Friday, June 5, 2009
Cool Days At Uluru
After Jann and Ian left early Tuesday morning, I lingered around the cabin, making myself a 2nd cup of coffee, and contemplated my next move.
It had been a pretty hectic schedule, so I felt the need for a bit of downtime, to catch up and be ready for new impressions. I decided that staying on at Uluru until my return flight from Alice Springs the following Sunday was a good plan. It would give me time to relax as well as time to explore the area around Uluru in more detail, and also give me a chance to get over to Kata Tjuta to see these amazing rock formations at close proximity.
I packed up my stuff and wandered down to the Outback Pioneer Lodge where I had been informed they had bunk bed accommodations available at a very reasonable price - regular hotel rooms were pricy here as they were in Alice Springs, and 5 nights adds up quickly, so I settled for the economical choice of a 4 person bunk room.
After getting settled into my bottom bunk, I headed over to the main village and got the rest of my schedule organized. I decided to fly out of Uluru to Alice Springs Sunday morning, which left me time to explore Alice Springs before catching the early evening flight back to Darwin. The price for flying was only about $20 more than taking the bus. Taking the bus would leave my no choice but spend a night at Alice Springs, since it got in after my flight left, so adding on a hotel room of $120+ made no sense. That settled I got my computer out, and found a spot where I had good wireless connection, and spent most of the afternoon answering emails and updating my blog, edit photos, etc.
I walked back to my dorm room in the late afternoon, and chatted a bit with 2 of my roommates - a nice young couple from Scotland. Then I grabbed my camera and headed up to the viewpoint to take in the sunset, which was beautiful, even though it had been gloomy most of the day. The clouds parted just enough to allow the sun to paint the sky in brilliant colors. On the way up there I saw a dingo - first I wasn't sure if it was a dog or a dingo, but after checking what exactly a dingo looks like, I was sure - I had just seen my first dingo!
The next morning it was cool and gray again, and I did a bit more computer work, before I got the paint brushes out and spent the afternoon in the common room finishing a painting I had started earlier.
I had purchased my 3-day shuttle pass for the next 3 days, so I could get out to both Uluru and Kata Tjuta when I wanted. The next morning I had planned to walk around the base of Uluru. it is about a 10 km easy walk, and for the afternoon I had booked an aboriginal dot-painting workshop, which I was looking very much forward to.
As I was spending more time at Uluru I got increasingly fascinated by the aboriginal culture, which is so much part of especially this area, which is of great religious and cultural significance to them.
Some places in this world just have something special about them - and this is definitely one of those very special places!