After a little pressure from certain people (et oui les filles vous savez qui vous êtes :) ), I am attempting to make up for lost time and think back to when Maz and I were traipsing around Oz, despite the fact that in actual fact we parted ways some time ago and I am now zooming around New Zealand with my little sister.
So, after our photo stop at the Devil's Marbles, we bussed further South, to the city of Alice Springs. Now, despite its' rather pretty name, Alice has a pretty bad rep amongst Australians and I can see why. We are told not to venture out at night in groups of less than six people. Apparently people get assaulted here quite often. Our hostel is surrounded by barbed wire which is not usually a good sign. Despite this we figure we are big enough and ugly enough to brave the city, and we decide to head out with a group of friends to hear some live music. We end up in a bar called Bo Jangles where the door handles are the wrong way around and there are razor blades in the toilet seats. Good times! Our next move is to head from Alice to the world famous Uluru.
Despite the fact that Alice Springs looks like its virtually next to Uluru on the map, we soon discover that this is not, in fact, the case. We thought that the landscape would change from green to red (you may have noticed that Uluru looks like its in a desert on most photos that you see). Actually because we were there right at the end of the wet season, everything was still looking pretty lush. Australia still looked very flat and empty from where we were. We did spot the odd camel by the side of the road which was quite surreal. Out of all the animals I expected to see in the outback camels were not one of them.
Along the way, the first giant rock that we spot is Mount Connor. It looks suspiciously like Uluru, and we are told that many travellers actually stop here and turn back to Alice, thinking they've reached their destination. I know I probably would have had I been there alone, what with my infamous sense of direction. Lucy has actually started heading off in the opposite direction now whenever I decide to go one particular way. Anyway, Mount Connor. The only difference is that its really, really flat on top. Think of a very long Dent de Crolles and you've got it. Not very exciting, just a big red rock. Although I suppose you could say the same about Uluru really.
We finally make it to the Olgas, or Kata-Tjuta as the aboriginals call them. They are a group of rounded rocks which lie on the horizon, an hour or so from Uluru. Like most of the giant rocks we've ogled at so far, they are a brilliant red colour and contrast beautifully against the bright blue sky in our photos. We then head over to Uluru in time for sunset. Despite the fact that the place is swarming with (Japanese) tourists, the rock is very pretty, and changes colour as the sun sets over it. That night, after a dinner of camel sausage (oh yes - no turning back to vegginess now) we slept outside by a camp fire in military style sleeping bags that the Ozzies call swags. I have to say it was one of the best nights sleep that I've ever had, and I don't remember ever seeing so many stars, even in our Alpine hometown.
Our last day in the Outback was spent at the stunning King's Canyon. It looks a little like I would imagine the Grand Canyon does, piles and piles of red rock formations and crevasses. Luckily I manage to walk around here without incident, and we play around with the echoes. We then head back to the lovely Alice Springs, before starting the next leg of our trip, from Cairns to Sydney.