Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday 25.04.11 Yulara - Uluru - Kata Juta - Yulara

5am seemed to be the start of stirrings for people to go to The Rock for sunrise, plus the fact that it is Anzac Day prompted Paul and I to get going too. Might as well, we were awake, and a sense of duty and national pride helped us along on this special day. We managed to get to the viewing area just in time for the first rays to hit The Rock, along with hundreds of others. It really is a magnificent sight, and photos just don't do justice to its size. Albert Namatjira also got his palette amazingly right, especially in his sunset paintings, the varied hues of purples, violets and blues don't sound right for rock, but they are.

The walk back to the car saw Rachel blow out her second pair of boots - the sole came apart from the upper on one shoe as it did on the Katherine Gorge to Edith Falls walk. What a place for it, looks like I have to walk everywhere now in Crocs, otherwise Yulara is no doubt the most expensive place in the universe to get a replacement pair. I'm too frightened to check.

But check we did at the Yulara IGA, where a pair of sneakers went for $60. Oh damn, not in my size. Paul and I did the Mala walk at the base of Uluru as the climb up the top was closed and I didn't trust my boots not to fall apart, then we went back to the campground for lunch.

Afterwards, Steve, Lucy and Sophie went to climb Uluru while Paul and I went to see Kata Juta and went to the first lookout. By this stage, we were fairly jaded about the commercialisation of both places - the outrageous camping fees, the requirement to get a three day pass minimum to get into the National Park, and the fact that there are no other options in the area to camp. Even the walk to the first lookout at Kata Juta is like a four lane highway for the bus loads of tourists.

We got back to the campground to find our noisy neighbours quite subdued, no doubt from a busy day, and for which we were supremely thankful. We had previously seen the Hema Navigator Patrol with an older model Aussie Swag, and an even older one about 4 campsites away, and had also seen another couple with an Aussie Swag setting up. "Wendy's husband" (we forgot the niceties of introductions) came over to check out our set up, and was impressed with the new stainless kitchen splashback, as we were with their soft and supple canvas that allowed them to keep their side awning attached to the camper, which we haven't been able to fit in as yet.

We managed an early bedtime, and had a good night's sleep with few disruptions.

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