February 27th, 2009 – by: 16weeks
It's behind you. Wendy looking bored, as usual
After our usual leisurely breakfast we headed off for a day of visiting both Uluru and Kata Tjuta (the Olgaâs).
First up would be a climb of Uluru, followed by a walk around itâs base. Well that was at least the plan until we reached the shop at the campsite, where Wendy was informed that the Uluru climb was closed today. Iâd heard they did this when the temperature got over 36 degrees or it was windy, but the forecast said it would only get to 32 and there was no wind. She not only returned with this bad news, but also a pair of head nets that you wear to keep the flies off you. I didnât say it at the time cos itâs usually me that buys anything people try to sell me, but I thought they were a waste of time, as last time we were here I couldnât remember the flies being a problem.
The Olga's. It's not the photo, they really are sloping left to right..............not really.
When we reached the ticket booth at the entrance to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park that the lady serving said that the climb would be closed all summer, no matter what the temp was. Right then, letâs head off to the Olgaâs first and do the âValley of the Windsâ walk.
Guess what, this walk is also dependant on the temperature and is part closed from 11am everyday all summer long. Well it was getting close to 11am and my foot was to the floor, we arrived just after 11 but that wasnât going to stop us (me).
By now the sun was incredibly hot, nevertheless we put on the camelbacks and headed off up the trail. About 50 yards away from the van we both got the fly nets out and put them on, jeez they were everywhere and very annoying. After about 1km of gentle up hill plodding we arrived at the first lookout, everything after this is out of bounds after 11. It was about 11.30 and people were still coming back up the trail from the restricted bit, so I was trying to convince myself that if there wasnât anything physical stopping you going down that path, then it canât be that bad. The fact that weâd only walked 1km up and gentle slop and already we were sweating buckets didnât register as an indication at the time. Itâs only when Wendy (a bit of a chicken but my voice of reason) said they wouldnât close it if it wasnât dangerous and that she wouldnât go any further did I change my mind about the whole thing. We trudged back to the van, taking our new found fly friends in with us, but a blast of cold A/C and a smack with my hat soon got rid of most of them.
A water hole at the bottom of Uluru
If we canât walk up Uluru or around Kata Tjuta on the âValley of the Windsâ walk, weâd do the next best thing, walk around Uluru.
The circumference of Uluru is apparently 8kmâs. No problem I thought, we walked a similar distance in Hervey Bay from our campsite to the marina and back. Iâm not sure if itâs any hotter here than it was in Hervey Bay or whether itâs the constant hassle from the flies, but we only got about 1km into our walk before it all became too much and we just turned around. We did the rest of the tour from the comfort of the van, only getting out to take pictures.
Mid-afternoon Uluru from the sunset car park.
Our next outing would be later in the evening to watch the sunset, this time not from our campsite lookout but from the large area set aside closer to Uluru. There were quite a few people milling around when we got there, but since we briefly looked around the place earlier in the day we knew exactly where to park for the best shots. If only the weather could be planned out as well, due to low cloud cover that brought in light showers earlier, the sunset was a bit of a washout ;o)