Uluru diary, part 2

Waking up with a small drizzle of rain on our faces, we quickly move our swags into shelter and continue our sleep for a moment before the 5.10 AM wake up. The agenda of the morning is to see the sunrise. After breakfast, it is time to travel to a sunrise lookout in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Both Uluru and Kata Tjuta are beautiful, the sunrise less so. The rainy weather has brought too many clouds into the sky, resulting to a less impressive morning sky.

But there is nothing anyone can do about it, so we are still enjoying watching the darkness move away and the mist slowly crawl on top of the Kata Tjuta mountains. Nature here is beautiful and the strong red colour of the ground is as bright as in all the pictures, which has continued to amaze us.

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At 7.30, we chase the mist towards Kata Tjuta and head out for a 2,5 hour walk. It becomes even more evident that in this nature park it is all about keeping the area as it is. There are no hand railings to keep you from slipping or sturdy stairs to help you climb up and down the hills. Pathways are rocky and uneven, a few exceptions aside.

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Golden wattle, the national flower of Australia. This is where their green and golden sport team outfits are based on.

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It only makes the park and Kata Tjuta feel more impressive. The mountains make you feel so small.

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We make a few stops to hear about the park and how Uluru and Kata Tjuta came to be. Also on both days we have been hearing stories about the Aboriginal culture and their traditions, which is helping us to understand what we are seeing and experiencing.

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Aboriginal cave drawings in Uluru waterholes

After the hike we head to the Cultural Center in the National Park for a quick visit. Matthias has his eyes on a real boomerang made by a local tribe member. After pondering buying it, we decide to get it later online in Europe, since it would be too valuable to be treated badly in our backpacks.

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On our way to the Cultural Center we passed Uluru again. It was a rainy weather, so the surface of the rock changes a bit.

Back to base camp for lunch. On today’s menu we have camel burgers. I am not too impressed, but Matte enjoys his meat. After the lunch we pack our belongings and head off to Kings Canyon by bus for the night.

During the bus drive it is raining and when we arrive at our new camp, all we can see is mud. What would have been our second night under the stars seemed nearly impossible, which feels a bit disappointing to me.

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Most of the group starts to help out with the dinner, having kangaroo steak and sausages on the menu. But some of us are persistent to make a bonfire with soaked firewood. It takes us a lot of scavenging for dry twigs, cardboard and a toilet paper, but after a good half an hour we manage to lit some of the wood, and from there onwards it is easy enough to dry the rest and make a decent campfire. Our hard work pays off later as everyone gathers around the fire and marshmallows are passed around.

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After arriving to the camp site we had set up our swags to tents. But when putting up the camp fire the clouds miraculously clear out. Seeing the sky clear out and look even more beautiful than the previous night, three of us decides to sleep under the stars again. Soon most of the group are dragging their sleeping bags out of the tents towards the campfire.

And just like day one the stars and white waves of our milky way are the roof above our heads. What makes our night is seeing a massive falling star, that has a thick, burning tail. None of us has seen anything like it before.

To me sleeping under the starry sky is definitely one of my favourite moments in Australia so far. Who would have thought that this city girl would enjoy it so much.

Anniina

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