Hikes, sleeping under the stars and THAT rock.
25.04.2010 - 28.04.2010
Let the new adventures begin...
We (Lina, Tobey and I) waved goodbye to Cairns and hopped on a flight to Alice Springs...smack bang in the middle of Oz...with a huge amount of nothing surrounding it.
After having a wander round the 'city' we headed back to our hostels for an early night in prep for the early start. Because I booked separately to the others, we ended up in different hostels...and I ended up having one of those nights in a dorm room that make me LOVE the hostel life. Me and 3 girls I'd never met ended up chatting and gossiping till late, laughing seriously hard! To add to the excitement we suddenly spotted a tiny (about 4cm) frog (later named Henry) in the middle of the room that proceeded to hop around like crazy under my bed and into my bag! After much hilarity, the very quiet korean girl in our room just hopped out of bed, scooped Henry up and put him out the window.
We got picked up at 5.45 by Bob the bus to start our 3 day tour. There was a great group of 18 of us.
Our first stop - after a long drive - was Kings Canyon, where we did a big hike and water hole swim and started to learn a lot about the Aboriginal culture. After a quick stop to collect fire wood in the bush, we set off to our first camp stop in the middle of the bush. We built our fire, put our swag bags (our beds for the night) around it, and settled down to make dinner on the fire.
After a great feed and a quick briefing about what to do if we wake up to find a dingo or snake in the camp, we settled down for our first nights sleep under the stars.
The next day we were up and breakfasted by 6.30 and heading off to our next stop - Kata Tjuta...an area of 36 weathered rock domes estimated to be 500 million years old. We did another amazing walk here and learnt more about the geological background to the rocks as well as the aboriginal stories around them.
After lunch we headed for our first look at Uluru...and it was un-bel-ievable.
We did part of a base walk, learning loooads. We then headed to the sunset viewing spot and all stood in awe as the rock changed colour abut 100 times while the sun went down and we had dinner. We then headed to our second nights camp stop - a proper sight this time...with proper toilets (the joy!!).
After building fire number two, we sat around on our swag bags and soon the discussions got to sharing our most embarrassing moments. And so started possibly the most entertaining story EVER from this crazy dutch girl. She'd been driving us mad all day with really stupid questions so it was a joy to be able to laugh at her! I honestly thought i'd pulled some sort of muscle. As for the contents of the story...i think i'll save that for another time...all i'll say is that it involved her accidentally going to the toilet...well, no where near a toilet.
We got up at 4.30ish the next morning to go and eat breakfast while watching the sunrise over the rock. Heaven.
We then did the whole 9km base walk around the whole rock..and I nearly fainted when we bumped into Carrie and Sam!!! There flight from Sydney got cancelled due to the volcanoe so they decided to stay a few weeks longer. I'd known that they were planning on doing a tour, but not when we were doing one. We all got a bit teary with how amazing it was - it just made the place all the more magical!
After a piece of cake back at Bob the bus, it was time to head back towards Alice, via a few short stops at a salt lake and camel farm (where i rode a camel...possibly the most giggle inducing activity ever!).
Back at Alice I had the most welcome shower of all time...and imagine my delight when i realised i was sharing it with Henry the frog (or one of his friends...it was hard to tell!)
The whole group went out for dinner that night to celebrate one seriously successful trip. An awesome time all round.