Uluru - acres rock to me and you!

Trip Start Feb 25, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Sunday, December 19, 2004

The time was 6pm and even though i was well used to the heat, i couldn't believe how hot it was considering the time of day - factor 8 qas definately required for the walk into Alice Springs town centre at this time of day.

Sarah and i made our decision to head to the Northern Terratory when we were in Byron Bay. The novelty of being on the East coast had worn off by mid December and our group split on good terms in Brisbane. Guy and Nic going to Tazmania, Rob flying to Adalaide and Sarah and I hurrying down the coast to Sydney to make a connecting flight to Alice Springs which was to be our home for the next 4 days. We already have a house in Coojee Bay sorted for the fextive period where the 5 of us plan to reunite. I should really say a few words about Byron as it was one of the nicest places on the East Coast. We spent about 3 days in Byron and thorougly enjoyed our time here. Very chilled out place with very nice people but at $80 a night (30) to the English, it was time to leave. Beautiful beach and a great walk up to the lighthouse.

Ok, so we flew to Alice. The walk into town proved different and for the first time we saw Aborigional people. We had heard conflicting stories about the Aborigionals but mainly that, as a race, they were a waste of space. It was easy to understand why people thought like that as during the walk in, all i really saw was Aborigonals laying about the street, semi concious, with a bottle of half drunk 'grog' in their hand. It was only later that i saw, maybe not the full picture, but had my eyes opened by none other than an aborigional man.

We left our guest house the following day in a tour of about 12 people heading over to Ayres rock and the surrounding area. The journey took about 5 - 6 hours but the atmosphere amongst the group was good so time passed quickly.

The trip to ayres rock, (ULURU as named by the Aborigionals) was great, but walking round it, was exhausting! You remember what i said about the temperature at 6pm? Well, we walked round it at 2pm - a distance of af about 14k! Many of our group didn't make the journey, but Sarah and i did although Sarah nearly passed out infront of me! The sight of Ayres rock by sunset/sunrise was one of those beautiful moments that was kinda on the 'got to do as a traveller' list that everyopne has.

It was only later that i discovered more about Aborigional people and how white people had truely screwed them over. Some of the things i've learned truely make me ashamed to be British! Alcohol wasn't in the aborigionals culture, until the British arrived and introduced it. After initially enslaving them, raping the women and taking over the country, Aborigionals were ostracised and put in the furthest depths of the country. Their bodies hadn't built up a defence against alcohol so many of them got drunk on a single can of beer and a dependancy on the stuff occured. Before whites arrived, Aborigonals led a simple life of relgion, passing on skills to their youngers and general survival. In the last 200 years, apart from having their country taken over and developed, they have been on the receiving end of some of the worst racist treatment i've ever heard of.

Currently in Australia, there aren't many pure blood Aborigionals left in. Two joined us on our tour and i throughly enjoyed listening to them tell us stories of their life. The thing was, they were not bitter, but were more interested in telling us stories of their lives, and seemed very proud of their roots. This all led to a great few days leading up to xmas......
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