Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Olgas & Uluru

Ayers Rock & The Olgas were tourist spots not be missed. You know why when you are still 40kms from the 'rock'. The Olgas -Kata Tjuta - meaning many heads, is 40kms up the road from Uluru, is a series of 36 weathered rock domes,estimated to be around 500million yrs old. We visited this 1 1st so we could grab the walks & the sunset in the same day. The Anangu people have called this area home for at least 22,000yrs.
I couldn't pass up a chance of showing some of the unusual trees around the area, as well as showing off the magical views of theses famous rocks 26kms away.I think the skinny trees are desert oaks. 
The Walpa Gorge - meaning windy - is a desert refuge for plants & animals. Once you get into the confines of shade from the towering rock walls, the temp* changes dramatically. You go from being warm, to really chilly winds.
The 'Valley of the Winds' walk was a must do. The walk rating of 'difficult in places with loose rocks' didn't deter us. The full circuit is 7.4kms & averaging 3hrs long. We had to climb over rocks, walk up & down rock slopes. The views in rest spots were magical. the 1st stop after 1/2 hr of hard slog gave us an idea of how good the walk might be for views.
This is the Karu lookout. Interestingly, the rest of the walk is closed if temps exceed 36*. Summer temps in the open areas reaches >45*C
 This magical window view is from the Karingana lookout, 2.7kms from the car park. We had to negotiate over terrain that was challenging in places & very steep, walking over 45* angle rock faces. The icy chill could be felt when climbing through out the different domes.

The rest of the walk was down between the domes & through creek beds. These 2 pics are a panorama L-R.
Worth the hard walking. Out in the open, the track was quite rough on my feet.
After 2 3/4 hrs, the Valley of the winds was finished. Windy it was, especially between the domes in the shade. It would have to be the most difficult & picturesque (besides Kings Canyon) walk I've ever done.

Sunset over The Olgas was worth the waiting around for. The highest dome is also 200mtrs higher than Uluru.

Uluru / Ayers Rock is a sandstone monolith standing 348mtrs high. 2/3 of it is below the surface.
 These photos are whilst driving around the base.(We were supposed to walk the 10.6km, but my shins were still paining from the previous 2 big walk @ Kings Canyon & Olgas)

We did go on 1 shorter walk in the morning - a guided walk with 2 rangers - 1 aboriginal elder from the Anagu tribe & guide who translated when the elder spoke in his native tongue. We were shown the Mala walk & Kantju Gorge. Along the way we were shown were the elder men taught children, women doing secret womens business cave & the 'kitchen'.

The Kantju Gorge - above area- is a small water hole not used by the aboriginal people so that the native animals could come to drink from it. (peoples food source)
Sunset @ Uluru was a special treat as well. so many colour changes. Have  2 to show you.

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