THE ROCK TOUR
Trip Start Nov 15, 2009
43Trip End May 02, 2010
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It was an early start on the 16th as we were being picked up from the hostel at 6am. Our tour guide for the next 3 days is Jake and our bus is called Betsie
It was an equally early start on the 17th, we were woke up by Jake at 5.30am after having some breakfast and a cow wandering into camp, we made our way to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
from my trainers rubbing today!! Kata Tjuta is a sacred place to the aboginal people and only men are allowed to visit, its a place for men's business, but we do not know what really happens here as only aboginal people are intitled to know this information. Jake showed us Ochre (aboginal paint found in stones), this has been used to create countless paintings for thousands of years. After the walk we headed to the campsite, there are showers and toilets!!! In the afternoon we went to the cultural centre, it was very interesting to learn about the aboginal culture and how they have lived in the bush for thousands of years. We then went to Uluru and did a short at the base of the rock called the Mala Walk. Jake explained that Mala people were
the first to live at Uluru and he told us a creation story, which is part of their beliefs but we only know a few as once again we are not intiated into their community. It was very interesting to hear these stories and how they lived on the rock, for me it brought the place to life. Both myself and Alex felt very priviliedged to be able to see this sacred sight. After the walk
we headed to the sunset viewing point, due to the cloud we did not get to experience the changing colours of the rock when the sun sets
On the last day of our tour we all had to get up stupidly early at 4.30am to get to see sunrise over the rock. As it was cloudy again no changing colours. The tour guides kept saying we were very lucky because so few people get to see the rock the dark colour we witnessed due to the cloud and rain we had. After the sunrose we went to Uluru and did the rest of the base walk about 8km, this was the easiest walk as it was still cloudy and very flat. After this we got back onto the bus to make our way back to Alice-stopping at a camel farm on the way, me and alex had a go at riding camel, very funny (see pictures)!!!
*Alex: After seeing Uluru and Kata Tjuta you appreciate the geographical importance of these areas however you then learn about the cultural and religious importantace that these areas hold for the aboriginal people. When you learn about the cultural and religious importance of these areas you realise just how special they are to the whole aboriginal existence and i believe the sooner they return to complete aboriginal control the better (currently aboriginal people own the land and 'rent it' on a 99 year deal back to the government. This was not what they thought when they were given the land back as the rental deal was inked into the contract in a very sneaky, underhand way so that the aboriginal people didn't fully understand it and then signed it). If the day comes when the aboriginal community fully control Uluru then i hope that the
white man can no longer wonder around it in socks and sandels as it belongs to them and we can appreciate Uluru from a mile away anyway. Finally i believe that this would be the case if the political influence left Uluru however Uluru Kata Tjuta national park brings countless dollars to Australia's shores however how many of these dollars reach the aboriginals?? Very few i imagine. Its very coinsidental that the once hated aboriginal society now accounts for a massive economical contribution to Austalias tourism industry! Thats my rant over.