December 18th, 2007 – by: jamesandcecilia
The Rock - Uluru
We arrived in Alice Springs in late afternoon, where we were staying for the first night in Melanka's backpackers hostel . A clever travel agent in the UK (don't worry, it wasn't you Sarah) had told us it was best to fly into Alice springs, rather than flying straight to Uluru (Ayers Rock), as he pointed out that there was at least something to do in Alice Springs, whilst at Uluru, there was nothing. Well, we can report that there is absolutely nothing to do in Alice Springs either. Hicksville here we come! As a result, we had an eight hour bus journey to and from Uluru... needless to say, this would rather have been avoided.
The morning after arriving we joined The Rock Tour, which we prebooked when we were in Perth.
The Rock - Uluru
We set off early (as we had a long journey ahead!) and headed to Uluru, where we arrived around 2pm. It was pretty baking - 37C! We were given the option of a short, medium or long walk. Most of the group chose the long option, which took us pretty much all the way around the rock, about 7kms. It was much more impressive than either of us had expected it to be. As a bonus, we had a short downpour of rain just after we had finished the walk. Within minutes waterfalls had started cascading off the sides of the rock and it looked positively tropical. Not what you would expect from the arid Red Centre. The storm cleared up and we continued to the sunset viewing point for drinks and dinner. That night we slept under the stars in our swags.
The next morning we were woken at 4am by our guide Glen.
Some other rocks - Kata Tjuta
After breakfast, we headed back to the rock to see the sunrise. We were then taken about an hour down the road to Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). As James had blisters from the previous days walk, we opted for the shorter walk this time. This took us to the first lookout in The Valley of the Winds. Our next destination was King's Creek Station, which was our camp for the night. We arrived late afternoon and quickly got into the miniscule pool to cool down. We had dinner cooked on the camp fire (still around 35C) and then prepared for bed. We all had to use the mens room as there were a couple of black scorpions camped out in the ladies! Apparently they aren't deadly at this time of year, but Cecilia and the rest of the girls thought they might as well be nice and let the scorpions have some privacy.
Cecilia reaching for help at King's Canyon
As we were about to get into our swags a storm closed in on us, so we all had to seek shelter. Cecilia slept on a table and James on the bench belonging to the table. Probably the narrowest bed he will ever sleep on.
Needless to say, we didn't get much sleep, so Glen let us sleep in til 5am. After breakfast we made our way about one hour down the road to King's Canyon. We all did the 7km walk around the canyon together. The landscape here was amazing. We both thought it was the highlight of the tour. Half way around there was a waterhole called The Garden of Eden, where we stopped for a well deserved swim. After the walk we started on our journey back to Alice Springs, stopping for lunch along the way. We arrived back around 5.30pm and checked in to Melanka's again. We met up with the group for dinner, after which a few of us went on for a few drinks. We did intend to stay out for a while, but it became painfully obvious that it just wasn't our scene.
The next day we flew out to our next destination - Cairns and The Great Barrier Reef!