Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Uluru is the true-blue red heart of Australia

Red. That is the predominant colour of Central Australia. The other is blue. The red dirt that gets in your nostrils and ears and shoes and socks is in stark contrast to the blinding blue sky.

But enough waxing lyrical. Precious Princess (PP) and I had a bloody brilliant time bonding in the desert, as you do.

We saw THE ROCK from every possible angle (except the top) and walked the 9.4 kilometres around it. Our tour guide BENNO (his name just had to end in an 'O') says there are two types of people who climb ULURU - those who are ignorant and those who are arseholes.

ULURU belongs to the Anangu people. It is their home and they discourage climbers. Many climbers reach the top and piss on it, literally. Because of this, a small shrimp-like creature that lives up there recently became extinct. Also, since people started climbing THE ROCK (not sure when - in the 1960s?) 42 have died. BENNO (what a legend) told us it took authorities four days to find the body of the last bloke who fell to his death in December 2008.

I was convinced of the sacredness of this ancient monolith when it first came into view on the first day of a four-day 4WD camping tour with eight others. I cried (pathetic). I didn't expect it be so spectacular and majestic. I suppose I've spent my life looking at the postcard, so I thought it would be a sort of dome-shaped red bit of rock. But it is a mercurial entity.

It is massive and in some places pock marked. It has ripples and ruts, dents and bluffs. There are waterholes and caves within its deepest recesses.

And it changes colour - pink, mauve, red and brown - dark and full-cream chocolate.

In the next instalment I'll write a bit more about our excellent adventure into the Red Centre with guide BENNO and the super group (two Germans, two Japanese, two Canadians and four Aussies -including PP and me).

Cheers and more beers!


Anita Joy said...

Sounds like it was one of those 'moments' in life to be cherished Shayne... and awesome words to cherish for a future ms!!

jenn j mcleod said...

I loved NT. I worked at the roadhouse on the corner of the Hwy and the road to Ayres Rock -honest - that was the address back then. I love the contrast of the NT - the orange and blue (complementary colours on the colour wheel - a bit of useliess info for you) and winters that are hot during the day and ice in the morning. Loved it, loved it, loved it. (As it was years ago - before it become the wrong thing to do - I climb it and I'm glad (and no - I did not pee on it - can't believe that).

Shayne said...

Hi Jenn
My urge was to climb it! And I reckon that 10 years ago I would have done it. But after hearing Benno's reasons to not climb I changed my mind.
But I can understand why you did it.