Yulara Travel Blog› entry 5 of 12 › view all entries
I just wrote a really detailed account of this day and it disappeared when I clicked Publish Entry. So now, you will get a crap entry.
Sadly, we didn't have time for Coober Pedy. I've heard about underground cave homes that maintain a nice, neutral temperature the year round. But that had to be bypassed because the aim was to spend as much time as we could in Uluru.
To get there from Coober Pedy we kept following the Stuart Highway. We stopped in Kulgera to invest in some fly nets. The fly population seemed to grow by about 500% the minute we crossed the South Australia-Northern Territory border.
Something lovely about the drive up here is that from Melbourne to Uluru, you really get to see the landscape change. I love sitting in cars like this. Victoria is very foresty in comparison, then you have the Mallee country, then the dry grassy South Australia, and finally the red, baking heat of the Northern Territory. How exciting!
Something not lovely about the drive up was petrol prices. Understandably, they went up astronomically the farther we got into central Australia. Having said that, prices out there at the time were about what they are now in the city. So, perhaps it wasn't so bad.
Something fun about nearing Uluru is that there is actually a 'fake' Uluru. I've just realised I forgot to introduce Uluru. Sorry, I just sort of assumed everyone knows what it is. It was formerly known as Ayers Rock, and it is now known as what I think is its more respectful, native name. Anyway this 'fake' Uluru's real name is Mt Connor, and you can see it as you drive toward Uluru. I woke Kevin up and pretended we could see Uluru. I don't think he was thrilled. But anyway, the reason there is no worldly significance to Mt Connor is that it is a mountain, not a monolith. Basically, it isn't a giant rock, which is what Uluru is.
We got there at about 3pm. Uluru, to me, always seemed much bigger than you imagined it would be. It seems, no matter how big you thought it would be, you can't help but stare at it, as you drive towards it. It's magnetic like that. And it was truly alluring in the afternoon light that we saw it in that day.
You pay a fee to enter the park that Uluru is in, and when you do that you get a ream of paper with some details about wildlife and culture. The leaflets were a lot less interesting than they looked. I didn't get much out of them, though I wanted to. Though it was useful to find out that indigenous people rathered we didn't climb Uluru. So I didn't. Kevin and AJ did, because, well, firstly because they wanted to. Which is fair enough I suppose. Being from America they'd technically travelled further than me to get here. But they also climbed it because they didn't feel like they had a reason not to, other than the fact the people had died trying, and that it was sacred. Which is fair enough too, I suppose. Not having a reason, I mean. I really wanted to find out the specifics of why it was sacred. I get that it is a unique natural phenomenon, but I wanted to know if there was a cultural reason for it to be sacred. I walked around nearly the whole thing and didn't find out. And it's 8km right the way round.
But walking around the base was equally fascinating anyway. It was also probably more interesting than I'd imagine the climb to be (you can see people at the top, no surprises there). There's lots of paintings and sacred sites. Lots of hollows and creases, and it is surprisingly beautiful around the base. There are trees and trickling water falls.
Anyway after all that we headed back to Yulara to set up the tent. It was definately hot, and quite crowded. But the warmth was a welcome change to the wind and dew we'd had the past few nights. Yulara, by the way, is the 'town' near Uluru. Since Uluru is only the actual rock. It was a very warm, starry night.