Our travels through Northern Territory are now complete.
You may have noticed how there are no wildlife posts in this blog about NT. That is simply because we saw none except flies and birds, the latter being very shy. Not a Roo, snake or lizard for two weeks – quite extraordinary. However, we did find an Emu farm at Erldunda as we left the territory, so while not wild, it did give dog something to think about.
A short distance from Uluru (50km or a 45 minute drive – distances are so relative out here) you find the Kata Tjuta. From the distance, the two rocks look much the same, but Kata Tjuta is conglomerate whereas Uluru is sandstone.
Carmel and I had the brilliant idea of of organising a wine and cheese sunset viewing. Ash stayed at home to mind the dog.
From about 6:00 until 6:30, I stood up every few minutes to take another photo. The last couple clearly suffer from “clever smart phone photo colour correction”, but you get the idea
Also, Kata Tjuta was the western extent of our travels.
We made it! Well, most of us did; the dog could not quite get there!
It did seem quite impossible when I planned the trip that we could arrive at the centre with a functional caravan, car and family! But I think you can see from our faces that we are delighted.
We opted for a walk around Uluru, which was surprisingly different from the warnings – we had no risk to heat stroke or dehydration in a light rain, strong wind and cold (perhaps 10 degrees) air, but we kept our pace up to stay warm and made the distance.
It is very hard to give a feel of this strange icon in photos. One of the guide books suggest that the best way was to throw away the camera and use the lens in our heart.
I tried a few shots with the smart phone and a panorama software package (Hugin – open source of course). However, the feeling of this rock towering over you and the different way it was eroding from every size is almost impossible to capture.
Large areas of the rock are not photograph-able, but you can see from the bits in this article, it is a different rock in different places.
Interestingly, the actual rock of Uluru is grey. The outside of the rock has had many of the minerals leached out leaving mostly iron that has rusted. You can see the actual colour of the rock below.
BTW, Ash was with us but did not want to be in any photos.
Poor dog has been finding the rocks and burrs of the Red Centre a bit hard going on his paws. We went to the vet to get advice and walked out with four small vinyl boots. After a bit of getting used to, Dog seems to have really taken to them, scampering around more than we have seen for a couple of years. Also, everyone who seems him in them comes over for a chat, so he is getting more pats too, which he loves.
We have been very lucky with good weather. The last place we were expecting rain though was Yulara, near Uluru (Ayres Rock). It was light, but wet enough to be a nuisance. I tied our clothes line under the awning, and that did the trick.