Exploring Kings Canyon, The Olgas and Uluru

Trip Start Jan 16, 2008
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Trip End Nov 2008


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Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Sunday, July 27, 2008

We set off at 6am on Mulgas 3 Day tour of the red centre and settled into the 6 hour drive to Kings Canyon stopping at cattle stations and roadhouses to feed kangaroos, emus and for anyone interested take camel rides. Passed lots of powerful road trains crossing this vast expanse of desert.
 
Kings Canyon is reminiscent of the grand canyon in Nevada. We spent the remainder of the day wrapped up as best we could trekking through the various passes, pausing at lookouts peering over the edge and generally feeling like we were on top of the world. Its winter here and the cold was vicious and penetrating so we did not stop long in any one spot except an ancient aboriginal waterhole where two crazy germans in our group decided to strip off and take an impromptu dip. Respect!
 
Our guide Steve taught us about bush foods, the difference between canyons and gorges and showed us the beginnings of a new canyon.
 
That night we gathered firewood and slept out in the bush around a campfire in swags and sleeping bags as we enjoyed a campfire dinner of camel pasta and listened to Steve as he sang us to sleep..such an experience..truly.

Next day we visted the Olgas and took a trek through the valley of the winds. Incredible lookouts and a decent workout. In the evening we visited Uluru and the aboriginal cultural centre where we got to see the local tribes working on their traditional artform the dot painting and enjoyed a bush bbq which was wolfed down by all the group.
 
We walked the Mala walk which all young aboriginal men undertake at their initiation into manhood as Steve explained that Aboriganal law still holds today. If any crime is commited by a tribemember like murder then the family of the murdered person has the right to spear the guilty person through the leg before welcoming them back into the tribe. When women fight they take it in turns to hit each other until either one of them falls over or they have enough! As Steve also works for a company that transports tribes from place to place he was lucky enough to have spent time with many of the tribes and learned of their customs which are usually off limits of outsiders.
 
After a wonderful sunset and a dinner of massaman curry we camped for the night, collected firewood again in the dark and wrapped up well with a tumbler of wine to keep out the cold as the temperature plummeted to near zero. Enjoyed the experience of camping outside but can't imagine how the aboriginals handle it every night especially waking up every morning to freezing cold as you try and get the fire going.
 
We left just after 6am to re-eneter the park to view the sun rise up behind Uluru and to make the 8km journey around the base of Uluru. Very spiritual experience as we passed sacred places around the rock for both the men and women of the local tribes. 
 
For pure inspiration, the opportunity to learn about this ancient culture and the chance to experience one of the wonders of the natural world today we just cannot recommend a trip to Uluru enough.

We arrived back in Alice full of memories of one of the most memorable experiences of the trip so far.
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