On wednesday we were up at 5.30am and set off on the rock tour with our guide dan. there were 21 of us in our group and we drove to uluru which took about 6 hours. I noticed that i had a really weird mozzie bite on my leg but didnt think any more of it. On the way to uluru we stopped off at a cattle station called curtain springs, which is a over a million acres and the same size of belgium!!!! unbelievable. Ayers rock was absolutely beautiful, we did a 9.4km base walk of it as we were asked to respect the aborigini's wishes and not climb it as its a very sacred stone. There were lots of caves in the rocks, like the kitchen caves and some of the old classrooms still had aboriginal art on the walls where they had done lessons. Some parts of the rock where really sacred and we weren't allowed to photograph, for example the place where the aboriginals used to give birth. The aborigini's actually believed that ayers rock was formed when a mother left her children to play in the mud and they made a massive mudcake - crazy!!! Towards the end of the walk my leg started to really really hurt and by the time i got back to the bus i was in such pain i burst into tears all over gem - sorry about that! Dan then told me that my "mozzie bite" was actually a redback spider bite and my leg had swollen up huge and gone a funny colour and it felt like it had a hard boiled egg inside it! but luckily it didnt kill me so everything was good. We then went to watch the sunset over ayers rock and ate tea as we were doing so. It was then back to the campsite where we sat around the campfire and practised playing the didgeridoo. gem was awesome at it, i however was told i sounded like a "wet fart" It was then to sleep in our swags, basically a big sleeping bag with a mattress in it so ur head could poke out and look at the stars. gem heard dingoes howling really near us in the night but thankfully i slept right the way through it - that would have been scary.
Got woken up at 5.30am again the next day and went to watch sunrise over ayers rock, it was bloody freezing!! 3 jumpers on each and i lost count of the amount of socks! We then set off to do a 3 hour hike over kata tjuta also known as the olgas. The views were beautiful and even though the hike was tough it was definately worth it. There were lots of rocks that aboriginals had decided represents elephants etc, these stones where so sacred that the aboriginals would not share their creation stories with us. We saw lots of wild zebra finches on this hike. We went to an aboriginal cultural centre which was a bit boring.... and then we went to collect firewood from the outback, which turned out to be hard work! we drove to another cattle station called kings creek station where we camped for the night, in swags again.
woken up at 5.30am again the next morning! we drove to kings canyon which we had to climb up as the sunrising. now THAT was hard work, we all felt like we were dying. but once again it was worth it when we got to the top as the views were even more amazing than the day before. We set off on a 6km rim walk, going past the garden of eden on the way. at this point i should mention that it wasn't even 9am yet and it was SO COLD. i personally had on 3 jumpers nevermind t-shirts, and 3 pairs of socks. so it would have to be a complete nutter who would decide to go swimming in the waterhole. there were 3 altogether, and yes gem the waterbaby was one of them! there was alot of swearing as they got in and it made me feel physically sick watching them it was so cold without going in the water! but good on them anyway as they got to swim to some sacred place that none of the rest of us could see!
It was then back to the top of the canyon, in the distance we could see a few trees and dan the tour guide told us that pigmi koalas lived in them and if we were really quiet we should hopefully see them. so we all crept up to the trees on tiptoes, cameras at the ready... only to find little teddy bear koalas in the trees wearing t-shirts. dan laughed so much i'm surprised he didnt wet himself!!! We carried on hiking to the lost city where we saw some aussie pigeons, they are much prettier than english ones!! they have like a pointy plume on their head, dan told us that the point was poisonous. after the spider incident i jumped a mile out the way, only to find dan killing himself laughing... another one of his stupid wind ups haha!
After the hike we went back to the cattle station where me gem and a guy called ruebin decided to do a helicopter flight. it was AWESOME. the views were stunning, we could see ayers rock and kata tjuta in the distance, and we went right over kings canyon, swooping down to see wild camels in the quarries beneath us! AND we got to wear them cool ear muff things which was definately a highlight! It was then back to alice springs, were we checked back into our dodgy hostel by the river (where aboriginal tribes live and they attack each other in the night ....) All of our group met up in a bar called melankas that night for tea and a few drinks were there were some vicious games of pool, that gem won most of as she is getting to be a champion at it!!
And that was the end of the rock tour.... however next day we were up at 6am the next day to catch a bus to coober pedy. it took all day to get there and when we finally arrived it was the craziest place ever, as the temperatures get into the 50's there everyone lives underground in bunkers or in the side of hills. coober pedy is also the biggest opal mining town in the world so we went on an opal mine tour. Its a good idea not to get enemies there as bombs are legal to make as they are used in the mines. our guide told us quite a few stories about how people got revenge on each other by blowing each others cars and houses up! crazy people! that night we slept in underground bunkers, went to an underground bar and had underground showers!!
Next day we were back on the road and it took a full 12 hours to reach adelaide where we are now. thats been one hell of a long blog, hope you aren't all bored to death! we're leaving for melbourne tomorrow, its going to take 3 days as we're doing a great ocean road tour on the way! see you all really soon, less than 2 weeks eek
love from us x x x x x