Outback

Uluru sunset
Uluru sunset

I don’t even know where to start describing our experience in the outback. It was amazing. Beautiful, wild, unspoilt nature. You could see nothing but desert for kilometers on end. The roads seemed endless… shimmering away in the unbearable heat. Thank God for air conditioning…

To get us through the outback alive, we booked a three day tour with The Rock Tour, which would take us to see Kings Canyon, Kata Tjuta and Uluru, with excellent tour guide Travis ;-)

The walk up to Kings Canyon (at lunchtime, +40°C) was easy enough in itself, but due to the heat it was excruciating. We were drinking more than 6 litres of water a day and still risking dehydration, as my 2 fellow travellers would experience soon enough, unfortunately. And the flies! Hundreds of them swarming around you, trying to get to your ears, eyes and nose…

Kings Canyon - Red Centre
Kings Canyon – Red Centre
Kings Canyon. Afraid of heights, anyone? *gulp*
Kings Canyon. Afraid of heights, anyone? *gulp*
Kings Canyon - protecting 100s of flies from the 3 crazy Belgians
Kings Canyon – protecting 100s of flies from the 3 crazy Belgians

After the walk we drove to our camp site in the wild, built a big fire and slept under the stars. Well, stars: the nearly full moon shone bright like a flashlight into our eyes all night! The howling of a few nearby dingoes also woke us up a few times, and the thought of possible crawlies in our sleeping bag made sure some of us didn’t quite sleep so soundly through the night…

Building a big fire in the outback. No bushfires reported afterwards.
Building a big fire in the outback. No bushfires reported afterwards.
Tree lit by the fire - not literally
Tree lit by the fire – not literally
My view for the night
My view for the night

The second day we walked around in Kata Tjuta, a group of rock formations that is an important ancient site for the Aboriginals. Again, 6 litres…You do get tired of the taste of water after that, so there’s… beer! :-)

Kata Tjuta
Kata Tjuta
Walk through Kata Tjuta
Walk through Kata Tjuta

A quick stop to view the salt lake…

Salt Lake near Kata Tjuta
Salt Lake near Kata Tjuta
The Red Centre is really, really red.
The Red Centre is really, really red.

After a refreshing shower at the next campsite (ooooh, a shower!!), we drove to Uluru (Ayers Rock) to see the sunset. Today there was a full moon.

Full moon rising at Uluru sunset
Full moon rising at Uluru sunset
Uluru by nightfall
Uluru by nightfall

On the third day after another night under the stars (mind you, we were woken up every day at 4.30am to start the day), we revisited Uluru at sunrise and walked around it. It’s such a special place…

Walk around Uluru
Walk around Uluru
Water hole at Uluru
Water hole at Uluru
Aboriginal site at Uluru
Aboriginal site at Uluru

As it goes in the outback, our van broke down on the way back to Alice Springs, so there was no more air conditioning… With good humour in the beginning and lethargy after a few hours, lots of water and a good playlist to sing along to, we made it back to the hostel. Can’t tell you how quick we were to jump in the pool!!!

We liked our experience so much that we wanted to self drive through the outback from Alice to Cairns, our next stop on our route through Australia, but it turned out so expensive to hire a car (insurance…), that we took a flight… And saw the one place in the outback where it was raining… Unfortunately, that was only a forebode of what was to come…

Rain cloud and rainbow over the outback
Rain cloud and rainbow over the outback
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