Saturday, February 21, 2015

Trip to Uluru with Graham, Kerry, Dan and Anja

My brother Graham arrived from Trinidad at the weekend and together with his wife, son (Dan) and Dan's girlfriend Anja we all jetted off to Uluru. It was nice to have a family holiday together with the kids.

Uluru (Ayres Rock) is an iconic symbol of Australia. It's ironic (as well as iconic?) as hardly any Australians have actually been there and the vast majority of visitors there seem to be Chinese, Japanese, Americans or Brits.

It was a long journey from Canberra (three hours by bus, followed by a further three by plane) - the kids coped remarkably well with the monotony.

Emu Walk Apartments were our home while we were there - we were lucky as they'd been recently renovated when we arrived and the furnishings were modern and fresh. Audrey and Eli loved the fact that they had a television in their room - in their eyes it was a major plus point of the entire holiday.

Although the flies which inevitably greet you in Uluru are bothersome in the resort, it's only really when you take a drive out to the rock itself that you actually experience them at their worst. The flies are 'sticky' in that they land on your face and don't really fly away unless you make a concerted effort to get them off.

Graham and the others walked around the base of the rock (10k in full sun) while me and the kids retreated to buy fly-masks. Once we were kitted out in our fly masks the day became more bearable for everyone.

We took a nice walk through the Walpa Gorge at Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and the kids enjoyed scampering back at the end of the day to the relative coolness of the swimming pool.

We also enjoyed the free 'Mala' walk - lead by an aboriginal guide who showed us some of the key areas at the front of Uluru.

There still remains a procession of tourists who climb the rock. It makes me sad as the rock clearly means a lot to the aboriginal community - the traditional owners, and despite being (very politely) asked not to climb up Uluru coachloads of people still continue to. Our guide on the Mala walk informed us that there are plans to remove the chain walkway in 2020 - thereby making Uluru virtually un-climbable - personally I don't think that can come soon enough.

Tim Tams at 36,000 feet

Part of Uluru

Mala Guide

Kata Tjuta (the Olgas)

Eli looking through a telescope at our Astro Tour (the kids both loved it)

Fly masks at the ready!

At the base of Uluru

Sunset over Kata Tjuta (the Olgas)

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