Australia Day Thirteen: Planning On Sleeping On My Flight Wasn’t A Good Idea, But Seeing The Australian Red Centre Made It All Good.
Well it wasn’t as easy keeping up a daily blog while traveling as I thought it would be . Sorry I am safely home in cold, but beautiful, Northeastern Pennsylvania and will have to relate my experiences from my memory, which isn’t what it used. Glad I kept a journal. Will try and get this down for the next trip. So, if you recall, I left you at the airport in Perth late on Monday night. I was surprised how empty the airport was. I was the only one checking in, proceeding through security and in the gate area for about 10 minutes. Never experienced that before on all of my travels. I must have been early since the airport filled with travelers a short time later.
I had a hard time finding a flight from Perth to Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock. I decided to take the “redeye” and sleep on the plane. Not a good idea. We were off on time and I tried to sleep. Didn’t happen and, once we flew into the rising sun as we neared Sydney, I was up and looking out the window at the scenery. I saw Bondi Beach, Waverly cemetery and many of the other sights I know was familiar with from my short time in the city. I always love seeing a city from the air.
I had a few hour lay over in Sydney and didn’t sleep. We were off for Australia’s Red Centre. We traveled over the Blue Mountains and into the flat farming and ranch country beyond. This landscape slowly turned to the dry, treeless and unpopulated regions of the Australian deserts, and it’s characteristic red soils. I took in all of the changing geological features, since the land was pretty much treeless now. Occassionaly, we passed over a vast salt lake or mountain range but it was pretty much a lot of nothing out here.
After about a three hour flight our pilot announced that the famous Ayers Rock, now know by it’s original aborigine name of Uluru, could be seen from the plane. I finally got to see this famous rock that has been a central part of the local native Australian’s culture for only about 30,000 years. Think about that, 30,000 years. That is 25,000 years before the pyramids were built. It has amazed me since I first learned of the aborigines and their “dream time”. And I was here!
We departed the plane at a most interesting airport terminal and I quickly got my luggage and boarded a shuttle to my hotel the Desert Gardens, a short ten minute drive away. Here is a link to some more of the photographs I took from the airplane during my flight.https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/australia/nggallery/australia/australia-day-thirteen-perth-to-ulura-flight-february-15-16-2016
We arrived early, before noon and my room wasn’t ready. I had not slept so I had a choice to nap on a sofa in the hotel lobby or explore the resort and the outback. Can you guess what I decided to do? Yep, in five minutes I was roaming the grounds of the hotel and resort, which is actually the only town for about 500 miles. I loved the deep red soil and all of the desert plants. I even found some flowers in bloom.
There was a brilliant sun shining and the temperature was a hot very and dry 100 degrees. I walked some of the paths trying to find a snake or lizard sunning themselves in the heat. No luck with the reptiles but did see a few birds active in the heat including a majestic eagle that soared over me and some pretty yellow birds fluttering about in the desert shrubs. Here is a link to some more photographs of the birds I saw https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/australia/nggallery/australia/australia-day-thirteen-uluru-desert-garden-hike-birds-february-16-2016.
I found a trail that led to an overlook and I got my first good views of Uluru and Kata Tjuta another large rock formation that i learned also played a large role in the tjukurpa of the Anangu people, the local aborigines who have lived here for 30,000. Tjukurpa is the word used to describe the force which unites Anangu with each other and with the landscape. It is their religion, law, culture, their soul. And this large rock, where they carried on the same traditions for hundreds of generations is very much part of it. I could feel it. Here is a link to some more photographs I took on my hike.https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/australia-day-thirteen-uluru-desert-garden-hilke-february-16-2016-2/
After spending some time reflecting on these large rock formations and their meaning I headed back to my hotel, checking the small town that supports the three hotels and camping grounds that make up the resort. I checked into my room, with a view of Uluru and actually slept for an hour. I had to set the alarm clock since I had booked a sunset tour and we left at 5:30. I wasn’t going to miss anything on the few days I got to spend out here. We had a small group of about ten folks and had a nice informative drive to the sight we would watch the sunset.
We had a nice beverage and snack as we learned moire about the local history and geology of this large rock formation. We waited, with a lot of other tourist for the sun to set and make the large red rock subtly change into different shades in the rays of the setting sun. It was a spectacular sight and will be engraved in my memory forever.
The sun set and the moon and stars came out. And what stars they were. I hadn’t slept, and my hike in the 100 degree heat was taking it’s toll on me. I wanted to watched the night sky so badly but I needed sleep. I took a few photographs of the waning moon, appearing upside down down in the southern hemisphere, and went to bed, not even bothering to eat dinner. I slept a very good sleep that night, another great day in the land down under. Here is a link to some more photographs I took of the sunset tour.https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/australia/nggallery/australia/australia-day-thirteen-uluru-sunset-february-16-2016
“The land is my backbone, I only stand straight, happy, proud, and not ashamed about my colour, because I still have land. The land is the art. I can paint, dance, create and sing as my ancestors did before me”. Galarrwuy Yunupingu