Edit Blog Post
Published: November 15th 2009
The Christmas lights have been switched on here and it feels very strange to be seeing Santas and Christmas trees whilst walking to the beach to sunbathe.
I flew from Brisbane to Alice Spring last week which was the starting point of my 3 day trip to Ayers rock (known as Uluru). When I arrived in Alice Spring the temperature was 38 degrees! I arrived at my hostel. This was easily the worst accommodation I have stayed in since being in Oz but instead of crying like I did at the beginning of my travels I quickly jumped on the only spare bottom bunk before the girl who was close behind me could claim it. In the morning the mini bus picked me up at 6am. There were 18 people on the tour. 6 Chinese, 2 Welsh, 2 Scottish, 1 German, 1 French, 2 English and a few other people but I can’t remember where they were from (and a tour guide called Sam)
We drove 445k along the dusty red highway to Kings Canyon National Park. After a steep climb up a 100m cliff face we walked around the rim of the canyon and enjoyed the views. The tour guide
would not let anyone off the bus until we had drunk 3 litres of water because the temperature was so high. (There were many’ comfort breaks’ needed on the journey and no toilets) Next we stopped to collect firewood for the camp fire but got stuck in the sand so had to push the mini bus out. At around 5pm we came off the road and stopped in the middle of nowhere! This was our camp for the night. We set up our camp and Sam made us Chilli. I was amazed by the stars! They were so bright because it was so dark. I saw a couple of shooting stars and then fell asleep in my swag under millions of stars.
The next day was an early start again (5am). We packed up our swags and headed to Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) which are a cluster of domed rocks that form valleys and gorges. We did the Valley Of the winds hike, an 8k loop around the boulders. We soon realised the importance of the early start. The walk is closed from 11am due to extreme temperatures. We then headed towards Ayers rock and had dinner and watched the
sunset behind the rock. Next we headed to our next camp which was luxury because it had flushing toilets and showers. We slept under the stars again but it was not as peaceful or comfortable because a spider had crawled on me whilst we were chatting around the fire so I was very nervous that it would get in my swag!
The next morning we got up at 4:3oam to watch sunrise at Ayers rock. Our tour guide spoilt us by making us coffee and pancakes as we watched the sun appear. Next we went to Ayres rock and did the base walk around it. The entire area is of deep cultural significance to the Aboriginal people who refer to themselves as Anangu . They officially own the national park but lease it to the government. Ayers rock is 3.6km long and rises 867m above sea level. Two thirds of the rock lies beneath the sand too. I really enjoyed watching sunset and sunrise because the rock changes several different colours. The Aboriginal people ask people not to climb the rock because they believe that only significant Aboriginals should take the spiritual path. Many people have died too because it
is so steep. When we arrived there were people climbing the rock but by the time we had done the base walk they had closed the rock because of extreme temperatures. Around the rock there were several caves which still had symbols and drawings in which the Aboriginals used to teach their children and communicate. After the walk I was dropped off at the small airport at Uluru and flew to Sydney. During takeoff we flew over the rock and luckily I had a window seat. Unfortunately my luck didn’t continue because our flight was delayed so I missed my connecting flight from Sydney to Melbourne. I easily got on the next flight but my luggage was nowhere to be seen! The lost luggage department told me that it might have been put on the next flight. So, I waited on my own at the empty luggage belt feeling a bit sorry for myself, especially because my clothes were dusty and sweaty from walking around the rock and imagining wearing the dirty clothes for the next week around cosmopolitan Melbourne when suddenly ........................ the belt started and out came my lonely bag.
Then I got a taxi to St Kilda
where I am now staying with friends. I am enjoying Melbourne and it reminds me of London on a sunny day. On Thursday I wandered around St Kilda and sat on the beach and read my book. On Friday I met a friend who I met in Cairns in Melbourne city centre and we did some sightseeing and tested the Sangria in various places. Yesterday we went on the Neighbours tour. First we went to the Ramsey Street (which is called Pin Oak close). It was much smaller than I expected and it did feel strange taking pictures when people actually live there. N ext we went to the studio where again everything was smaller than expected. On the way back we met one of cast (Janelle Timmons). I was slightly disappointed because I wanted to meet Carl Kennedy! Melbourne is full of quirky places and coffee shops. My friends have a lovely flat and I am having a good time eating and drinking my way through Melbourne.
Flying to Sydney on Thursday.
Tot: 0.077s; Tpl: 0.019s; cc: 11; qc: 60; dbt: 0.0127s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb