Friday, November 13, 2015

Day 111 - Outback Day 2: Watarrka at Sunrise, Walking around Uluru




The night was more or less horrible: the first thing was that the elderly couple didn't do so well, and the woman had to vomit two times because of dehydration, probably. Unfortunately they had their swags right next to me... Anyway I was freezing. I didn't drink enough for dinner so that I was thirsty as hell, and the dry air sucked all the humidity that was left out of my lips so that they felt like crunchy chips. I really was afraid of dehydration, because of what our guide Ross has told us..... The water bottle and my lip cream lay only 1.5 meters away in the tent, but it was so cold outside, and I was afraid of the creepers, so I decided to suffer. At least the sky was breathtaking, milky way and everything, and four shooting stars (one of them flew across the whole sky, with an endless tail and lasted for a few seconds, beautiful!)


I also had to take off my winter socks, because my body (shoulders to feet) was boiling in the swag, and my head seemed to be made of ice. I didn't even notice that I was sleeping at all. Because of a bad sleeping rhythm I couldn't find sleep too fast and also had to wear my earplugs in the end, because I didn't want to hear all the humming creepers around me in the dark.

What a relief when I woke up due to the other persons rummaging around with their swags - I could get out of that hell's night. It was 4 AM, I rolled up my swag, went to the loo which was actually pretty far away (no good for women), dressed myself and had breakfast with the others, in the dark. I tell you, this is confusing, going to bed in the dark, getting up in the dark. You cannot separate the days anymore...

In the dawn we drove towards Watarrka (Kings Canyon). Ross drove in the middle of the street, because there were no other cars anyway, to have a better chance escaping the kangaroos. Not far away I saw a small kangaroo scuttling across the street in front of us.



Dawn in the bus


In the half-dark we had our route and some safety instructions explained, before we headed off to the Kings Canyon. I tell you, hiking in the dry desert air with about three hours of sleep is no fun. But it was ******* beautiful !! At a certain spot we watched the first sunbeams illuminating the fire red canyon and from there on it got warmer and warmer. We hiked for about three hours, had a look at different stone formations and soil petrifactions from the ancient inland ocean that covered the outback area of Australia a few billion years ago.
 
This spot is called "Garden of Eden"


This is our bus with the luggage trailer. For lunch we had hotdogs today. Very different from the wraps and fajitas yesterday ;-) Afterwards we drove to Uluru to visit the Cultural Centre, read some indigenous stories of kangaroos etc., watch aborigines painting...

Uluru in sight

We were very lucky that everybody was informed and had bought a fly net in advance. There are flies everywhere, looking for moisture and salt. Our job was to walk around Uluru (about 8km) in the afternoon heat. It took us a little more than two hours to reach the meeting point. I had a good time with some of the tour mates, but I will not post too many pictures of Uluru here, because I don't want to disrespect the Sensitive Sites all around Uluru. Some corner views were only permitted for one gender, for example. So, better safe than sorry. The Uluru is a huge stone formation of limestone which was tilted nearly 90 degrees, which explains the vertical stripes. In the holes and structures of the mountain the indigenous people saw evidence for certain details of their creation stories ("tjukurrpa" meaning dreamtime). For the Pitjantjatjara tribe, the Uluru is sacred and their home, therefore climbing it is not permitted anymore. There is neither a law, nor a book with written stories. Everything is based on storytelling, the stories they were told from Uluru, that tell them how to behave and how to care for the lands which they believe they don't own, but just are custodians.


In the rainy season there will be many waterfalls and several water ponds
 

 
While we watched the sunset at Uluru, we had some snacks, because everyone was hungry. Later we had the real dinner: tons of sausages, hamburger meat and kangaroo steak which was pretty yummie. Once in a lifetime I would say. In the end it was way to much meat and way to few veggies, so that I had a queasy feeling the whole evening. After I had vomited two times in two hours (a lot of sleep lost which is terrible in a camping week!) I could finally find sleep. We slept in the tent tonight, so that it was even more difficult with a weak stomach... But from then on I had a good night ;-)
 
video
 
P.S. Sorry for that miserable presentation, Blogger has had some problems.


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