Okay so we have headed into and arrived at Uluru. The Big Rock. The most amazing piece of natural wonder I have ever seen. I love Uluru. It has a mystical, surreal feel about it. Something I cant quite describe. The friends we are travelling with feel the same way I’m sure just by the comments over the UHF as we approach it.
When we were here in 2010 I was absolutely in awe of it, and seeing it for the second time only reinforces that feeling. It really is magical.
For those of you who have been here I think you will understand what I mean. If you weren’t blown away by it, then were you really there?! For those of you who have never been, do yourself a favour and go and see it, preferably by road, because you are missing out on one of the most beautiful natural wonders of our world.
Isn’t it just the most amazing site you have ever seen? I mean come on, there really is nothing like it on Earth. Photo’s don’t do it justice and one of our friends comments about how all the pictures they have ever seen only look like wallpaper, it just doesn’t seem real.
So we are here and our friends aim is to climb it. I must also mention Kata Tjuta. Because it is close to Uluru you should not miss out on this natural wonder either, and because it is close, what the heck, go see it.
So when we arrive the Rock is closed for climbing. Now I want to explain a misconception here. The IP’s (once again, refer to an earlier blog!) do NOT close the Rock climb. Which is what I was always under the impression was the case. No. The Northern Territory Coroner decided that the Rock should be shut when the wind reaches a certain speed on the ground so that wreckless people who cant decide for themselves what is safe and what is not do not get blown or fall off the Rock. Now you also have to remember that the Rock is enormous, and pictures don’t do it justice. Until you stand at the base of it and gaze up at this mighty Rock you can never get the scale of it. But, believe me, it is huge, it is also just 1 rock. The top part that is visible is nearly 350m above the ground and from memory they believe that only 1/7th or 1/9th of it is actually above the ground. Look up the Wiki for it for other geological facts about it here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uluru. I dont need to repeat them!
So, like I was saying the Coroner decides whether it should open or not. And generally it is closed more than it is open. The IP’s would prefer you to not climb it, but they don’t stop you. It is a conscience thing and last time I climbed I did make the statement I wouldn’t climb it again. So first day there and guess what? The Rock is closed. So no climbing today. The others decide to go to Kata Tjuta, Kirsten and I decided to stay back at camp and look into some other stuff, which will be explained in probably the next blog. Which like I keep saying should blow your mind! If it doesn’t, oh well….Living it certainly blew my mind!
Now we decided we would do a helicopter flight over the Rock. Last time we were up this way the kids and I flew over Kings Canyon and it was spectacular. But this time, because Kirsten couldn’t climb it we decided to fly it. At least she could see what the top of it looks like,a and it gives me and the kids a buzz! Now, second day the rock climb is still closed and our friends are getting antsy and I can understand this because I would hate to get there with the intention of climbing and not actually do it. It was, remember, the whole aim of the trip for some of our friends, to climb Uluru. So we all go off for our helicopter flight. The others decided to do it too. I’m glad they did, because it really was a great way to see Uluru.
So on our flight we can see that the climb is actually open because we can see ants climbing the chain up the Rock. So after we have all done our flights off to the Rock we head. I’m still not sure if I want to climb it. My intention was to ride my bike around the base of it, but I was struck by the moment and, also to make sure the kids were ok I climbed it. Do I feel guilty about this? A little. But its done now, and I don’t like regrets, so I certainly don’t regret it. I’m glad I did, because it is an exhilirating feeling when you actually reach the top of the chain, let alone the top or centre of it.
Now if you’ve never been to the top of Uluru you wont know what’s there, so let me show you… Yep, that’s what’s on top, a marker plate. Showing the direction and distance to a few things. And this is the group of us who made it to the top.
And as you can see in the background, the view is spectacular, in all directions. And it was blowing a gale! And there were no idiots with dogs, or strippers! Last time the kids and I climbed the rock a knucklehead with a dog climbed it. We passed him, Jamie gave him a serve for being cruel, and the Ranger picked him up at the bottom! The next day, some girl stripped on Uluru! Imagine Josh and my disappointment for missing that one! Oh well!! So after spending a little bit of time looking at the top of the Rock we headed down. In my opinion, the trip down is harder than the trip up. Purely because you cant see the bottom for a while and when you finally do, it looks like you are about to step straight off the Rock. It really is an unusual feeling, sickening almost, and I can understand why people get scared. But we made it down, and we got a photo of all of us at the bottom. The nice Rangers, who were there to rescue someone (?) took the photo for us.
The only thing left was to ride my bike around it. Yep I was committed to it and decided to do it. So the others set off for the sunset viewing area and I set off on my bike around the base. What a spectacular site that was too. Some of the spots around the base are quite spectacular. I didn’t take any photos because you are asked not to. I suggest if you go to Uluru that if you have the time, wander around the base of it. It is 10.4 km, but take your time and take in this special place. I can understand why the IP’s look at it how they do.
That night we had tea at The Outback Pioneer and Grill BBQ. probably the most laid back part of the Yulara resort, and probably the only place where you can buy alchohol for takeaways! Now here’s a tip for this. Make sure you read and look at the prices for takeaway, because like me, if you dont, you will have heart palpatations when they tell you how much half a dozen stubbies are!
Let me finish off with a couple of things.
Tonys Tips for visiting Uluru :
- Drive in – enjoy the anticipation of seeing the Rock as you drive in from Erldunda.
- Take in a Sunset and a Sunrise. they are completely different.
- If you have no problems, climb it!
- Take the time to walk around it. I’m sorry I didn’t spend more time doing this, oh, and it is a LONG walk!
- Take a Helicopter flight around it. What the heck, you only live once!
- Try and go when the Moon is full. The photo opportunities are endless! (See the end of tis blog!)
- Go and walk around Kata Tjuta
- Go to the Pioneer Outback Grill and BBQ for a great feed
- Don’t buy alchohol takeaways at the above! Take in your own if you can!
Our Journey is nearly over. Our goal has been reached and we are to start the trip home, but wait, there’s more! As you can well imagine, we are now home again. Yep, I did continue the blog as if we were still there because I wanted you to all enjoy it with us, but there was a reason I didn’t finish until we got home and, as promised, the next blog will hopefully explain why. I hope you are all enjoying them, and like I have said in other blogs, these are only my views.