Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day 194- Uluru (and Kata Tjuta)

\Lots to do out here! We wanted to see Kata Tjutu (The Olgas) and had heard that the full Valley of the Winds walk was pretty impressive so off earlyish before the worst of the heat kicked in.

We knew it would be a big walk with the kids and were not sure how far we would get but there were a few options so we just stuck them on our backs and headed off. We had done a few walks carrying the boys but this would be the biggest and the most difficult- lots of loose rock and a few steep climbs.
The walk to the first 'lookout' area was not all that special. Bit of a view but not at all earth-shattering. So we slogged on to the next point. It was not too hard really, just tiring! The rock here looks totally different to the surface of the rock at Uluru even though i think it is all part of the same subsurface rock (i might be wrong!) The second lookout gave a great view over the rock formations but was not as impressive as the base walk at Uluru and, according to Tim and Dad, nothing at all compared to the climb (and in my opinion the Rim Walk at Kings Canyon is heaps more interesting too!).
We stopped for lunch at the second lookout and from there we decided that Dad and Tim would take the boys back the way we came and Mum and i would continue on the rest of the circuit. The rest of it was a lot more impressive and really gave a better feel of the rocks and their valleys but it would have been a hard climb down with the kids and a very hot walk for them so i am glad i did not have to carry Darcy for it!

Back to the car around 12:30 so we had time to call into the Cultural Centre on the way back. You should probably do the centre as the intro to the park but the timing did not work for us so it was good to have a look around and see the storyboards.

Dad was booked on a helicopter flight with Jordy so they left to head back to the resort and Tim and i and Darcy went for a drive around the base of Uluru seeing as we ran out of time and energy to cycle around it. I did another walk on the 'back' side of the rock and saw the rock art and the waterhole (two different aspects from what we saw yesterday).

Then back to camp while we waited for Dad and Jordy to get back. When we saw him we asked "Where have you been!?" and he was all excited to tell us he was in a helicopter. We asked what he saw and he said "Nothing, we just went up and flew around and around in circles and landed in the same place." LOL! Apparently "we couldn't see any animals there." not sure why he was looking for animals, and the pilot did not have a proper steering wheel like in an aeroplane, he just had a stick!

Dad said he was really funny on the flight. Dad would try to show him the view out the window and Jordy was more interested in listening to the pilots chat in his earmuffs. But he loved it so that's all that matters.

Felt like a really big day and we were all buggered. The kids freaked out about having to have a shower and it was another super cold night (5'C!!). Jordy and i are coming down with a cold!

Uluru was a great experience. There is so much to see around the area that i really think you need two complete full days at least (more would be better). We had a day and a half so we crammed in what we could and i think we did really well. I would have liked more time to leisurely stroll around the full base walk or at least cycle it. And i think the canyon floor walk might have been nice at Kata Tjuta. And there are LOTS of guided tours of Uluru that i think would have offered a nice perspective on the cultural and history of the rock and its people.... one day. Next time i think i'll fly there! It's a friggin long way to drive.

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