Well... I have spent more time in the air than anything this week... having taken 3 plane journeys in 6 days! Last update I was in Broome, about to embark on a sunset camel safari ... well i did that and it was quite good fun i will say! I've added a couple of pics into the western australia, perth to broome photo album. Only bit i wasnt too keen on was the whole getting up / down of the camel which was a bit scary, especially when the camel started retching and making a noise like it was dying... im not that heavy cheers!! The guide was telling us all stories about our camels going down the line, one was a rescue camel, one had walked the entire length of the country, one was a movie star in the new film Australia... what was special about mine you might ask - well, it had 3 nostrils ... poor buggar that was his only achievement apparently!
Was sooo glad to leave Broome and get back to Perth on the Thursday as it was craaazy hot! Was nice as managed to meet up with Jen and John from the tour i did and we went out for tea that night. I had been worried about them as i couldnt get hold of them the past couple of the days. They had got the tour bus back to perth with about 4 others whereas the rest of us flew on elsewhere. Do you remember i told you about our tour guide Kimberley and the spider bite - well, on the way back they stopped literally in the middle of nowhere and she felt poorly, then apparently she started having convulsions and passed out - everyone freaked out - as you would! It took about 4.5hrs for the ambulance to get there and take her off. The rest of those guys got stuck at this roadhouse in the middle of nowhere for the next 2nights whilst they had to wait for the next bus to come along, when they should have already been in Perth. Am soooo glad i flew!! Anyway - apparently she's on the mend which is good! Met up with the lads i met first time i was in perth - they have their own flat now and have settled into jobs, we went out friday night which was nice.
Flew off to Ayers Rock on Saturday ... was super excited about that. There's nothing at Ayers Rock resort other than a resort, i was going on a 3 day outback safari the next day (birthday pressie from Mum and dad - thanks folks!) so just chilled at the resort that afternoon. Was sharing a dorm with a couple of guys from cornwall so went for a beer with them that night. Got picked up on Sunday at lunchtime and there were 13 of us on the tour - instantaneously i could tell it wasnt going to be as good a group as my last tour. There were a lot more foreigners who couldnt speak much english this time. Anyway - didnt matter as the activities of the tour more than made up for that!
To be honest i wasnt expecting much of Ayers Rock - kind of thought it wouldnt impress that much and it would just be a big red rock in the middle of nowhere ... but it did! First time i saw it was when we were coming into land you could see it from the plane and it was amazing - literally in the middle of nowhere! We got there and had the option of not walking (just looking) doing the half way base walk (4km) or full base walk (8km) - went the whole hog and did the 8km base walk. It was fine as it was flat, but the only problem was there was no shade from the sun and it was really hot. The rock was really amazing though so many interesting marks and clefts in it, a number of sacred areas too which were sectioned off for aboriginal use. What i found particularly amazing was the fact that the rock had vertical lines on it as opposed to horizontal lines which is were the layers of rock have formed over time from layers of sediment. The vertical lines show that it was once underneath the sea and buried, the rock has since been pushed up through the earth and buckled (like the titanic) and snapped which is why the layers of rock are vertical - the majority of the rock, like an iceberg, is under the ground. The colour was amazing a really vivid orangey red which was even more striking against the cobalt blue colour of the sky. After the walk we went to the visitor centre. I particularly liked the book of letters which people had sent to the centre accompanying bits of rock or sand which they had taken from the site when they visited. It is believed that if you take any of the rock that it is bad luck - so many have since returned it ... interestingly enough mainly UK people! They were asking for forgiveness! Bloody hell dawn, i also saw the area where you could climb the rock - no wonder you had to crawl up it!! It was sooo steep and all you had to hold onto was a chain, there is no way i would go up that! Ooooh also, its bad luck to climb the rock too, aboriginees dont like you doing it - so you might want to send them a letter matie ...haha!!
Got a bit excitable at all the aboriginal rock art - got a bit snap happy with that too. They cant date it as there are so many layers of art work, but it is believed to be in excess of 1000 years old.
After the walk we went to a viewing point to watch the sunset with champagne.... yum! I got tiddly on like 3 plastic beaker fulls of it...whoops! Was a great atmosphere watching the sunset though and the rock changing colour to deeper oranges and reds, then browns.
Got up the next morning at bloody 5 oclock!! Went to watch the sunrise - that was amazing! Am sooo gutted that the photographs just dont do it justice - think you need a really good camera. But it was amazing. The sky was so many different gradiants of colour with gold flecks all accross it were the sun was coming through. Because there is literally nothing else there either, everywhere around it was so quiet and still. After the sunrise we went into Kata Tjuta (valley of the winds) or the Olga's, its western name. Again, fantastic scenery! Another 8k walk but a lot harder this time with climbing up the rock face. There are big crevices between the rocks which you climb through and the wind really is strong through there, you can see why they call it the valley of the winds. It is an important aboriginal site for men, mainly for the initiation of boys into men but the stories there are sacred and havent been revealed. Its a shame as the aboriginal culture is really interesting, and what little our guide could tell us was great, but a lot of it is sacred and can never be known unless you are an aboriginee. It is strange as there are two different aboriginal paths one for men and one for women, and men and women each have their own sacred areas, and stories and each sex can never know the others stories.
That night we drove halfway towards Alice Springs, as we were going to Kings Canyon the next day. We slept at a bush camp in swags again. Bush camp was sooo funny - literally was in the middle of nowhere but still had a shower and a toilet in a metal shack - the toilet even flushed, it wasnt a long drop! but neither of them had doors which was highly amusing so you were fully exposed to the stars!! We built a fire that night, was quite chuffed as me and Sarah (one of the girls on the tour) lit it (after many attempts!) - we had a bbq and then made bush bread called Damper which we cooked on the fire. We then all fell asleep in our swags round the fire which was really nice.
Got up at 5 again... killer! had an early breakfast and then headed to the Kings Canyon to start the walk - our guide Mary Ann wanted to start early before the heat. The walk was 8Km again but a harder walk this time so would take us longer. God, thought i was going to die on the first bit - had to hike right up this rock face to the top of the canyon - could barely breathe! Apparently this bit of the canyon is in the film Priscilla Queen of the Desert and they all hiked up it in Drag shoes - wouldnt fancy that much though, at least we had trainers!
Walk was amazing - best one yet. Views were spectacular. Saw a form of fossilised trilobites (extinct athropods which existed about 300 million years ago) see pics! and also jelly fish fossils and fossilised sea ripple patterns, all of which prove that at one stage (several hundred million years ago) the canyon was under water! Cimatic change and seismic shifts in the earth forced it out of the ground.
APOLOGIES GUYS - todays blog is abit archaeology heavy isnt it... god im such a geek!
Anyhoo... yeah walk was amazing ... blah blah blah! After walk headed to Alice Springs, stopped on the way at a roadhouse in Kings Creek were there was an old man who owned the roadhouse, him and his dad were responsible for making the dirt road that connected alice springs to the canyon and a lookout at the canyon has been dedicated to them in their honour, called cotterrils lookout. At the front of the road house was part of the truck that cleared the road. When we went inside the cafe the guy asked if someone would go and play the piano. Sarah went up and played, then his dog, which was a wild dingo which he had rescued as a pup after it had been posioned, got up on top of the piano and started howling, the higher she played on the piano the higher he howled. It was sooo funny. The Dingo was called dinky, and he is famous he's been in newspapers and national geographic, raising thousands of dollars for charity, he' s even in the latest edition of trivial pursuits... so if anyone plays and that question comes up, now you know the answer!
Alice Springs was a bit of a dissapointment! I was a nit naive i think in expecting it to be this quaint little town in the middle of the outback a bit like something out of crocodile dundee.... no! they had a shopping mall (yeah fine there was buggar all in it, but they still had one!), and even a bloody KFC ( so you'd be alright Kerry!!) Yeah - wasnt too impressed really, what with that and the shed loads of aboriginees sitting around pissed - wasnt too fussed about flying out the next morning to Adelaide.
So here i am in adelaide! Am staying in the seaside suburb of Glenelg which is really nice - it just has something about it. Could only get a room in the hostel for 2 nights and then have to head to the city. But planning on spending the next couple of days catching up with some beach side activities - hard life hey!! Sally is hopefully coming to Adelaide next week and we are hoping to travel the great ocean road together before ending up in Melbourne. Am thinking ill settle in Melbourne for a bit and try and work. ( well thats the plan at the moment anyway!)
Anyway peeps am sure have bored you rigid today - promise there wont be so much factual stuff in the next blog - ill try and create some gossip and silly snippets for you!!
I've added a couple of outback pics for ya to look out. enjoy!