So....we left our comforts of the family that was, 'Work and travel Oz', It was an amazing adventure which me and Dan will not forget in a hurry! The laughs we had with Kimmy T and her wise words, then there was Evan with his polatics and tourism jargon. And of course not to forget the great texas hero, 'John!' the funniest guy in texas ever, and an avid crazy bird man. However the king of all campaining was the 'God', Duncan our boss, who was the most intruiging man on the planet. His voice was enough to persuade any man to give him all they owned!!
As a parting gift from Duncan we were taken to the, 'Jumping crocs' which was an adventure in itself! We were so close to crocs that were over 90 years old! It was mad! Ive never been so scared in my intire life, the teeth on them things were huge! It was a great way to say goodbye to the guys at work and travel oz and say hello to life on the open road!
That chapter has now closed in Darwin and we are now ready to start our travel experience as a duet and not an orchestra. First stop would be Alice Springs in the middle of Oz. We wanted to experience, 'Ayers Rock' which the indiginous (Aboriginals) call 'Uluru'. We booked a tour to Uluru, Kings canyon and Kata Tjuta. Three days trekking in the outback and 2 nights camping in swags under the stars.
It was the most awesome experience, it did exactly what it said on the tin. We camped under the most surreal stars, we saw 4 shooting stars, satellites and the milky way! (It was V. milky, it made me hungry for 'milky way' bars!!) We roasted marshmallows, told stories about Bernard the trombone playing frog and his love Felicity the toad who is also an amazing trombone player! Fun times!
The views of Uluru were amazing, to the untrained eye it looks like one big red rock, but it is a temple, church, house for the aboriginals. We learnt so much more about the culture and how they used to live. It made us appreciate that they were and are the oldest kind of human culture to have been on earth. The aboriginals started it all! It also makes you think how slowly their culture and way of life, their homes are becoming a subject of being in a zoo with 400,000 tourists visiting their land every year. They are such an intelligent race, not in academia of course, but in survival, that services them thousands of years involves some skill.
Slowly the land is being mined or built on which is a shame. It is also a shame that the patriotic immigrant 'Australians' ie; English, Dutch, Irish….do not take some responsibility for the fall of an ancient race. The aboriginals, under the law of the 'NEW' Australians were cast under the category of the 'flora and fauna' in the chain of beings, the cycle; Grass, tree, Aboriginal, animal and man. They were not even considered human, but animals, and it wasn't until 1968 that they were given an equal right to be classed as human like any white Australian. You notice that the Aboriginals have their own flag, which is horizontally half yellow at the top and black at the bottom and a red circle in the middle. This allows them there independence and unity, however it does not take away the devastation of the authentic Aboriginal culture that is now history.
The Aboriginals are extremely spiritual. One of the debates on the tour was whether we were allowed to climb up 'Uluru' or not. Our tour guide stated that we could if we wanted too, there is no law stating we can not, ie; we will not be fined as it is not banned. However the Aboriginals deem it disrespectful due to the subjects I alluded to earlier (*it is a temple, church, house for the aboriginals). Every time someone dies or falls on the rock the Aboriginals feel responsible for your pain as it is their rock. However, 'the white man does not listen' and due to this 35 people have been killed and many have been injured. Spiritually this gives the rock negative vibes and therefore creates great sadness for the Aboriginals temple of Uluru.
They carry out 'boy to man' ceremonies at the rock, the woman give birth and teach of motherhood in a specific part of the rock which is a cave, the men teach hunting and have a cave to draw to teach their children. Like in the film 'Australia' the young learn from their grandparents, not their own parents, because the older you are the wiser (in their creed) There way of life is extremely complex and tis so that we as an impatient race can not care to imagine, as many Aboriginals have said….'the key to life is to listen….to the world that is around you…..the white man has not learned this and therefore it will be there demise'.
I will always have great respect for the Aboriginals as they are dealing with so much spiritual hurt as there land and way of life disappears before there eyes, as they lose there battle to keep their history alive. To have lost a legacy of thousands of years in the blink of an eye and to cope with that loss of spirituality of the land, to enter the world of what they see as machines, is a scary time to be in for any race of mankind.
The way they teach and learn is through dance, music and drawing, they mix a certain type of rock with water/blood or animal fat and use this to write on the sand stone, we saw some aboriginal art which I assumed was a bunch of dots in shapes, however every shape and colour means something. For example, a target shape of 3 circles represents a meeting place. Now understanding what all the shapes mean we understand the paintings.
Ready to fly to Melbourne in a couple of days which we are really excited about and will tell you all about it in our next blog!