uluru alice springs (outback)

January 9th 2009
Published: January 11th 2009
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I was sick, drugged up and walking around the desert with a box of kleenex. Susan will be writing this post...

To get to Uluru, we had to fly to Brisbane. That night in Brisbane was fun - we stayed at a great hotel that was very affordable (the Rendevous, or something like that) and ate dinner on Queens Street. And then the next morning we flew back to Cairns and then to Uluru. This time I was ready with my camera and took lots of pictures (discretely since you are supposed to turn off all electronics) from the air. I got some great shots of the great barrier reef, Cape Tribulation, and the outback. The outback was so much more gorgeous than I ever imagined.

In fact, I had not even wanted to go - after all I've seen a lot of deserts and Utah is right around the corner with its phenomenal rock formations. But the Red Center is like nothing I have ever seen. IT IS VAST. VAST. VAST. Imagine the Midwest - only a vast desert. But it isn't like any desert you've seen before. The earth is a beautiful assortment of red rocks and pebbles, and it is covered with greenery - trees and grasses. And then there are the vast salt lakebeds. By the time you get to Uluru, seeing such a huge red rock in the middle of all this flatland is incredible. The Olgas I liked even more.

While Toisha was sick, she wanted to go see the sunset at Uluru and so we did. As we left the backpacker hotel, we commented on why anyone would pay $15 for stupid-looking fly nets to cover your face. Within the hour, we were wishing they sold them in the park. The sandflys were crazy - they attack you to drink the sweat off your body so you can't stand outside. And they are particularly think in the afternoon when no human should be wandering around the desert. So we lasted only 5 minutes before retreating to our car. Still the sunset was beautiful - Toisha stayed in the car with her kleenex and I stood outside watching the shadows creep across the rock.

That night we tried crocodile, emu, and kangaroo. None were very good, but it was a lot of fun to cook our own food and hang out outside once the flies were finally gone.

The next morning, I walked out to a viewpoint by the hotel to watch the sun rise over the Olgas and Uluru. It was very nice. I also went to Uluru and did some of the permitted walks, which were fantastic. It was very cool at sunrise and there were no flies. The rock looks very different upfront, there are caves I got to hang out in, and waterholes.

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