Well hello there,
What can I say about my 3 day red centre safari.... It was indeed an experience ....A some what wet but awesome one. So it started with a very early start, got picked up from my hostel at 6am, they drove us in a specially adapted 4WD vehicle, so it could drive in the desert. We weren't a very big group, there was a Belgium lady, three French people (2 men and 1 woman), a German family (mum, dad and daughter) and a German couple..... Oh and me, an Ozzie guide and and English trainee guide. After a short drive en route, time which enabled us to introduce ourselves and get to know each other we stopped at our first stop of a Camel farm. It was just a brief stop, we were able to ride the camels if we wished but I didn't want to. The farm actually saved wild animals who had been injured and had an emu (I took a photo from a distance), young kangaroos- they had been saved from their mothers pouches when she had been killed and various other birds.... Was chuffed I saw my first kangeroos Camels aren't actually native of Australia but got introduced to help with help with work (Camel Train) back sometime is 1800's from Canary Islands. But there became an influx of them and there are more then plenty still in wild and Oz is only place still to have wild one humped camels. We stopped a few more places en route before arriving at Ayers Rock resort, were we would be camping the night, at around lunchtime. Following lunch we then made our way to Ulura- Kata Tujata National Park. Ulura is the aboriginal name for Ayers Rock and Kata Tjuta is the aboriginal name for The Olgas (another amazing rock formation). We initially went into the the cultural centre to learn a bit about the culture and how the rocks formed etc, it also had original artwork made by the locals, wood carvings etc but it was very expensive. We then started our walk around Uluru. Fortunately it was a cloudy day, so made it a lot cooler, our guides said doing the walk in the blazing sunshine could be unbearable. We then did the base walk, which was the whole circuit round 10.6km and took nearly 4 hrs. As we went round we saw the amazing breathtaking views and the different parts of Uluru (like teaching caves etc) our guides were very knowledgable and told us all about the different parts, the culture etc. Uluru actually is naturally red, it's because it has a lot of iron in it which has turned it red (pretty much it had rusted). There were certain parts you couldn't take photos of due to cultural reasons and the aboriginals didn't like you to climb it due to similar reasons. Although I wouldn't want to climb it out of respect and because something like 42 people had died climbing it. Crazy. The sand all around was red, so we got pretty dirty and well the flies, about a 10 million of them.... Annoying! Following our walk we went to view the sunset over Uluru but unfortunately we couldn't see it due to the cloud but we got see a sunset over The Olgas, with a glass of bubbles beautiful. Both rocks formations are made up from millions of different rocks and pebbles. We then heading back to campsite, helped prepare dinner, which was kangaroo bolognese... Which was actually really tasty then showered (I know showered.... that was a nice surprise) and got ready for bed. We were not staying in tents but swags, which are portable sleeping unit, it was thick material on outside like a giant sleeping bag and a small mattress inside. We slept by campfire which actually was lovely only three of us stayed outside the whole night, would say slept under the stars but could only see two due to the cloud.
The second day we got up at 4.15am to be able to pack up, have breakfast and get the viewing point to see the sunrise. After surviving the first night I was feeling pretty proud of myself but yes I did take a pocket mirror so I could put a tiny bit if make up on The sunrise was delightful, you could see Uluru it was still slightly cloudy but you could see the sunrising to the right of it. It was cloudy today over Kata Tjuta, but could see the whole of it from this view point and it was stunning. Kata Tjuta means in the local's language 'many heads', this is because it's made of a different stone to Uluru and over the years it moved and shattered and now after years of erosions it has 36 different mounts that the aboriginals thought looked like heads. We then set off to walk round Kata Tjuta, again to walk through the valley of winds, a 7km walk through the stone. You could take pictures all the way through this walk as there were scared parts but not in the sight of the public access places. This walk was much more bumpy and pebbley and we could walk up parts of the stone, the views were amazing. In both places and in general I was surprised how much green trees were around, I just didn't expect it in the desert. We saw wild kangaroos, lizards, a falcons and lots of different birds, ants and flies This walk again took about 3 hrs and there was no toilet so yes as you have to take 3lts of water with you to drink, I had to have a wee behind a bush.... Oh the shame! Following the walk we had lunch, it was at a picnic area with a pool and outside shower so I had a public shower but least I got to wash my hair (had my bikini on) and then made our way to the next camping spot. This time it was not a nice resort with restrooms but it was in the middle of nowhere, it had one toilet and one shower but put it this way, the toilet didn't have a door but had a see through sheet to pull across and we went to toilet in packs so someone could shine a torch so you could see what you were doing and the shower you had to light a fire to heat (thank god I had a shower earlier) :-/ It was so windy whilst we were eating dinner in the sheltered area,that we thought we would have to sleep under there but then it calmed down so we all got round the campfire in our swags and had few drinks and settled down to sleep, we could see a few lightening strikes in distance but no rain ......... Or so we thought! Yep whilst fast asleep the heavens opens ...., heavy and cold. I tried to hide under my swag but it was not water proof so ended up dragging my swag in kitchen area to sleep. Then I fell back to sleep, woke up in middle of night needed the toilet and everyone was asleep and I definitely wasn't going to walk alone, then I started thinking about Blair witch project and wolf creek (the 2nd film I hadn't even watched but we spoke about it earlier and it was based on a true story) and started freaking out so turned my torch on to comfort me and make sure no murderers were around. What a plonker eh!!
The next (plus last) morning we got up at 5am, this time we went to Watarrka, commonly known as Kings Canyon. We then did a 6km loop of Watarrka, the first part was the worst as it was like steep bumpy steps up a hill but the rest was quite smooth flat rocks. The views again was extraordinary and you could see for miles. It was cooler today and we could see black clouds and midway round the walk it rained again hard and fast. We all got soaked but we found sheltered under part of cave and just sat had a break and took it all in. The guides were so excited as it hardly ever rains (they were even taking pictures) as it had started all the waterfalls, it all looked even more pretty with waterfalls flowing. We started walking again and on and off to end of walk it rained, but by time we got back we had dried off. But guess who got the blame got bringing the bad weather with them..... Me the English girl ....... How rude! We then went to have a BBQ lunch and then had long drive along a bumpy dirt road (for hours) to the drop off point, to then be collected to go back to Alice Springs. However, we saw as it was raining on and off so all the animals came out, wild horses, cattle, emu, kangaroos, a falcon eating a lizard, dingos, one humped camels plus many more animals. We were so lucky to see them all like are own personal safari
Once back at Alice Springs, I got in a very hot long shower..... Heaven was so excited to sleep in my bunk bed and I had a bottom bunk which was even more better. I slept so well. Today I fly to Cairns for the next part of my adventure I have explored Alice Springs today but there isn't much to see so I've sunbathed (36 degrees) lovely. Now waiting to get picked up to go the airport.
Update soon folks,
Lots of love,