Uluru is a major destination. Obviously.
Up at 3:30am in order to start the large hike around the base and watch the sunrise over the rock. And when I say rock, I do mean rock. It’s one solid rock and is considered the biggest monolith. *And every time someone called it that, including me, I had the theme of 2001, A Space Odyssey playing in my head* There are several spots around the base at which you can’t take pictures because they’re sacred ceremonial spots for the indigenous people. Further, though you can technically still climb the rock to the top – a concession/condition of the land handback by the government – there are signs from the indigenous people asking you not to, because it is, as I mentioned, a sacred site.
After the walk around the base, we were met by Christine, and her translators. She educated us about the various plants and fruits you can eat around Uluru, the various tools that men and women used traditionally, and still use in combination with more modern tools, and how to read and interpret the indigenous peoples art and symbols. The cool thing that was a take away was that everything is viewed from the top down in indigenous paintings, and therefore that’s how you interpret the symbols and meanings derived from it. Very cool the plethora on information in what seems like simple symbols.
After the hike and the education, it was high sun. So we were taken back to camp to try to cool down in the pool or to rest in the shade. Having cut myself with a stick as I hiked and did some Kung Fu, I opted to try to rest instead of shoving my open cut into pool water. Sleep was not forthcoming in the baking heat. Instead, I took myself to the showers to stand under cool running water. I opened a shower stall and discovered a cockroach the length of my index finger. After a brief pause and internal shriek, I closed the stall, and moved three stalls down thinking, “You know what? That’s your dance space….I’m going to go over there…You stay where you are okay?”
After the cool down, we all headed back to watch the sunset over Uluru with a cool glass of Prosecco. All in all, I was having a massively spectacular time and wanted more of these adventures. Here’s to the New Year and all the adventures it brings!