Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Free camping on the N.T(9/7) border and visiting Ayers rock (10/7)

I havn't updated for a couple of as on Saturday night we spent the night at a free camp on the border of the Norther Territory and last night was spent at Yulara looking over Ayers rock/uluru. I really wanted to free camp as we hadn't yet the entire trip and its just the best way to save a bit of money through not having to pay caravan park fees. You can camp for free at pretty much any of the rest areas along the way so we decided to stop at the border and camp for the night even though it was only a few hundred Kilometres from ayers rock. The last time we free camped (on our way to and back from Mackay) it was a wonderful experience but this one was not so great. The noises of the wildlife and random people the passed through in the middle of the night (not to mention the road trains) was just ridiculous and made for an almost sleepless night, mostly because I was a little scared and every sound made me think someone was trying to get inside the van (im not usually that bad so it was a bit of a shock). Then a very noisy group of people pulled in in the middle of the night. I was finally asleep until I heard some extremely loud noises that sounded like gun shots. I was absolutely terrified and woke Brent up, when we looked up into the sky (both pretty scared by this point) we realised they were just fireworks being let off haha (possibly left overs from "Cracker day" they have at Darwin where fireworks are legal for one day of the year).

In the morning we moved onto Ayers rock, it was absolutely wonderful. We spotted it from about 50 kilometres away from it and we were both blown away. In the glow of the sunlight it looked pink and bigger than we ever could have imagined it would be. We set up the van at the caravan park/resort quickly and drove straight out to the rock (theres a $25 per adult fee to see it up close). Once we arrived at the rock we went for a walk on it and Zachery begged, pleaded and cryed for us to let him walk to the top however the hill is so completely steep and seems VERY unsafe to climb. We walked a fair way up but then brought Zac back down when it became to steep, despite his protests and telling tourists angrily "my mummy wont let me walk to the top, shes mean".

Ayers rock is so breathtaking up close. The actual "rock" surface is so unexpected, despite knowing its a big rock before going there. Its such a shock to see such a large rock in one piece. Its unreal! We honestly could have sat/stood there and stared at it all day, even Zac. There are a few signs at Ayers rock that were put up to teach people to respect the requests of the aboriginal owners. When the government handed Ayers rock back to the traditional owners some time ago they made the owners sign a clause that said that Ayers rock would always be open for tourists to climb on. The aboriginal owners have put up signs basically begging and pleading that people not climb the rock despite it being legal. I didnt really look at the signs until after I walked up it but Im not sure if it would have stopped me, not because I am disrespectful just because the sight of the rock is just so alluring to walk on - I think its just natural human nature to be curious. The signs went like this "Please dont climb the rock, it crosses over some very special dreamtime points (paraphrasing) that we dont want walked through, also it is so dangerous to climb and if you climb you might die and if you fall and die your mum will cry and your whole family will cry and they will be really sad". It was really.. personal and simple. It sent my mind racing.

After Uluru we went to The Olgas, they were also a beautiful sight! You could also see Ayers rock again from the olgas (you could see ayers rock from almost anywhere out there though its enormous). The olgas were just so beautiful, the roundish shapes of them seem so natural but at the same time so unnatural because they look so perfect with the right shadows on them. We took lots of photos og the olgas but my camera is just continuously letting us down as once I zoom I lose any quality the photo had and all of the colours wash out.

When we went back to the van we realised that behind the van a few feet up a hill is th emost beautiful spot to sit and watch the rock. You could see it from such a perfect angle and the sand was the deepest beautiful red which made it even more beautiful there. We ended up watching the sunset behind us and it was great seeing the clour of the sky change the colour of the rock from pink to a deep red. We also woke up early this morning and watched the sunrise in the same place which was another beautiful experience.

It was actually quiet sad to leave Ayers rock. For some reason, despite it just simply being a giant rock, it is also so much more. I dont know if its just that we spend so many years hearing about it but never imagining being there, but once you get there its just so alluring, you cant seem to look away and even at the campground you are continually going up the hill to sstare at it. We also found ourselves peeking and peeking at it the whole way along the main road on the way out until we definately couldnt see it anymore, asif we were trying to just soak up as much of it as we possibly could. I highly reccomend seeing it, it is just, perfect.

We are now at Alice Springs and I am baffled by how big it is here, I expected a couple of shops along a bright red dirt road side. I am shocked at how huge this place is, its a city! Its enormous. But more on that tomorrow!

Ayers rock with the shadows of the clouds over it
Zachery very determined to climb the whole rock and he truly would have if we had let him!
I took this to try to really show the "rocky" texture of the rock, in most photos it looks like a mountain so I wanted to show the ridges and holes.
The very beautiful "Olgas" or "Kata Tjuta" (their aboriginal name)
Hanging out on the N.T / S.A border (we slept on the border for the night).

watching the sunrise and spread its rays over the rock.

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