Our flight took us to Alice Springs, the ‘heart’ of the Red Center. We picked up a much newer RV, some groceries and headed out of town. Our driving directions were, turn Right towards Adelaide, located at the bottom of Australia, then turn right again to Uluru. They weren’t kidding – you really can’t get lost if you stay on the paved roads.
After the winding and twisting roads of New Zealand where it felt like a giant had squished the roads together, the roads in Australia seemed almost boring they were so straight! We drove 280 the first day stopping in Erldunda – the “Center of the Center.”
There have been many attempts to determine the exact center of Australia: measuring 2600 points around the coast at high tide and measuring inwards, a gravitational study, a compass rose intersection among others, and all the ‘centers’ are located within 100K of Erldunda.
So here we are out in the middle of the Australian continent, heading to a rock I've been looking at on the cover of a favorite CD for about 20 years. During my massage career, I collected all of Tony O'Connors music, my favorite being Uluru. This was a must destination for me and Tom and Dad were willing to go see it.
Now, about Uluru. Originally named Ayers Rock, it was given back it’s Aboriginal name of Uluru in 1993. It is one of Australia's most recognizable natural landmarks. The sandstone formation stands 348 m (1,142 ft) high, rising 863 m (2,831 ft) above sea level with most of its bulk lying underground, and has a total circumference of 9.4 km (5.8 mi).Uluru is an inselburg- an island mountain, and is all that's left of a mountain range that eroded away. One drives along, and along, and along a fairly flat plain for hundreds of kilometers ( 480 from Alice Springs) and suddenly, there it is!
When we rounded the corner and there it was, I have to admit, I got a bit emotional about being here and seeing it in person. My goal was to see it at sunrise and sunset, do a couple of walks and just spend some time with the rock. As the entrance to the park says, “Touch the Silence”.
Uluru is a sacred site and they ask of the tourists not to climb it. I had no desire to do so, and even if I did, I would respect their wishes.
|The traveling hats at Uluru!|
It was disturbing to me how many people felt they had to climb, or wander off the tracks or do any number of other stupid things just because they felt it was their 'right' to do so. I'm going to leave that topic alone, since I found the energy at Uluru to be refreshing and calming.......
|This a waterhole... with water running down the rock...it hasn't rained in weeks, yet there is water here....?|
We spent the afternoon exploring all around it and then found a spot to watch the sun set on the rock.
|Lefty waits patiently... meditating in the silence.|
The sun played in and around the clouds as we waited and watched.
|Sunset and full moonrise.|
|And the pink rain behind us!|