Bob Mayer might have written a book about ‘The Rock’ but I got to see it… and touch it!
The Rock by Bob Mayer. eBook only 4.99
A few weeks ago I embarked on the one of the three things on my ‘bucket list’ and that was a trip to Australia. Not only did I go to Australia, but according to many native Australian’s I got to see more of the country than they did. I went to many places: Cairns, Port Douglas (where I got to see the Great Barrier Reef), Cape Tribulation and the oldest Rainforest on earth. I also went to Ayers Rock, Sydney, The Blue Mountains (saw the Three Sisters Rock Formation and it SNOWED!) and finally ended our trip in Melbourne. But I have to say Ayers Rock was probably the best!
Ayers Rock, or as the locals call it Uluru is a very cool place. It’s in the middle of the desert in Northern Australia. It is literally one big red rock. However, as I learned, there are 3 major rock formations in this part of Australia. One, the bus driver told us was called ‘Fuluru’ because it looks like Uluru but its not. Har, har. It’s really called Mount Conner and it does kind of look like Uluru (I will call Ayers Rock Uluru from now on). Mount Conner is located on private property, so it does not seem to be a tourist attraction, hence, we did not go visit, just drove by it.
The most interesting thing about Uluru to me was that the Aborigine elders keep all the stories to themselves. Everywhere we went in this territory, the guides told us that not much is known because it is the job of the elders to only tell the stories to the other Aborigines that will carry on the story telling. So they really know very little about the rich history. They seem to be a very private culture and keep to themselves. While walking around Uluru, we did not see one Aborigine.
It is frowned upon to climb Uluru and considered disrespectful to the Aborigine culture, yet we (meaning the white man) have put a chain fence all the way up the side and the first thing you see when you pull into the parking lot is a bunch of hikers walking up the side of the rock formation. There is a big sign that says don’t climb, but if you must here is how to do it safely. We did not partake in the full climb (looks dangerous). There were also reports of a very large poisonous snake right at the top, so was glad we opted to be respectful. I don’t like snakes. Oh, and on a side note: I never saw a single snake or spider (except in the zoo) but we did see a few crocks in the river.
Kings Canyon is another formation we visited. It is part of the Watarrka National Park and it is beautiful. The only negative was that we had to hike up 500 rocky steps to get to the main path. That is roughly like 33 flights of stairs and we did it in about 20 minutes! I couldn’t breathe when I got to the top, but I did it and I was glad. The above picture was taken 2/3’s of the way up. Below is one of the great views.
One of the things I learned on this adventure is that anyone who survives out in the dessert is somewhat of a legend. For ten years it did not rain in this part of the world. Then it rained for a while. However, when we were there they were going on 4 months without a single drop of rain. The conditions are very harsh. It is winter in Australia, but the dessert has its own rules. It was about 75 degrees during the day, then dropped to about 30 degrees as soon as the sunset. One night we had dinner out in the dessert under the Milky Way and next to Uluru. I have never seen a sky quite like that before and of course, they have different constellations as they are on the other side of the world, so that was fun to learn about them and we saw Saturn and her rings.
I also saw a wild Camel on the bus ride to Kings Canyon. Interesting to know that Camels are not native to Australia. The Arabs brought them over, then were told they had to kill them, but couldn’t so they let them go. Now they have like a million of them running around AND the Arabs want to buy some of them back. Also, the males tend to be a bit nasty during mating season. We were told that one woman who traveled across Australia on Camel had to kill 60 Camels because the males will attack other males to the death! I’m more amazed that she traveled across this desert on Camel. It really is some harsh countryside. And, the Camel that was behind us on our Camel ride was a male, his name was Conner and he loved to be petted. Every time we stopped, he would rest his head on my leg.
Another thing I didn’t know was that Australia is about 100 years younger than the US. All in all it was a great place to visit. Now back to reality. Poor Bob has been holding down the tech side of things, which generally gives him a killer headache.
Posted on August 27, 2012, in Write It forward and tagged Australia, Ayers Rock, Bob Mayer, Great Barrier Reef, Jen Talty, Milky Way, Mount Conner, The Rock, Uluru, Watarrka National Park. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.