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Jim’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 24 Jun 2007

Location: Ayers Rock, Australia

MapRED

We drove again (a recurrent theme for this little section) and arrived at Yulara (the town by Uluru) in the early afternoon. Dumped our stuff and headed straight out for ‘the rock’. Luckily it was well signposted as Debbie had somehow managed to miss identify the world second biggest monolith about an hour earlier (the biggest being Mt Augusta in WA) They ask you repeatedly not to climb Uluru because of its ‘cultural significance’, but as they change you $25 to get to it and the local tribe was making over $2 Million a year purely from being based in the area, we didn’t feel it was ‘that’ culturally significant to them. Driving there, Debbie said, relaying some info from the lonely planet “It said you shouldn’t buy the Abbo’s any grog” It was great to she was becoming one with the lingo, and I was soon waiting for the seemingly inevitable “ don’t come the raw prawn” “Don’t crack the shits with me!” (what a line) and “I’m dryer than a dead dingo’s donger”
If you didn’t get the lingo what she was trying to say was the tribal elders have asked that no-one buys any alcohol for the local indigenous community as they seem to enjoy the good stuff (by that I mean Castlemaine XXXX and Foster’s not really the good stuff) a little too much!
Anyway back to the our exploits, we drove to the base of the rock and started on the least steep track up the monolith. By least steep track I mean a track that goes up two foot for every foot along you get! It had a chain along this section which was very useful as if you slip you are probably gonna slide all the way to the bottom! After about 40mins of solid climbing we were rewarded with 360 deg views of the ultra flat plane it rises out of, with views to mountains 170km away. It was an amazing sight, so after drinking in the views and giving away most of our water to a family who only had a mouthful of water left (“hold it in your mouths longer kids it’ll help it absorb” had the air of desperation about it!) we slowly made our way down to catch sunset!

Sunset from the designated spot was amazing the colour of the rock changes every few minute “so we sat and we watch and waited while our billy boiled” (sic. Waltzin’ Matilda) and cracked open a bottle from the coonawarra wine region (australia’s other ‘red centre’!) and had a thoroughly pleasant early evening chatting to a lovely old couple with borderline racist views till the sun was well and truly set!