Wow – what a fanastic day. My Dad picked us up from our apartment just after 9am and took us over to the van to make our final preparations for our day. Then I went on the bike with Kevin out to Uluru. Upon arrival we quickly went over as our free guided tour had just started. This was great and we learnt a lot about the Mala aboriginal tribe who once lived here (well, some of the time as they were a nomadic tribe). We saw some of their sacred sights (where no photography is allowed), some cave drawings and the magesty of Uluru up close. The guided tour last about 1 1/2 hours then we set off to complete the walk around the base of the rock. It was a BIG walk – and took us a further 2 1/2 to make it around the base. We stopped briefly to refill our water bottles and have a snack but otherwise we were on our feet the whole time. It was great, beautiful, tiring and hard on the legs. Unfortunately my lower back was very sore and I could feel a bit of a niggling from my heel spur. But it was so worth it. The girls only complained briefly so overall did really great walking for 4 hours.
We were very tired, sore and hungry by the time we got back to the car so we went to the nearby cultural center and headed straight for the cafe to get some lunch. It was nearly 2.30pm and we only just made it before the cafe closed. It was so nice to sit for a bit. After lunch we bought some souvenier t-shirts and a certificate for the girls which we had signed and stamped to say they had walked around the base of Uluru. The girl here spent lots of time chatting with them and even gave them a folder to put their certificates in.
Next up motorbike rides around the rock – courtesy of Kevin. Christy went first and we met them over near the rock so we could watch the “mad” people climbing up the side while we waited. It looks so dangerous ( and around 2 people die each year and many are injured). Plus to Mala people don’t want you to climb it. I had no desire to do so, but them I’m also a bit cautious with the ankle I broke 7 years ago.
Next on the bike was Amy, then Nanny, then Christy and Amy did a second lap each. While waiting Amy went to read the plagues left to commemorate people who died on the rock. One was a 6 year old boy – can you imagine who horrible for his parents – and another a 62 year old women whose life long dream had been to climb the rock and a heartattack while doing so. All the more reason not to climb if you ask me. Nowhere else can I imagine you’d be able to do something so dangerous. Apparently when the rock was given back into aboriginal ownership (for 99 years) was that the climb not be closed to white people.
Lastly it was my turn around the rock on the bike, then back to our apartment. Nan & Pop stayed to have dinner with us tonight. They and Kevin & Amy ordered steak from room service. It took a long time and when we ran to follow up they didn’t have our room number. That given it promptly arrived, complete with 3 free deserts. A very nice touch, especially as were were very hungry by the time we ate.
After they left, we all headed to bed.