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Anita and Bernie’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 08 Mar 2008

Location: Alice Springs, Australia

MapG'day all. We are back from our amazing tour of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. It took 5 hours to travel from Alice Springs to Uluru through the red desert (actually semi-arid). The landscape varied from dry scrub to bare sand. The pictures can't do it justice but will give a flavour of it as it would be too difficult to describe the many features of Uluru (Ayres Rock), Kata Tjuta (Olgas) and Kings Canyon. It was very hot (+35C), dusty and full of flies!! Luckily we had bought the lastest fashion accessory - the fly net to go over hats (thank you Rachel for the advice). Our sense of isolation was great but the tour company were well organised and the drivers/guides were very informative.
We walked the Walpa (devil) canyon on the 1st afternoon. 1 hr in the blazing heat even at 4.30 in the afternoon gave us a thirst for the cool wine as we watched the sunset over Uluru. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we drank 3 glasses and ended up going to bed at 8 pm without dinner (too much heat and booze don't go!!). The sunset was brilliant though. We had to leave at 5.15 am the next morning to catch the sunrise over Uluru - so we got 8 hrs sleep anyway!! The 2 and half hour walk around part of the base of Uluru (broken by chilled orange juice and fruit cake) woke us up. We learned alot about the Anangu people (local Aboriginal tribe who own the land). Needless to say Uluru was stunning - the stone up close resembled a scaly reptile. In the afternoon our next stage of our journey took us to Kings Canyon. After a 4 hr drive there we luckily had free time so we took advantage of the swimming pool (in the outback??). Bernie was very adventurous for dinner and had his 1st Kangaroo steak (sorry Rachel). At least it was not kangaroo penis or testicles!!
Due to the heat (yeah) we decided not to undertake the arduous rim climb of Kings Canyon. Instead we did the leisurely creek walk. It was a pleasant hour's walk winding through the creek with the verical sides and the shady eucalypts. The guide did tell us how to deal with snakes if we came across one (run like hell the other way!) but luckily that did not have to happen.
We are having down time in Alice Springs before we catch the Ghan train for our 22 hr ride to Adelaide!
All the best