Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 24: hot rocks

Woke up to the still-night sky at 4am, tired, arms covered in bug bites, but supremely happy.

We watched the sun rise over Uluru & I actually found it liberating to not have a camera. Instead of trying to find the best spot for a photo, I just sat, admired the rock, and wrote in my journal. It was nice to have a little solitary time.

Then we did the base walk around the rock, which took 3 hours (at a leisurely pace). Sorry to dissapoint, AB & Ron, but I decided not to climb the rock - even at 6:30am, it was just too hot & I didn't feel up to the straight vertical climb. But I did really enjoy the base walk; the rock has so many faces, intriguing caves & honeycomb crevices. I put my hand to the rock & felt its heat and power.

Also saw some more cave art; apparently, these parts of Uluru were where stories were passed down & the art depicts thousands of years of stories. Really cool.

After the walk, we all seem to be exhausted; I think the early mornings have caught up to us. Also, its 10am & 39 degrees - vicious heat.

Headed to Kata Tjuta, fka "the Olgas", which from a distance, our guide pointed out, looks like Homer Simpson lying down! (not so much in the pic attached tho) Its a group of 39 domes of sandstone. We did a short hot hike into it & surprisingly, in the middle of hiking this bright red, dry stone, you suddenly come across a lush green oasis, complete with little pools of water rife with tadpoles. Really beautiful.

The colors here are vibrant - deep blue sky, olive green trees, silver saltbush, bright orange sand. And the moon! The moon is always present here, peeking milky white from the cloudless sky.

On the bus back to camp for lunch we passed a camel just hanging out, snacking on some brush. Funny.

Had lunch, packed, & headed back to the bus for another long drive out to Kings Canyon. I sat in the back with Sandeep, Stephan, & Ines (German), talking & laughing & singing, and the time flew by.

Side note to all you "combination pizza hut & taco bell" fans, there is a Euro-pop song about Kentucky fried chicken & a pizza hut!! Brilliant!

This campsite is awesome. Much more remote than last night, so when the sun sets (and the fire, which I love tho its way too hot for it, goes out) it will be pitch black. Its only 8pm & I can already see more stars than at home. And I'm in the southern hemisphere so its a completely different night sky than I've ever seen before.

I love this.

Sandeep tried to teach us some Bollywood dance moves & we discussed the possibility of snakes & dingoes in our swags as we sat around the campfire. When our guide Jen told us breakfast is at 4:30 and everyone was like "oh ok that's not bad" it suddenly struck us how strange a reaction that is & we all had a laugh.

After dinner, doing the dishes, a huge lizard came out of nowhere to climb the kitchen wall! We really are in the outback.

Another starry night under this endless sky, and if I thought last night was amazing, tonight is overwhelming. There are stars upon stars upon stars. I can see Venus. I counted 5 shooting stars before I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

Today I am so happy & grateful for:
~ the outback night sky
~ possibility & options
~ feeling exhausted in a good, complete way
~ no snakes or spiders or dingoes got me!

Xo! n.


  1. No, no... we are happy that you decided not to climb Uluru... Uluru is very special and important to the Aboriginal people, and climbing the rock or taking away bits of it is disrespectful.

    Hope you have enjoyed the Kings Canyon experience, and looking forward to seeing you tomorrow...

    The Scot

  2. I'm at the KFC. What? I'm at the Pizza Hut. What? I'm at the COMBINATION KFC and Pizza Hut...


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