Thursday, July 31, 2008

David and the Red Centre trip! part 2

The next day we got up at 4:00 AM cause Adventure Tours Australia was going to pick us up from Annie's Place (our hostel) at 5:50 AM. They had bread out for toast, then we were picked up. Sheldon was the name of our tour guide, very neat guy (in his 20's, probably not much older than us really). We went around Alice picking up the rest of the group then we headed out towards Uluru. We made a few pit stops, the first one being this place where you could ride camels for $5 each. David and I decided to do it, it was just a walk up the paddock and a run back, but I think it was worth $5, I can now say I have ridden a camel, and it was fun! They had other animals penned up, they had a dingo on a chain, some birds, emus, and kangaroos. There's really not much to say about the rides, Uluru is about a 5 hour drive from Alice. We did see another rock form, which is often called "Fooluru" because from a distance many people (tourists) think it's Uluru, but it's not. It's also called the giant toothbrush, cause the big part looks like the bristles and then it slopes down and there is a bit of a handle. We got a picture of this on our way back to Alice a few days later.

We then went to Kata Tjuta (another big rock structure in the same National Park as Uluru, just a little bit away; the name means "many heads"). We walked a trail there, then went to the Sunset viewing area where we watched the sun set on Uluru (we also had Champaign and crackers). It was gorgeous, you could see Kata Tjuta in the distance behind you. Oh, and just for the record, Uluru doesn't mean anything, it's just the name of the rock, and the name Ayer's rock is after the governor or South Australia back in the day (SA used to go all the way up Australia just because no one had ever been North of there). It's funny though cause apparently it was named a few days before a new governor was elected, so a few more days and Uluru would have had a different English name. ;P Oh, I forgot to mention that on our way to Kata Tjuta we stopped on the side of the road and picked up some firewood. We went to our camp after sunset and cooked dinner. The camps were permanent camps, with tents and a kitchen area as well as grill and fire pit. That night was FREEZING as well, literally, it was 0˚C! That was not fun. Some people chose to sleep in swags (they are like a big sleeping bag that you put your sleeping bag in... essentially a small "tent" for your bag, minimizing the air around the bag making it warmer).

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