Day 2 at Uluru

Trip Start Jan 22, 2013
Trip End Mar 18, 2013

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Where I stayed
Pioneer Outback Lodge

Flag of Australia  ,
Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I thought we were on vacation. 
Up at 5 am today for the sunrise over Uluru tour.  We boarded the bus for the 20 mile drive to
the really nice sunrise viewing platform. 
Again, like the sunset tour, there were a lot of people doing this at
the 6:30 sunrise.  And like the sunset,
this is why you come to Uluru, to see what sunlight does to Uluru and
Kuta-Tjuta.  The affect of sunlight on
the granite walls of Yosemite does dramatic things to those high walls.  On these sandstone red rocks ,the light and
shadows create affects that are like artist paintings.  It was truly a spectacle to be privileged to

After the light show we traveled to a couple of places at the base of
Uluru.  The first was where, in the
1950’s, the largest cattle ranch farmer in the area, installed a steel hand
rail up the western side of the mountain. 
The mountain can be climbed, but rarely is open.  As I understand it, the Anangu decide each
day by 8 am whether it can be climbed. 
Safety is the main reason for closing it.  Today it was closed due to high winds.  Rain and heat are the other reasons.  Having climbed Half Dome in Yosemite, which
has a very similar hand rail installed on it, I can see why they would not
allow people to climb.  They told us 42
people have died trying to climb Uluru. 
Half Dome was tough.  I think
Uluru would have been even more difficult. Half Dome has wood 2 x 4’s every few
feet to step on, Uluru has only the rock.  
After that we drove around to the south side of the mountain and went on
a walking tour.  Our guide showed us a
number of locations that are sacred to the Anangu.  In fact we were told not to take photos from
the bus of an area that was sacred to the female Anangu.  There are “male” areas also, but apparently
it’s ok to photograph those.   Hmmm.  Apparently there was, and still is, women’s
“business” and men’s “ business”, and they still don’t mix them.  The guide also explained various rock
features and the stories they represent. 
I won’t bore you with them, but it’s fascinating to think how the lore
of these people is represented by these 2 rock formations

From there we went to the Anangu cultural center and then back to our
hotel.  All by 10:20 am.  We took a nap, had some lunch, and then hung
around the pool most of the afternoon in the 103 degree temp.

For dinner we decided to try our Outback Pioneer cook your own on their
BBQ.  I had Emu sausage that was very
tasty.  However, they had 12 gas barbie’s
going full blast in the 100 degree heat. 
It must have been 120 degrees in the cooking area with NO breeze. 

Our time is running out.  In the
last 4 days we’ve been in 3 World Heritage sites.  It doesn’t get much better than that.  
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Gail Alskog on

Thank you Stu and Karen for these awe inspiring photographs and accompanying explanation. You are experiencing a world so different from
little ole Kirkland. I will look forward to hearing more firsthand when you get home.

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