23rd September 2010
We have about 300 k’s to drive today to get to Uluru. Scott said that lot’s of tourists mistake another big rock on the way to Uluru for the real Uluru. Well, we saw the rock he was talking about, it was called Mt Connor. Can't see how people get it confused, considering this one was square and brown and Uluru is round and red ??? I took a pic anyway.
About 50 k’s out of Uluru we spotted the famous rock. It looked huge even from that far away ... ooo, exciting. I’d seen pics of Ayers Rock so many times, but now we were seeing it with our own eyes. I know that it’s just a bloody rock!, but hey it's a big rock :)
The Ayers rock resort is the only place you can stay at in Uluru and leaving Freddy in the van there was the only way we could see Uluru. There are lots of warnings about dingoes around here, so we have to keep a close eye on Freddy ... dingoes don't only take babys you know! Ayers Rock Resort has a LOT of accomodation, (we figure for around 1000 people a night) from five star to four star and ... well, el cheapo camping - that's our cue :) It's a whole town in itself, with shopping centres, post office, petrol station and heaps of restaurants.
We left Freddy in the van and headed to the bus stop for our Sunset Tour: wine and nibblies as we watch the sun set over Uluru - nice. The bus had about 30 of us, heading to the Uluru (Ayers Rock) 'viewing platform '.
When we got to the viewing platform our hearts sank as we realised it was about 800 metres from the rock! So dissappointed. There were about 30 coaches with about 500 people there, all taking snaps and jabbering on. We thought we'd be closer or maybe even touch the rock ... or something!! Oh well, Uluru is BIG business, and there are people to 'wheel-in, and wheel-out' :)
I was sure that seeing Ayers Rock would be a spiritual moment, but it wasn't unfortunately: too many people in the same spot. The bus driver said that you can walk on the rock, but the aboriginal people who own it now don't want people to walk on it, but if you do to be careful and be considerate.
Apparently a lot of people have died climbing the rock, well, actually falling off the rock - from chasing their hat in the wind! It's not a normal cliff, it's all sloped and apparently, if you get too close, you're at the point of no return before you know it. Not a good way to see Uluru :)
The bus driver also said to take a pic every 45 seconds and you'll see the colour of the rock change with the sunset. I did that for a while (just like all the other people), until that little voice in my head said "It's just a rock" ..... and then I continued taking snaps.
The sunset on Uluru was amazing. The rock goes from being brown to being red and then orange in just minutes.
Summing up, Sunset at Uluru is beautiful, but man ... it's just too commerical for us and that made it very hard to find any real spiritual feeling from it. Phew ... it was good to put the camera away ... it gets addictive!