Thur 2nd – Our first stop today was straight to Uluru/Ayers Rock. We passed the Ayers Rock Resort and camping area on the left a few km’s before entering the national park. At the park entrance there is a booth to pay the $25 per person 3 day pass into the park. This gives access to Uluru and The Olgas.
Mate that is one big rock, it’s massive. Images shown on the TV and other photos do not do it justice, it’s way bigger. There are crevices, dips and bumps all over it. There is a walk that goes around the base that we will do in a few days, a Cultural Centre we will pop into sometime and of course the walk up the rock.
There is a lot of controversy and opinions on whether to climb the rock or not. Some points have merit and others do not. I think it’s a personal decision that every one should be able to make up their own mind on. There are a lot of foreign tourists that climb and visit the rock that don’t give the decision a second thought, it’s a case of can they personally physically climb it or not. It seems a shame many foreign tourists take the opportunity to climb the rock while us Aussies miss out. The word is they will soon stop people climbing. I’ve umm and ahh about whether to say on this site whether we climbed the rock or not so not to offend either view point, but we did climb the rock and have a huge sense of achievement for doing so. I also feel a great deal more appreciation and awe for what an impressive rock Uluru is, and better understand why the Aboringals hold the place in such high esteem. Uluru is also special place and a a place of wonder for us white folk as well, it’s special to all Aussies.
Now the climb, it’s a very very difficult climb, makes Kings Canyon a peace of cake. It is also dangerous, a comment we heard from many people. So easy to slip, the path comes close to the edges at times. This is also one of the reasons the Aboringals don’t like you to climb it, as the original owners they feel responsible if someone gets hurt. This could also be the reason walking up will not be allowed in the future.
It starts with a quite a steep bit with no chains, and then there are chains to help you climb and keep you on your feet. This can be seen from the bottom, but what can’t be seen is how far up they go and that the end of the chain section would be less than half way. It is the most difficult part of the climb but there are also some very hairy sections, sections of climbing down on your butt and plenty of other steep bits. We saw some weird and wonderful ways people were getting up and down some bits, the most famous the reverse crab walk going down hill.
When you finally get to the end of the chains there is a nice flat area to rest, a lot of people call it quits there and don’t go further. From there it’s follow the dotted white lines to the top.
Which is a lot further than the chain sections, never seems to end. On the way it’s up and down steep dips and humps and crevices, some close to the edge. It’s not flat on the top like it looks from the bottom or in photos, amazing, so much to see, take photos in any direction. Great views of the Olgas, just amazing.
After lots of rests, puffing and panting we made it to the top, yeah. Everyone was high fives. Everyone we met on the walk is so encouraging. We did find it was mostly young people who did the walk. A few small children who made it look so easy.
What goes up must come down, so down we came, much easier than going up would have say, but there was some bum sliding down some sections and I went down backward in the chain section as I found that easier. The last bit was the hardest going down, with no one seeming to know what was the best way approach it. But we made it yeah.
Don’t want to climb it again but so glad we did it this time, a once in a life time experience one I think we might feel in our muscles tomorrow morning.
We are saying at the Ayers Rock camp ground for 2 nights @$41 a night. Every night they have campfire, with different things on, tonight was a guy telling us about the resort and area and singing to us.