Uluru (Travis)

We wandered our way out to Uluru the other day and spent a night in a rest stop (though it was a rest stop only in name – no water, bathrooms, tables, or pavement. Really just a sandy track to bush camping.) The view was incredible, with Uluru rock 25 km distant but very identifiable, red sand in every direction, and the Outback’s usual mangy trees spotting the horizon. But as soon as we opened the doors we found that people’s warnings about flies in the Red Center are completely warranted. They were EVERYWHERE – in our ears, up our noses, even one on Quincy’s tooth. Quincy grabbed our only mosquito net and tossed it over her head, which left me with a towel to wrap around my ears, nose, and mouth. The things I do…

Oh, and scorpions. No, we didn’t see any. But there were holes all around our campsite that I think could only have been from scorpions. I want to see one so bad that I decided it’d be a good idea to set a little trap for one, a la Bear Grylls. I dug a little hole (with a shovel, I wouldn’t put my hands near a scorpion hole) in front of the scorpion hole, and dropped an empty can in it. If all went well, the scorpion should have come out for dinner to fall into my can, and I could have checked him out in the morning. It didn’t work. I still haven’t found any scorpions. Maybe I’ll try again tonight? I mean, what’s camping in the Outback if you don’t see something dangerous?

Anyway, back to Uluru. The next day we got up at some unreasonable hour (before 5, I think) to catch the sunrise over the rock. After paying an incredible park entry fee ($50), getting yelled at by a ranger for stopping in a no-stopping zone (apparently a yellow fog line means no stopping – who knew?), and getting lost trying to follow directions that are in Aboriginal languages rather than English (signs pointed to “Talinguru Nyakunytjaku” instead of “Sunrise Viewing Area”) we managed to find a spot to watch the sunrise. It was totally worth it!

Then we went for another ‘difficult’ hike (silly guidebooks) around the rock. It was somewhere around 7 miles, but flat, and shaded near the rock. We started early enough that the heat wasn’t an issue at all. We’ve been driving 300-500 km a day to get through the Outback before Christmas, so it was nice to slow down for a bit and stretch our legs. It’s definitely a nice hike, I’d recommend it to anyone! I’d recommend flying though… it’s a loooong drive from Uluru to anything substantial.

Tomorrow we may hit the road earlier than usual to make the 700 km trek down to Adelaide, or we may break it up… who knows. I guess it depends on how tired we get driving…

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~ by stormcellar on December 21, 2010.

2 Responses to “Uluru (Travis)”

  1. Very cool! When I went there we were able to take a small guided tour up the rock. I hear they dont allow that anymore though =(

    • The gate to the path up was closed, and the sign said it was closed for a ‘summer seasonal closure’… sounds cool! I wish we’d been able to do it. But the hike around was still pretty sweet.

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