"Australia is the driest, flattest, hottest, most desiccated, infertile
and climatically aggressive of all the inhabited continents"
We had a wake up call of four in the morning. Needless to say we didn't have much energy this morning. My mom and Rachel had a 6am flight so we said our goodbyes to them and as they headed home, the guys were about to leave for the outback. When people think of Australia they typically think of the outback. I couldn't have been more excited to see what the center of the country was like. Most people inhabit the coast of Australia, despite 80 percent of the country is considered the outback.
Our destination was to a small town by the name of Ayers Rock, to see yes none other than a rock. This rock however was not just any normal rock, it was the largest monolith (single standing rock) in the world. When flying in to the town I could see the rock out of my window, which was a crazy view. I was instantly ready to see it up close and personal.
We got our rental car and headed for our cabin at the campground. We knew not to expect much from our cabin and rightfully so, it was pretty cramped. When you are out in the middle of nowhere you don't need to be inside anyway. This just forced us to be outside more during the days. We got into the car and headed toward Ayers Rock.
The outback is the home of the aboriginal people of Australia. So this area has a heavy influence of the aborigines. Ayers Rock's aboriginal name is Uluru. We stopped to take a picture in front of the rock then headed to the rock to do a hike around the base of the walk.
The base walk took us about two hours to complete. It was really neat to walk around the whole rock but after about an hour it was pretty much the same thing over and over and it got kind of boring. The worst part about the outback is the heat and bugs. We were lucky that we were there in May when it is relatively cool (in the eighties.) However, the bugs were still bad. We each had about thirty flies piled on our backs during the walk. We had such bad luck with rain while in Australia that sure enough it rained in the outback where it rarely rains.
After doing the walk around Uluru we headed back to the cabin and grabbed a bite to eat. The next thing on our agenda was a camel ride during sunset. This was the best thing of our trip for sure. I had never ridden a camel and it was a great experience. Australia has the most wild camels of any country, and they export the most of any country. I shared a camel by the name of Chester with my brother. Just getting up was an experience, you have to hold on real tight.
This was as equally busy as the previous day. We woke up early and the morning and headed for a hike at the Olgas. The Olgas are a group of 36 large domed rock formations. Their aboriginal name was Kata Tjuta. The hike was another two hour hike but this hike was a lot more interested. The scenery changed more often than the base walk. We even had few difficult climbs to get through. Once again we did another hike without seeing any significant wildlife.
Following the Kata Tjuta hike I wanted to go back to Uluru to climb to the top. This was always a goal of mine and the day before, it was closed due to predicted rain. However, today it was open and I started making my way up toward the top without my dad and brother. They say it is a two hour climb. The climb takes you all the way up to the top which is 1,142 feet high. As I started the climb I was regretting my decision to climb it. It was so steep even though there was a chain all the way up to hold on to. I made my way up the hardest and steepest part and stopped to take my tenth break. I looked up at the people walking toward the top and it wasn't much higher but looked like a bit of a walk. So I just took a couple pictures then started my decent down. I felt I had gone high enough and the view wouldn't get much more different.
After my climb we headed back to grab some food then we were headed back to the rock. This time was to watch the sunset. The sunset at Uluru is one of the most spectacular sunsets in all of the world. The rock changes color numerous times during the sunset.
The next day we were headed back to Sydney for another couple of days then it is back home. The outback was a great time, even though I don't think we wanted to spend too many more days there.
Fun Fact: Camels regurgitate their food up to fifty times a day and then continue to eat it throughout the day. This causes them to not have to eat very often.