I’m back! Yeah I know guys. You missed me. C’mon be honest. Who else talks so many bullshits in a single post?! ;)
But anyway. Sorry for disappearing like that. I kinda found myself with no time. Yes, being unemployed in paradise happens to suck out all your free time. Maybe one day I’ll be actually able to explain how this is possible. But for now, let’s just say there wasn’t anything so cool to spend a long time telling you. Yeah, I have been lazy.
But now, I got something that I absolutely have to talk about. And this is….
The rock tour! (Yes, this is gonna be a loooong post)
So, what’s the rock tour? It’s nothing else than a three days tour in centre australia to see Uluru and co. As you already know, I never really know what I’m going to see till I’m there, so I had no real clue to help me understand why we needed three days to see a rock. And I loved it! But anyway. Let’s start from the beginning.
When I was a little kid (not even joking) one day I saw in a book a picture of Uluru. I had no idea about what it was but I remember it was impressive. Then I asked about it and someone, might have been my daddy, told me that it was the biggest rock in the world. I mean, I was a kid, the biggest whatever in the world would have made my eyes sparkle. But that rock. Was gigantic!
I wanted to see it. I wanted to go to Australia and see it. Then I changed my plans and when I was fifteen I wanted to go to live in the states. I didn’t. Then I wanted to go to London. I didn’t. Then I kinda gave up. The rest just came. Anyway. When I decided to go to Australia, of course the first place which appeared in front of my eyes was Uluru. I hadn’t been thinking about that place in ages, and suddenly, I’d have been able to see it. For real. Happy me!
This is the reason why, after working, traveling, changing plans, getting broke, changing plans again, getting fired (oh yeah, you don’t know this, it happened Ahahah), and realising I had to cut off a lot of destinations from my plan (well.. Plan.. idea, and not even so precise), I decided that the only tour I HAD to do was this one. One afternoon, in a frenzy attack during a bunch of free time, I read something about two different tours (I have been lazy in everything, it was winter) and I chose the cheaper one. Because it sounded really cool.
Then I forgot everything about it, a part from the dates.
So, on a sunny Sunday, I have been driven all the way from Airlie Beach to Townsville, where my week on a bus was gonna start. As I had to spend the entire day there, being my bus at 7pm, we decided to go to the zoo. Just to try something new, you’d say. Well. It was. Nice cute little zoo, with a lot of touching experiences included in the ticket. So I got to pat (again) a koala, a kangaroo, a wombat, an emu and a lorikeet, but I also got to hold a koala, a crocodile (little one) and a little snake. Clearly half of the pics are on the camera, but I got something for you.
first snake ever in my hands. love it!
black cockatoo. pretty rare
…but really gentle
who’s the toughest?!
my koala bear!! <3
This last one is a picture of a picture, quality below zero, but better than nothing.
After a really nice afternoon at the zoo, I jumped on my house for the next 26h, and after ten minutes I realised the following:
– I had no food. A part from a chicken roll. And I came from a week during which I couldn’t put down anything bigger or warmer than half an apple and during which I felt sick twice. And no, I am not pregnant. The point was: tired, no energies at all, almost no food, no ability to eat. Awesome
– my phone was without battery and there were no USB port on the seat. But I had my portable charger. And my iPad was 100% charged. But my camera was flat and I had no clue about where my charger could be. All normal
– I forgot my koala picture, taken something like 4h before
Nothing that could actually ruin my trip which basically didn’t even go so bad:
– I found some food. To be honest I threw away half of the roll, and half of my breakfast and I still have some of the biscuits I bought that day. The important thing is that I survived
– my phone got flat, my portable charger got flat, my iPad died and still no news from the camera charger. I still succeeded in watching 5/6 episodes of a serial I put on hold 12 months ago
– I slept. A little. Let’s say 4/5h, which became my standard during the rest of the week.
– I confirmed my tour, I was informed that the hostel I was supposed to sleep in, doesn’t exist anymore and other easy random things that happen to everyone during their trips
When I arrived in Alice springs I was so tired and bored and confused that I just managed to head to the wrong direction first thing off the bus, make a phone call, have a proper shower, trying to find a supermarket with no success at all, being even more pissed cause it was like the easiest thing possible to find, change all my plans for the following three weeks, being even more pissed cause of that, not find my camera charger, and realise I couldn’t charge both my portable charger and my phone cause I only have one plug.
After sleeping like shit cause it was too cold, having another shower cause I was covered in sweat (if anyone could actually explain me that, I’d be really glad), at 5.25am I was “ready” waiting for the bus with other 5/6people.
After a couple of hours on the bus, in the very middle of nowhere, we stopped for breakfast in a roadhouse and got to introduce each other in one of those nice presentations in circle, where I never remember any name, maybe some country and well… You know how it goes. Thank goodness we wrote our names on the windows of the bus, so I got to learn at least half of them during the first day. And that for me is a big goal.
The main destination for the day was the Kings canyon, created after the disappearing of the massive lake that once characterised what’s now the red centre. The guide warned us about the fact that the first part of the walk is pretty hard (they actually call it heart attack walk, or similar), but I really didn’t expect to be about to throw up after the first third of it. Right there, on those stairs, I realised I’m old. But I’m also frecking cool, because I did all of it, without throwing up, without fainting, without falling, sweating a little bit, but succeeding in forgetting why I had a really bad mood, and starting being an actual part of the tour. Still wasn’t eating, and that didn’t really help, but whatever. I mean, this is where I was
how good am I at hiding pain?!
which animal would you be? a shark!!!
As you can see, it wasn’t exactly the hottest day of winter. But thanks for that, I would have died up there otherwise!
After a really good walk, some nice talks, new learning about what I like to call the real Australia, and something in my stomach, we drove another unspecified amount of time (I obviously don’t remember) before stopping to collect wood on the side of the road, which was actually one of my favourite parts of the day, and go to the bush camp where we would have spent the night. With everyone in charge of something, we succedeed in lighting up a fire, just having to make some ashes come back to life to be honest, and cook a really amazing dinner, which I couldn’t really enjoy but filled at least a part of my stomach. Everything with the clouds and the rain coming and going, and the temperature dropping down fast and really far from nicely. With just a single chemical toilet somewhere in the bush. To be honest, if it wasn’t for the fact that I passed from sweating to freezing again during the night, as I slept close to the fire with another lost soul who didn’t have the courage to lay down far away from it, and that the rain started dropping on my face at 5.30 am, just to make me jump out of my swag as soon as I opened my eyes, thing that I totally hate, I kinda loved that first night. More when I was awake than later on but well, we got what we got.
collecting wood and trying to make it stable on top of our awesome bus
no guys, that’s not it…
the fire which saved us from freezing to death
our awesome dinner!
After waking up with the rain in my face I somehow found the energies to fold my sleeping bags and my swag, which came out pretty well, and stroll around till we all were ready to jump on the bus. We stopped to collect other wood for the night, before reaching our next campsite for breakfast and showers (thank god).
When we all were ready, everyone again on the bus to make our way to our next destination: Kata Tjuta. Before actually going there, we stopped at a viewpoint to take some amazing pictures from far away.
yeah, that’s uluru!
super pano! Kata Tjuta on the left, Uluru on the right :)
After taking any kind of possible picture of the place, we drove another bit, to reach the start of the walk we were going to do that day. We walked through the valley of the wind, which totally didn’t help us to enjoy the sun, which finally decided to come out. The walk was much less hard than the one at the canyon, and I had really nice talks with a lot of people from the group, I took nice pictures, I really enjoyed myself and started eating again!!
During the walk we stopped for a break and our guide (who at that point I decided I could love and hate at the same level – joking, he was actually awesome) explained us how Kata Tjuta and Uluru were formed, using some of us as puppets, making us acting weird and ridiculous in front of the rest of the group. I loved it!!!
“And the feeling of the wind in your face can lift your heart Oh, there’s nowhere I would rather be”
walking on the side of thousands year ancient rocks. Even Australia can be old apparently ;)
Kata Kjuta and Uluru. what better description?!
After, we stopped for lunch in a pic nic area, before heading to the cultural centre, where we could learn a lot about aboriginal people and culture.
Our next stop that day was Uluru. I loved everything I had seen so far, really, but seeing what I was waiting for all those years, well, opened my heart. This is not gonna be a sweet cute post about how my heart melted like twenty times during this tour, so I’ll move on, I’ll say something at the end anyway. So, Uluru. Beautiful from far away, massive when you’re close by. We saw that part of the rock where people can actually climb up, even if you’re not supposed to, being it sacred for the aboriginals. I can just say that it looks crazy dangerous and I can’t understand why people need to do it, but that’s just my thought. We had a short walk around the base to see some caves and learn some other stories, always acting as weirdos, I mean characters of the said stories. I was almost killed by a gigantic dog!
walking bare foot. always the best of feelings
I mean, seriously? why do people wanna climb up there???
After our walk, we drove to a viewpoint where we were able to take beautiful pictures of the sunset, during which Uluru changes colours and gives the place a really magical atmosphere. Waiting for the sunset got kinda boring and most of us spent their time taking weird and funny pictures. I didn’t of course. At the same time, our amazing guide was preparing another really good dinner, which I enjoyed every spoonful of.
the energy is unstoppable!
this took like 5 minutes of studying
this one took like 15 tiring minutes!!! not so easy as it looks like . but totally worth it! :D
ehm…. she insisted so much!!
We then went back to the campsite where we had a shower and spent a long time playing funny games around the fire, drinking some beers, before going to roll up in our swags. This time I decided to abandon the fire and go to sleep inside one of the huts provided, which saved me from the wind, which blew the entire night. I can’t say I actually slept well, during the four hours my body allowed me to, before totally waking up at 4.30, but who stayed out of the hut enjoyed it less.
“this is a spoon” “a what?”
Being awake from 4.30am, at 5.15 I gave up and I started packing everything. I was tired. Really, really tired. But there was no way for my body to sleep so I just got to get through it. I refused to have another shower and I waited patiently for everyone to be ready. We drove back to the viewpoint to have a nice breakfast in front of Uluru, whose colours were totally different again. So we had the chance to take a lot of other pictures.
it wasn’t cold. at all.
good morning Fran!
Uluru got tilted 90degrees after a massive earth movement ages ago. I though to be supportive.
yeah, we had a lot of time to waste
love this girl!!
I have to admit that, despite of being outstanding, dawn got boring faster than sunset, so right after it, we went back to the base of Uluru, to start our walk all way around it. Almost. During this walk everyone was tired and there was nothing to be explained so we ended up waking really slowly and in very little groups. The only thing I know is that I was walking with another girl and we lost the rest of the group. We were worried to make everyone else waiting, but there was an uncontrollable force having us taking pictures all the time and without saying more than you want to hear, let’s just tell you I had two hours of constant laughing, which made my last day of tour starting in the best way ever.
we have to improve a bit
ranger face :)
Darth vader face
When we joined the rest of the group we got to see other caves and listen to other cool legends, which I never got tired of listening to.
After a fast snack we dropped more than half of the group at the airport and only six of us kept going.
We had a chilled day. We played games on the bus, had lunch with beers, stopped at a camel farm to see some animals, and drove all our way back to Alice springs, to get ready for dinner.
I had to use all my strengths not to close my eyes on the hostel bed, which after those three days was really really comfortable, especially if you consider that I was the only person a part from the driver who never slept on the bus. Anyway, I got ready and we went to the pub where we had dinner and some beers, before moving to the next place, of which I don’t really remember much to be honest. Too tired. I had an amazing night though, 100% sure about that. The perfect night to finish an amazing tour.
Wait wait! I’m not finished.
There are just some more things I’d like to say about this tour. If you ever happen to be around here, just do it. If you’re not old as I am, you’ll enjoy it even better.
But why’s that? To get the chance to wake up at 5 three mornings in a row? To suffer cold at night and most probably hot temperatures during the day? To fight with the flies, which we survived to, thanks to the not so hot temperatures? No no no. So, why am I suggesting this?
– those places are magnificent. The beauty in there keeps the pace with the fascinating atmosphere that lives all around it. And nothing else can
– I got to wake up early, it’s true. But what you can see at that time in the morning, yeah, IT IS worthy
– I got to meet some really awesome people. As usual, when you travel. I had funny moments, deeper conversations, but most of all a great time
– I learnt a lot. From the people I was with, and from the places I’ve had the chance to visit
What to say guys? Australia gave and keeps giving me so much that I can’t start talking about it. I’m living a really normal life here, so much normal than you expected, but then I have chances like this one. And how could I keep this back from you?
It’s true. I should tell you about the week race, or that time I saw a turtle next to our boat. Or when I swam with a stingray, or when I fed them, or a lot of other things. But I skip doing it, all the time. I just really don’t have the time. This one, I couldn’t.
Hope you enjoyed it, especially the pictures, which I’m tired to repeat, don’t even get close to reality.
This said, to everyone I’ll see in Europe, you’ll have time to listen to me talking about Australia till you’ll want to kick me out of the continent again.