (although somehow, many of the Korean companions we had on our tour managed the walk in flip flops...) and plenty of water are essentials even out of the hottest summer periods, because the hiking is unmissable. We followed our guide all morning like clammy faces following an oscillating fan, and I for one let out a cheep of glee when we stopped for elevenses. There are few sights more pleasing to tired, peckish eyes than several packets of Tim Tams winging their way round to you. The views down the vast valley were pleasing too.
We were on the Canyon Walk which professed to be 6km long, although all the lumps and bumps in Oz seemed to be condensed into them and I was sure fire glad we were following our trusty guide rather than attempting the trek alone. His reassuring outbursts of ‘alrighty’ becalmed and soothed in equal measure. He also seemed to be carrying an endless supply of snacks in his backpack. What a guy. By mid-morning we had reached ‘The Garden of Eden’, a series of crystalline pools miraculously nestled in a shady part of the canyon walk, where several libertine members of our company decided to partake in a mid-hike dip. Much as the freezing waters looked tempting after the blistering sun had been scoffing at us all morning, I had to forgo this time. I’d inexplicably left behind my tankini.
The trip down to Eden is by no means a pastoral stroll, as there are a great many steps leading both down and up – the equivalent of descending and re-ascending the canyon again. Still, the wooden stairwell has a gold-rush feel about it that’s endearing even after the fifth flight, though I defy anybody in the group to say they weren’t relieved to make it to the top again. Endorphins took over as our mood enhancers and our conversations veered into strange realms. How good we could make our echoes across the canyon sound, for example. ‘Woo hoo’, and ‘yee hah’ were popular choices.
Our morning ended with a surprisingly level jaunt back to the car park through open country. Had we in fact conquered the best that the Red could throw at us? Au contraire, our guide had another challenge up his sleeve. On making it back to the campsite, he grilled us up camel burgers, emu sausages and exclaimed to ‘have at it guys’. There were beef burgers too for the sissies, but I’m never one to back down from a dare and went straight for the bush meat. It tasted surprisingly like beef, perfect. Now – anyone know where the coffee’s kept?
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