Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
You don’t realise how big Australia is until you get here – the world map does it no justice and it is only when you start comparing that you notice it is practically the size of the USA. It also made me realise that I had set one big challenge -getting from Adelaide to Darwin in just four days!
Excitingly for me my friend, Liz, was joining me for 4 weeks while I was in Australia and after spending a day and a half in Adelaide exploring the art scene and working out just how we were going to see the much talked about ‘Big Rock’ in just 24 hours we boarded our bus for a 20 hour journey to Alice Springs. As the sun starting coming up we soon realised we were in the back and beyond and the start of red dust country. There was not too much to see on the road other than small one building towns, a few shrubs, warning notices to not fall down old mining shafts, road trains and of course lots and lots of red dust.
Arriving in Alice Springs we dashed with our backpacks to the car rental place where we picked up the only car left to hire – a Ute. Bagging our backpacks in black bags we flung them in the back and hoped they would not take off when we whizzed at maximum speed down the road only stopping to see the camels on the side of the road and to fill up the car with some expensive petrol. We had quite a journey in front of us and it was made shorter by the fact that you could not drive too late at night or in the early morning because of the Roos that like to bounce across the roads.
I was unsure just how spectacular Uluru was going to be and did wonder if this rush of a journey was going to be worth it – In my mind it was just going to a big rock sticking out of the ground. But as it come into view I was genuinely surprised at how big and over powering it seemed to be and I was equally awed by the dream-time stories and the importance of the rock to the aboriginal people. Every hole and shape is depicted in their stories with my favourite being about the snakes – Kuniya and Liru – which I have shared with you below:
A long time ago a young woma python (Kuniya) boy was sliding along when he was surprised and ambushed by a group of Liru (poisonos snake). The Liru were not very friendly and started throwing spears at the Kuniya and murdered him. They threw the spears so hard that the spear heads made the big holes that you can still see in Uluru today. The Boy’s aunt a Kuniya woma python woman was so angry she chased the Lirus. She slid along the rock and caught up with them and killed the one Liru with a blow to the head. You can still see where the Kuniya woman Python slid along the rock as a dark wavy line in Uluru.
We only a few hours to get around the Rock and look for the signs of the Kuniya and Liru before we had to head back to Alice Springs – so straight forward I thought until one last picture resulted in us getting stuck in the sand! It took a lot of persuading for us to get a ranger to come and pull us out of our sticky situation as it was not their policy. With less time to get back to Alice Springs we made the mad dash hoping all the way that the Kangaroos would stay off the road and not add anymore dramas to our day. It turned out to be a mad but fun journey and I do think we were both pleased to get on that bus to Darwin even though it would be another 20 hours before we got there.