Friday February 27...our trip to Uluru
Trip Start Feb 02, 2009
36Trip End Mar 09, 2009
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In the distance we saw a settlement of the Amamfa people, the local aborigines. The guide said that their houses have a large veranda all around. There is a living room for women and children with a kitchen adjacent. The men's room is accessed only from outside with no entry to or from the main house. It seems these homes are prefabricated and installed on site.
Angus Downs is the smallest station we crossed only 50,000acres. Ocasionally we saw clumps of eucalyptus trees in amongst the scrub at "water holes" This shows that water is very close to the surface - like an oasis I guess. When we passed the turn off for Kings' Canyon we still had 136kms left and it was 10:05am. The driver talked of how the old road had been "bituminized" what we call "tarred". A water soak is a kind of pond or water hole where cattle go to drink and soak themselves to cool off.. We saw them from time to time. Desert oak trees drop their cones which are only burst open by bush fires. Fires are started by lightening.. When it rains in November the "starting rains" cause the seeds to germinate. The young trees are very thin until they get roots deep enough, about 30 feet. Then they fill out and the greenery is high up to survive the grass fires. The bark is thick enough to withstand the heat and the roots deep enough to not suffer.Left aligned photo tag:
At the top we saw a salt lake and in the distance Uluru and the Olgas. In 1985 was the "Hand Back" when aboriginal peoples were given back some of their lands. (Reminiscent of Canadian First Nations land claims). The National Park has a board of 4 aboriginal men, 4 aboriginal women and 3 park rangers. They oversee the running of the park. We stopped at Yulara the rsort village outside the national park. It can house 5000 in high season and gets 500,000 people a year. It is expensive and why we stayed in Alice Springs. We quickly visited the Cultural Centre which is made of Tasmaian Pine in the shape of two snakes, Kuna and Leura (spelling?) Kuna python represents culture; Leura, poisonous black snake, contains gift shop and snack bar ( pretty expensive).