Big red rocks

Trip Start Mar 07, 2006
Trip End Jun 30, 2006

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Well, I'm just back from a 2-day rock tour to King's Canyon, Uluru/Ayers Rock, and the Olgas. I have to say, this has been the definitive highlight of my Australian travels so far. Hard to believe that red rocks in the middle of the desert could have that effect, but they inexplicably do.

Up early yesterday for a 5am departure. (It'll be a while till I get to sleep in again). We drove for about five hours to King's Canyon, and then did a 3-hour hike there. It was very hot in the midday sun, and there are so many flies that we all had to wear super-unfashionable flynets, but the views were unparalleled.

After that, we drove to Yulara, the nearest town to Uluru, for our overnight camp. We slept in swags in the open, under the stars. It was quite cold at night but the swags and sleeping bags were pretty warm, and it was an amazing experience sleeping out there. We had a bonfire last night and roasted marshmellows. The group I was travelling with was amazing, and a bunch of us are on the trip up to Darwin that leaves tomorrow, which should be great. But I digress.

This morning, another super-early wake-up, but this one with good reason, since we drove up to Uluru (aka Ayers Rock) to see the sunrise. It's considered the most famous must-do in Australia, and it did not disappoint. Some people climb Uluru but it's considered disrespectful to the local Aboriginal population to do so, so most of us opted to walk around the base instead and take loads of fun photos.

After Uluru, we visited the Olgas, which are a series of high round-shaped red rocks, and did a short walk through the gorge. Then lunch before the long drive back into Alice Springs.

Tomorrow I'm heading back on the road for a 3-day drive up to Darwin, so it may be another little while before I can get back online. Updates and photos as soon as I have a chance!
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