on January 19, 2006
What’s up with traveling out into the middle of the Outback to see a big red rock?Well, it’s not just any big red rock. It’s a REALLY big red rock (only 1/3 of it is above ground), and its immensity really takes your breath away. Plus, it’s become an Australian symbol, and you can’t really say you’ve seen Australia without seeing Uluru. Approaching by road, you get your first glimpse of it when you are 20 MILES AWAY! It’s also a piece of aboriginal dreamtime. The caves and sacred water holes tell a story. For example, one woman of the tribe decided she wanted to see the world before she married. She went off on an adventure, and met a boy. She ended up pregnant, and had to figure out a way to get her nine babies home. Aborigines believe that humans can transform into animals, so she turned herself into a snake (which makes no sense to me, because Aborigines HATE snakes) and brought her 9 eggs to the sacred waterway to keep them safe. When she returned, she learned that the tribe had killed her favorite nephew and started to take her revenge. Not knowing it was the girl and not just a big ol’ nasty snake, the tribe killed her. Her tail slashed one of the cave openings into the rock, and her blood splattered and caused a few others.Although I can’t vouch for this personally, the sun is supposed to have outstanding effects on the colors of the rock – especially at sunrise and sunset. I got up at o’dark thirty for a sunrise, but it was cloudy, so no luck. I also went for a sunset, and again, it was cloudy, so no big changes (plus, there are more people there at night jockeying for position to view). My tour guide and bus driver said that they’d both never seen it rain on Uluru. Guess what? IT RAINED ON ULURU. So I guess you could say I had the honor of seeing it rain on Uluru – actually, it was a spectacular sight – but I was a little disappointed to miss the other spectacular sight of the color changes. You can also climb to the top of the rock, though the authorities close the climb in extreme heat (which is almost always) or in bad weather conditions. We only had two people on our tour brave enough to commit to the climb, but they were denied the opportunity because it was closed due to that pesky rain again. The local aboriginal tribe doesn’t care if you climb the rock, but the community as a whole asks that you respect their beliefs and not climb all over it.There is a cover charge to enter the park, I it was $25 for 3 days. They issue you a ticket at the gate.It truly is a must-see itinerary item. It’s like the Grand Canyon, pictures can’t do it justice, it’s a see-for-yourself place.
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