After a hideous twelve hour bus ride, where we all managed to bag ourselves double seats (I even had the seats opposite me clear so I lay across all four) and then a four hour plane journey, which was actually fab, we flew over the blue mountains and could see the desert and the huge rock formations from the sky, we arrived at Uluru! (Also known as Ayers Rock, this is the white name for it however the aboriginals want it’s former name to be restored.)
We made the most of the brilliant blue sky and and what was left of the sunshine until the evening where we super market shopped, made ourselves dinner and had an early night ready for our 5am start the next day.
5.15am – we’re up and getting ready for the day ahead.
6.00am – ready and waiting for our tour bus
6.15am – debating why we got up so early if the tour bus is late!
6.25am – tour bus arrives and we’re not on their list
6.30am – calls are made, their mistake not ours and we’re away! (Finally)
Our first stop was the Uluru sunrise lookout point, here we could see the whole of Ayers Rock and watch while the sun rose. As it did the sun light reflected off of the huge orange rock covering the whole of the desert in it’s beautiful orangey yellow haze and producing the most beautiful sunrise.
Here we went on a cultural walk and learnt about the aboriginals beliefs on the markings in the rock and what these different stories taught them. For example there’s only one small section of the whole of the rock where there is a mossy green line the whole way down. Right next to this there is a huge gash in the rock pointing into a part of the rock that sticks out and is oval shaped. The aboriginals believe that the gash going into an oval is the symbol of a spear into a lambs leg, and a greedy lizard stole this lamb from the people who hunted it. He then took it up to a high cave and hid it when they asked if he had it. The hunts men knew the greedy lizard had stolen the lamb even though he denied so and so smoked him out of the cave. The greedy lizard ate all of the lamb he had stolen then when he went to look at the fire that was smoking him, he tripped and fell down the side of the rock, leaving a path of his green skin behind (the moss). This story teaches the aboriginals to not steal and to be honest and there are many more stories similar based on other parts of the rock.
After our cultural walk which took about two hours we visited a cave with aboriginal paintings which are over 30,000 years old and also the local water hole. This is also the part of Ayers Rock that the Royals, Will and Kate, visited last month, so all the park benches are newly polished and the path is pristine.
We then went to the cultural centre to learn more about the locals and to see some of their paintings and craft work. There were also two aboriginal women there painting their own work.
Next we took the bus to the base of the Ayers Rock climb, although a lot of people don’t agree with climbing the rock as it is sacred, Nicole, Juliet and I were keen to and so as our group went on another walk, we started our ascent. The side of Ayers Rock was unbelievably steep and the (sortof) helpful chains only start half way up! It was so difficult climbing up, it took us so long to even reach the chains and it was boiling hot and actually very windy once we weren’t actually shaded by the rock but on top of it! Because of time limitations and also our less fit travelling bodies we couldn’t get all the way to the top as we only had twenty minutes to get up and down and re join our group before our bus left, and getting down took much longer than up! Walking down a very steep, very slippery rock face with chains that are less than helpful is more difficult than you’d think!
Obviously we made it back in time as we are now by the pool enjoying the sun! This evening we are heading back into the desert to watch the Ayers Rock sunset and to have a picnic!
The photos I took today on both my go pro and my camera I will upload in a separate special blog, as I’ll have some more of the sunset this evening… so something to look forward to!