We left the resort at Alice Springs, hopped on a bus, and drove to Uluru.
Here is the map again just so that you can see where Uluru is in relationship to Alice Springs. Along the way we stopped at a reservoir. Remember that we are in the desert region. Here is a picture of the water.
What amazed me about the area and the sand in particular was the color.
I have never seen red sand before.
Anyway, we headed to Uluru. Our guide told us that she had something special planned for us that evening. Around 4:00 we headed out to the Uluru part. Our first stop was to see Kata Tjuta, also known as the Olgas.
Kata Tjuta (many heads) is made up of 36 domes. This is a sacred place to the aboriginal people so we were not allowed to get close to it. If my understanding is correct, this place is for women only. The aboriginal men are not allowed here and they are not even aware of the rites and ceremonies the women perform here. The largest dome in this grouping in Mount Olga, named by Ernest Giles, in honor of Queen Olga of Wurttemberg (born Grand Duchess Olga of Russia, daughter of Tsar Nicholas I).
Here is an aerial shot, not taken by me.
You can see the different domes that make up this formation.
After leaving here we headed over to Uluru (Ayers Rock) which is in the same area. This is where our tour guide’s surprise awaited us. We were going to spend some time here so that we can see sunset on the rock. Our surprise was that our guided arranged to have a table set up for us, manned by staff, and serving, champagne, mimosas, and OJ plus several appetizers so that we could snack as we watched the sun set on the Rock. It truly was amazing to see hos as the sun set the shadows on the rock changed with is. This next set of pictures really needs no explanation.
Truthfully, the pictures don’t do it justice.
The next morning we headed back to the park for a walking tour around Uluru. First, a bit of history. Just as KataTjuta is sacred and for women only, Uluru was the place men would go to for sacred rites and to also dole out punishment to any breaking the laws of the people.
When Australia gave these two landmarks back to the aboriginal people, who were the original owners in the first place, the people insisted that the names revert back to the original names, Kata Tjuta and Uluru instead of the Olgas and Ayers Rock. The government agreed with the stipulation that both places can still be used as tourists sites since it would help the economy. It was agreed
As I said, we had a walking tour around Uluru. Uluru is just one huge rock. It has a circumference of 5.8 miles. It is known as an island mountain.
On entering one of the caves, early cave drawings can still be seen.
There is one section where people are allowed to climb the rock. No one in our group did.
Well, I think I rambled on enough for today. Next week – The Great Barrier Reef.