Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Australia: Day 9, Ayer's Rock, part II

The next morning started off before the crack of dawn. We had about a 20 minute ride into the park to go see Uluru at sunrise. We were disappointed that we couldn't get up close to The Rock the day before on our camelback tour- it was just in the distant background.
We'd read a lot that The Rock is cool to see at sunset, but way better at sunrise. That was definitely true.

I sort of thought the sun would rise from behind The Rock, but it didn't.

We took a million pictures but my camera couldn't quite capture the different hues The Rock turned as the sun came up so I just chose this one.

Sunrise with the moon still in the sky.

Walking around The Rock. Everything was so pretty. Again, obviously the pictures are nothing compared to being there in person.

I was obsessed with this golden grass, especially next to the red ground.

It's a touristy thing to do to climb The Rock, however, it's also very controversial. Initially we'd planned on climbing it, but after learning how the Aboriginal people considered is a sacred place I didn't feel right about it.

Turns out it was closed anyway.

It's a pretty dangerous climb, and people have died doing it. You can see here one of the most tough parts of the climb is the beginning, and there's a chain link fence to help support.

More of the fence.

I loved this huge cut out of The Rock. It reminded me of a tidal wave.

Since we weren't climbing The Rock we decided to go for a walk around it. It was about 10k and the last third of the walk was tough. It got to be pretty hot and there were so many flies. Honestly at any given time there'd be seven or eight flies just chillin on our flynets. Sick.

Take note of the trees to compare the height of The Rock. The trees were a few feet taller than me.

I was honestly wishing I could have a full body flynet. Those suckers land on you and then you brush them away and they land right back.

A rest stop.

At this point we were about 3/4 of the way around. The first half went really quickly and then the second half really dragged. I'd take off my fly net for a photo and couldn't wait to get it back on. These flies are honestly enough to drive a person insane. I remember at least once just flailing my arms and running and brushing myself off because they wouldn't leave me alone!

Aboriginal hieroglyphics.

The Rock is oblong shaped. Sooooo wide and skinny.

Our path for miles and miles.

Luckily we made it back and it was a miracle that we didn't miss our shuttle. By the time we were back around there were so many people there and soooo many shuttle buses. The buses to get back to the resorts only left every few hours. We finally realized ours was driving away so we went running after it and luckily caught it. We were very lucky because if we'd missed it, we would have missed the shuttle to the airport, which would have meant we'd miss our flight. The only flight leaving that day. We got very very lucky. Thank goodness we didn't have to hitch hike! I loved the Outback, but 24 hours is definitely enough time. Any longer and I would have gone crazy. The little resort had a super nice hotel, a cheaper hotel, and a hostel. There were a few souvenir shops and delis and restaurants. Everything was expensive since there was nothing else for 280 miles, except one grocery store, which is where we bought our dinner and breakfast.

1 comment:

nerak said...

Remember how every second part of the rock was sacred and you weren't supposed to take pictures of it?

And props to you for the shuttle situation. If it were up to me, we totally would've missed that shuttle!