Alice Springs Travel Blog› entry 9 of 9 › view all entries
Wednesday 10th Dec
We arrived in Alice Springs at 9:30am after what was probably the longest bus journey ever! It was also one of the worst of the trip as we were travelling from Darwin to Alice Springs overnight along the Stuart Highway through scorching outback. It wouldn't have been so bad had the air con on the bus worked.
As you may already know by now- I don't seem to like sleepers and therefore had very little sleep. So when we arrived in Alice Springs we rented a DVD (Santa Claus 3) had a shower, a nice long afternoon nap followed by a session curled up with my book and takeaway pizza. Had high hopes of a swim but suddenly it was 8pm and dark outside!
Thursday 11th Dec
After a lovely long lie in Fanny decided we needed food and should head out into town to see what Alice Springs Mall had to offer- very little it turned out. The 20 minute walk there and back meant we left the hostel and that I could try and get a little bit of coulour on my VERY pasty legs. The afternnon and evening passed much the same as Wednesday- I think we needed the rest!!
Friday 12th Dec
Im not a religious person but I definitely think 4:30am is a very ungodly hour to be up (except of course if you're just getting in from a night out!). We were being picked up at 6am for our day trip to Uluru with Emu tours. I was really loking forward to seeing the big red rock, but I was concerned that a day in the Oz outback was going to be way too hot to enjoy and that I would spend the day in a perpetual state of sweat and discomfort. I couldnt have been more wrong as it turns out.
After our 21 hour bus journey from Darwin the 5 hour journey to Uluru National Park was easy (especially as we slept most of it) Our break midway through had a filed of emus in! Fanny and I were excited about this as we'd only seen one since we'd been in Oz. They look really ragged and they're feathered coat makes them look very shabby.
Our first stop in the National park was the Visitors centre which was basically a souvenir shop and a small room with taxidermy aniamls in it from the bush. Apparently there were several animals in it that i would otherwise never have seen- however i was too scared in case there were snakes in any of the cases and was more interested in looking for a cute and cuddly koala- there was none. There was a Kangaroo with the biggest and lowest swinging balls I have ever seen!
While having lunch we drove over to Kata Tjuta or The Olgas. These were a series of big dome shaped rocks that part in the middle forming a gorge you can walk through. To get to this gorge you had to walk over vast amounts of flat yet lumpy red rock, (I don't know why but I assumed they would be surrounded by the red dusty sand that is synonomous with this area- not the Mars like surface we walked along. It was really surreal being there- its one of those places you see on TV , read about, see pictures of, yet even so when you're in front of it you still can't quite belive you're there.
Kata Tjuta, if you believe the Anajuna people aret he left over skulls of an enemy tribe who tried to steal their wives and children. As punishment they were buried up to their necks. Or of course the much more likely geological theory that I cant actually remember but it sounded very clever and was probably more believable!
The walk through was fun and sensibly we wore ourwalking shoes (still a tad scared of breaking my foot again!). Funnily enough we were actually able to cover more ground in a shorter space of time than in our flip flops!
On our way to Uluru we stopped at the cultural centre- again it seemed a bit pointless and would have been more aptly named 'commercial centre'. We did read lots more stories and info from the Ch........ and got to look at some aboriginal art which in my view was vastly over priced.
Anyway and to the highlight of the day- Uluru (aka Ayres Rock). it is huge- 9.4km circumference, 3.4 km long, 1.6km high with a further 3-4km under ground. Like Kata Tjuta it looks exactly like it looks in the pictures though perhaps more beautiful. The bright red rock is such a vibrant colour and accentuates the bright blue of the sky. After the millions and millions of years of erosion the rock is smoother than i expected, which adds to the beauty. Peopole have said its meant to be very spritual but i didnt feel anything. i will say this though- it has some kind of beguiling charm that keeps you captivated and at times unable to rtear your eyes away from it. We didnt get to do the base walk but we got 2 guided walks where we learnt all about aboriginal art that is in some of the Uluru caves. On the second walk we were on snake watch as someone had seen a couple on the route we were about to take (EEK!)
We spent sunset overlooking Uluru to watch it change colour as the light changed. We took lots of pictures. Just beofre the sun went down- Uluru wnet really dark and it looked really moody. Against a backdrop of a purple and pink sky. I have also never seen the sky look as big as it did that night.
The highlight of the evening was most definitely the visit from Bruce Wayne. I think he liked Uluru but he could only stay long enough to have a glass of champagne (he mentioned something about the Joker being sighted in Adelaide). As usual he caused quite a stir!
Everyone agreed it had been a lovely day albeit a long one. Definitely well worth the $195!