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Uluru (Ayer's Rock), The Olgas, Kings Canyon and Alice Springs

Written on: Wednesday February 27th, 2008

A journal entry from: Australia

Alice Springs is a very very very random place, it has a big Aboriginal population and being a desert town it has a very weird feel to it.  After arriving at my dorm and meeting a couple of people we went out to look round the shops for half hour or so only to find them closed, on a Saturday everything shuts at 3 it seems, very bizarre, anyway after meeting some fellow hostel stayers we went up the hill to watch the sunset over Alice Springs, about 2 hours to early and so just sat there chatting away for all that time only to have the sun disappear behind clouds and not really set.  Nice!! ha ha.  We went for dinner at a saloon pub and chose the mixed grill consisting of Camel kebab, Emu sausages, Crocodile rissoles, and Buffalo and Kangaroo fillets which was pretty tasty, my favourite had to be the Buffalo and Kangaroo though. 

The next day we rose at 5:30 to go on our camping tours to the red centre, this was such a magical trip, such a different thing to do.  The first day we went to Uluru (Ayer's Rock) and walked around it (7-8 km) as we could not climb it as it was closed because it had rained within 3 hours away!  It really is an awesome sight but the flies were a pain in the ass, I have heard alot about the flies being bad and I was suprised I could actually handle them for the first couple of hours but then started to go slightly insane, they are so persistant, you swat them away and they come straight back to the same spot.  The problem is they are attracted to moisture and so they focus on going in your eyes, nose, mouth and ears which are the only annoying places to have 500 flies!! ha ha.  

We then went to watch the sunset over Uluru while Dan (our guide) cooked our dinner.  Absolutely spectacular.  After driving to our campsite where we slept in swags under the star which was truely amazing, I thought I would be worried about all the scorpions, spiders and snakes but after a long hot day walking its the last thing on your mind!  

Waking up at 4:30 or so (it was so early I can't actually remember) we drove back to Uluru to watch the sunrise while Dan once again sorted breakfast for us before we headed on to the Olgas which was due to be a more demanding walk.  After spending the first day together camping the group had clicked by now and much fun was had walking 7km up and down taking crazy pictures, on the way to our bush road house camping stop Dan stopped off and bought 2 kangaroo tails for us to cook on the camp fire.  After jumping in the swimming pool (we were really slumming it) and having some crazy pyramid pics taken (I really need to get those photos off someone) we were ready for an awesome dinner and afterwards Dan showed us how to Singe the hair off the kangaroo tail and then scrape the knife down it to prepare it.  Then put it in the hot coals until the tip of the tail pointed up indicating it was done.  All that was needed then was to slice the skin off and eat the gristly meat!!  So he then left it up to us to prepare and cook the 2nd tail.  Much fun was had doing this with beers round the campfire.  

On the last day we awoke at 5am (Dan gave us a lie in!) to drive to Kings Canyon and do the hardest of the 7km walks.  Luckily we were doing it early in the day so it wasn't as hot (the afternooon is scorching!), this was the best walk of the 3, stunning views and steep climbs, great fun.  On the way back to Alice Springs there was a bit of a wind which mean't we saw about 20 or so twisters swirling red dust up into the sky which was a pretty amazing sight.  To stop the journey from becoming boring and keep Dan our driver from falling asleep we were playing pictionary on the passenger part of the windscreen and all had to guess what was being drawn, great fun.  

Our last stop was at a camel farm for a quick camel ride, I have riden a camel before but this was a camel run, some funny photos taken holding on for dear life as the camel runs away!  ha ha.  

That night we were all absolutely shattered but met every one of us made it out for a meal with Dan, we had put some money together as he was the best guide EVER, always going the extra mile, for example the kangaroo tails he paid for himself as the company doesn't cover it and he had a genuine interest in us all having the best time.  We didn't get time to buy him anything so gave him the money and a card only for him to buy us all drinks all night with it, including Jaegerbombs which meant a very funny drunken night was had by us all until 3am!!  Very very tired by then though!!  

It was a great group of people, made some good friends and most of us got on great which was really good, on these trips it could be a nightmare if you have a bad group but I have been lucky with that even though I haven't been lucky with rain!! ha ha.

Off back to Sydney for 2 nights and then back to the UK.... gutted, would love to stay longer and do more but I guess its time to go back home .... for now at least!  

Keep in touch and hopefully speak to or see everyone soon.