Apr
28

Uluru, It rocks!

So we finally got to step out on Aussie soil and we have made it Down Under, which we are both really excited about. Seems like so long ago since we planned coming here that now we are finally here it seems somewhat surreal. It doesn’t feel like the other side of the world, but they do all talk funny and Al can’t stop laughing at the TV ads and expressions. Needless to say no one here understands him either!!

Arrived in Ayres rock airport at about lunch time and being the now experienced travellers that we are, we hadn’t booked anywhere to stay. We also hadn’t realised till yesterday that Ayres rock resort only had 5 establishments to stay in and all of which were very expensive. Certainly not in Kansas (Asia) anymore. So referred to the Lonely planet and worked out that the cheapest option was probably staying in the camp site. So jumped on the free bus and headed out. Arrived there and were told that we could stay if we bought a tent etc but would work out expensive again. So were recommended that we stay in a place nearby called the Outback Pioneer Lodge, which had cheapish dorm rooms. So we re-boarded the bus and headed there. Cheapest rooms they had were 4 bedded dorms which were $40 a night each (crikey) and we would have to for the first time since we have been away succumb to the dormitory. So checked in and found our room which we were currently the only inhabitants of and hoped it remained that way. Rooms were clean and basic and there was a shower and toilet block nearby. So it would have to do!!

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Ayres rock resort is somewhat like living in the Truman show. It’s all very clean and tidy, little buses run between the establishments and everyone seems to do the same thing at the same time. Almost a made up “idealistic” community of tourists and workers, very clichéd!! Anyway after a couple of hours we were joined by Alison and Ryan, an American straight laced couple who would spend the next 2 nights with us. Fun!! That afternoon we just chilled by the pool, had a couple of beers (schooners) and booked the cheapest bus tour to see the big rock the next day.

Next to our dorm was a small path up to a hill, where you could see the rock (Uluru) so at sunset we headed up for a viewing.

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The rock is supposed to change colours drastically at sunset and sunrise so awaited a visionary treat. But unfortunately it didn’t change that much, but was pretty cool. From that height you could see about 10 miles in either direction and could understand why the rock has become so famous. All around there is nothing but dessert and flatness, then right in the middle is the 348 m rock. Apparently 2/3 of it lies underground so it truly is a beast!

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For dinner, we decided to go for the traditional Aussie Barbie. At the resort you could just buy the meat you wanted and cook it yourself. So we thought it would be cheap but no, my chicken breast was $20 and Al’s burger $16. Tasty tucker though and once it was scoffed it was straight to bed to arise early for the sunrise tour to the rock.

So awoke at 05:00 and after a quick shower it was off on the bus for the 30 minute drive to Uluru. Arrived near the rock just before sunrise and drank tea and ate biscuits as the sun came up over the rock. At the start the rock was a dark brown colour and by the time the sun was fully up it had gone through shades of orange to red and was beautiful.

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After that we were dropped off at the base for a climb to the top. Well bloody hell. The climb strted pretty steep but after a while was almost vertical. There was a small rope to hold onto about 1 foot off the ground, but the drop behind was very scary. Some guy ahead of us dropped is water bottle which rolled down at a rate of knots and sashed into pieces on the ground. At this point I decided the climb was not for me and bummed my way down hilding on for dear life. Needless to say the brave Al continued up and apprently the views from the top were amazing. But I’m happy just to look at the pictures.

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After the climb and a wee rest for Al we set off on the 3 our walk round the base if the rock. At thispoint it was about 39 degrees and pure sun. Also the flies were absolutely discusting. At any point there must have been about 50 on each of us and the bloody things kept buzzing into our faces and ears. Before you say it they were doing it to everyone and not just us.

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Manged to device a way to keep them off by using a branch and constantly wafting around our heads. I also donned my jacket on my head and Al put my shorts over his.

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So we trully looked amazing. The walk around was beautiful with each face of the rock slightly different than the last. At several points there were sacred Aboriginal sights which we could not photograph but manged to capture quite a bit.

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After the walk we retired to the gift shop/cafe and munched on chips and sausage rolls. Here you could buy lots of Aboriginal art work and wood craft but nothing was cheaper than $100 so we came away empty handed. Headed back to the hostel afterwards and spent the aternoon by the pool reading and relaxing, with Al moaning bitterely about the pain in his legs from the climb!!

That evening rather than pay the extortionate food prices went to the local supermarket and bought some soup and supplies. So we dined gourmet style on rolls!! Again though and early night and straight to bed.

The next morning we were headed back to Cairns, so we had to check out for 10:00. Had a quick breakfast off bacon rolls and relaxed until the bus came to take us to the airport. I went and checked the internet for the first time in 3 days to discover that my Gran had passed away a few days before. Which needless to say changed the mood of the morning siginificantly. She had been ill for a long time and it wasn’t unexpected but still sad, but my dad assured me no-one wanted us to come back for the funeral. Unfortunately it was too early to call home at that point so would have to wait until we arrived in Cairns.

So from there it was a sombre trip to the airport and a short flight to Cairns. At the airport we hired a car and headed to the Northern beaches to meet Marty and hopefully stay at his place. The drive out only took about 30 minutes and the scenery was just fab with lush green rolling hills and wallabees at the side of the road.

Arrived in Palm Cove where we met Marty and Tess (his sheep dog) and settled in. Decided to base ourselves here for the first week to get sorted with a car etc and that’s where this blog ends. Will fill you in on our time her in the near future.

15 Responses to “Uluru, It rocks!”

BOB & ACE said:

Your sand pit is bigger than mine but where are all the wild life pictures and good lookin bitches. All I can see is man in rude T shirt

Posted on April 28th, 2007.

PnP said:

Strewth mate, 20 bucks for a chicken breast… I know some that would be expecting a “happy ending” thrown in!

I’ll email you.

Take it easy, love PnPx

Posted on April 28th, 2007.

Hairy said:

Hey you two! totally with you on the fly thing - best investment ever was the good old ozzy cork hat, you look like a bit of a freak but they so so work honest! and the locals love it cause they think you are trying to be a token ozzy cause they are so great! will email x

Posted on April 30th, 2007.

Dooch said:

Did you wrassle a dingo, did you punch an aboriginie in the mush? What d’ya mean no? You aint lived till a bunch of abo’s have vexed you with a blood curse.

Where are the pictures of your new chariot? I’ve seen some pictures of Falcons online and I really want to check that your is as goddam ugly as the others. At least there is no chance of anyone stealing it.

As for hairy’s suggestion of getting a cork hat, yep I’m sure they’d love it and would be laughing “with” you at the hilarity of a stereotypical hat. Pretty much like people in Glasvegas who are overcome with the mirth of wearing a see-you-jimmy hat.

Another bleedin’ Crocodile Dundee mate.

Posted on May 2nd, 2007.

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