Heading Bush Day 8: It's All About The Rock

Trip Start May 10, 2006
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Trip End May 09, 2008


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Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Monday, November 6, 2006

Up before sunrise. Again. No matter how many times I do this it never gets any less painful. Today would be all about Uluru (or Ayers Rock for those who haven't quite got with the program) as in the sunrise, the walk and the sunset.
We cruised past the queues on the way in and joined the tour buses at the viewing point. This was quite a weird experience for us, we'd been used to having the outback to ourselves, we weren't used to having to fight for it against people in clean clothes that just got out of a vehicle that wasn't caked in mud but hey, we're fucking feral, we can deal with it and this is why god gave us elbows. We made our way to the front and joined the masses in gawping at the rock as it started to light up.
 
It's definatly one of those moments that digital cameras were invented for, I snapped away and hoped for the best, knowing that 90% of them would be deleted anyway.
We even managed to check out the moon set and if you can tear your eyes away from The Rock for long enough you can see Kata Tjuta in the background as it starts to light up with the sunrise.

We fucked around taking photos as the rest of the Tourist Circus dispersed then wandered back to the jeep where Mike had knocked us up some beans and eggy bread. Spoilt, we are. And the look on the other tour buses faces as we made our way back to The Rock with a brew and a cooked breakfast was awesome. So tell me, exactly what does your $250 Sunrise Tour get you?

Ok, so ever since I found out we were allowed to climb Uluru I wanted to do it. I needed to do it. I know that the Anangu people ask you not to and I understand why but the more you tell me I can't do something the more I want to do it. Why do you think I have so many bloody piercings? I can't connect with this rock by walking round it, I need to walk up it, taking the traditional path used by the Aboriginal ancesters for centuries. Keith and Sile wanted to climb it as well so as soon as they opened the climb we followed the hoardes of Asian tourists up The Rock.

It was actually quite hectic, the first part is done by hauling yourself up a chain up some very steep rock that's been made smooth by years of people trekking up it. Also, most people only get to the top of the chain then turn round and come back down so not only are you worrying about the people above you falling, you also have to worry about sharing your piece of chain with someone trying to get back down.
We decided to edge over to the side and let the rest of them do their thing before we made our way to the top of the chain for the first rest of many because Sitting Down is very important in my world.
  
 
There's nothing witty or clever to say about this climb, it was just breath taking. The views are amazing up there and you can even get phone signal so you can call everyone you know and gloat. On account of the rain a few days previous we were lucky enough to see some Shield Shrimp which are ancient looking marine creatures. The eggs lie dormant until it rains then they hatch, mate and die leaving more eggs to lie dormant until the next rainfall. Its surreal enough see water somewhere so hot but to see life in it is amazing. And no, I have no idea how they got up there in the first place.
We continued the climb, following the painted white line to the highest point of the rock, stopping occasionlly for a sit down or a drink or to take photos of Allison's camera at various points because she'd left it in my bag but we couldn't work out how to use it so instead we took photos of it.
  
 
After we'd safely gotten back down via the chain again (never have I loved a chain so much in my whole life) we chilled for a bit before the sunset then cruised past the big tour buses setting up tables with table cloths and champagne glasses which no doubt would later contain champagne. How bizarre?

We stumbled out of our mud-caked jeep and cracked open a beer each before heading up to the optimum viewing point where we accosted a man from Slovenia and made him take photos of us and be our friend. The sunset itself was crap but we were too busy having too much fun to care. I kinda pity the people who paid over $200 for a BBQ and a glass of fancy plonk, I mean, do they get a refund if you don't actually get to see the sunset?

And indeed, do I actually care?
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