Saturday, February 2, 2019

Day Nine: Uluru, Kata Tjuta, a Sunset and Friends

Another early morning as I caught a bus from Alice Springs to Uluru. The last person to board the bus must have bathed in perfume this morning. I’m sensitive to smells and so most of my six hour drive was spent coughing and sucking on lozenges to avoid the tickle in my throat. 

Our first stop was breakfast in Erldunda, the center of Australia. It was there I saw my first Emu. 

Next stop was at Lake Amadeus, which is not a “lake” as I know it but rather a salt bed. This photo does not do it justice. The contrast of blue sky, white salt and red sands was amazing. 

Kata Tjuta was our next stop. As we approached our tour guide gave us a safety talk. I’m far from athletic and do not participate in artificial exercise (e.g., ride a bike with no destination or walk without moving - aka treadmill) so I listen carefully to warnings. The nearest hospital with snake venom, of which costs $2,500, is five hours. Note to self: No selfies with the snakes. 

Kata Tjuta is a combination of many different rocks, unlike Uluru. 

It was 40°c at this point. Hot. Seriously hot. Pro-tip (I laugh I’m considering myself a pro): This ChillPad is amazing! Not only does it keep you cool but wards off the flies (which even love me half way around the world!). 

We came upon Uluru next. Uluru is the largest single monolithic rock in earth. It is massive. 

Next stop was the Aboriginal Cultural Center. The land was given back to the people in 1985. They make all decisions now regarding passage. This is a spiritual structure for them so the aborigines do not climb Uluru and would prefer others to abide. It will close to hikers October of this year. Many friends encouraged me to climb since it would be shut soon; however, out of respect I will not. It would be equal to scaling the stain-glass windows of a church. 

And I would probably die. It was 43.5°c (110°f) when we walked past the chain that leads up Uluru. 

We ended the evening with a dinner overlooking Uluru at sunset. It would have been a perfect way to end such a fabulous day. But wait...

Through the power of social media I found out my friend Bev was in Uluru as well and we were watching the sunset together!!! No lie. It is a crazy small world my friends when I can run into someone I know half way around the world. 

That could have ended the evening amazingly but it gets better. I met so many fabulous people during the 14 hour tour including a young woman from Germany, Inga, whom I ended up sharing a room with in Uluru. We spent the evening talking about life and travels - she is one wise young woman. 

The world is filled with so many kind people. 

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