Ciarán & Elaine's Travelog

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Red Centre

Our tour guide for our 4 day Ayers Rock (Uluru) name is Sauce and he's a long haired biker, funny guy. He picked us up at 11am and we were delighted to see Mike & Nicole were on the same tour as us. We headed off into the outback but after a couple of hours driving the bus started filling with steam. The radiator cap had blown off and we were broken down in the outback. It could've been a bad situation but luckily for us we happened to be right beside the only roadhouse for 300kms and even luckier, it had a bar and a pool so while we waited a few hours for a new cap to arrive we had a few drinks and enjoyed the cool water of the pool - a nice start to our tour.
By the time we arrived at our Kings Canyon camp it was dark so we rustled up some dinner and sat around the campfire with the other tour groups playing games.

It was an early start on day 2. We were up at 6am to do the rim walk of Kings Canyon. Starting off with a hike up the aptly named Heart attack Hill we spent the next 4 hours exploring the canyon, seeing areas like Colliers lookout, the Garden of Eden (thanks to the woman playing the panpipes!!) and even where they filmed Priscella Queen of the Desert!
Kings Canyon is stunning.

Back in the tourbus we headed towards Uluru but stopped off near Mt Connor and the salt lakes for dad to take a scenic helicopter flight over the area.

We arrived at Uluru just before sunset. From the viewing platform we could also see the sun going down at Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). It was really beautiful.

Another early start for day 3. We got up in time to drive to Kata Tjuta to watch the sun rise, it was definitely worth the effort with the sun coming up behind Uluru and the colours changing by the second. After the sunrise we did the 8km Valley of the Winds walk at Kata Tjuta. It was a really good walk with our guide stopping to show us various plants that aboriginals use for food and medicine. We were glad we started so early too because by the time we got back to our camp at 10.30 it was already 30°c. We jumped straight into the swimming pool to cool off then after lunch we went to the Uluru cultural centre then we did the Mala walk at Uluru which is a short cultural walk where you can learn about the aboriginal uses and customs of Ayers Rock.

The girls from Elaine's job in Sydney bought her a Harley Sunset Tour of Ayers Rock when she was leaving. I couldn't let her have all that fun by herself so we went too. The biker guys picked us up on their Harleys about half an hour before sunset and took us on a ride around the rock before stopping for sunset and champagne. It was a spectacular sunset with the intense colours of the rock changing by the second. It felt like the rock was alive - really magic. The ride back to the camp at twilight was so much fun too!

Our 4th morning and yet another sunrise! This time at Uluru followed by the 9km base walk - it's a bloody big rock! Then it was back to camp to pack up for the drive back to Alice Springs and some dinner out with the group in Bojangles. A great end to a great tour.


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