Sherry's Trip to Australia

April 2005 Trip to Australia

Monday, April 25, 2005


I have my pictures uploaded online!

Just go here:

Friday, April 22, 2005


I'm home! Really weirded out from Jet lag, but I'm back.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Did I take a wrong turn to London?

I left Ayers Rock after an uneventfull night's stay, which was kind of nice. Slept in till 9:00am! Flew to Sydney of the real nothing dessert in the middle of Oz. Makes the Outback look like a lush paradise. Said goodbye to the rest of my tour group, which was sad. I feel like I was just getting to know them.

I went to a seafood resturant and had my taste of the famous Morton Bay 'Bugs'. Imagine a lobster tail with eyes. Very tasty. Especially with beer.

it's raining in Sydney. Again. WTF? My English mates says it reminds them of home. I was planning on Bondi or Manly beach, but the wetaher is just not getting on. So yesterday I went to the natural history museum. It must be a public holiday because I was bum high in kids. It's amazing that this museum has had a comprehensive human evolution section for years, when the American's caused a ruckus a bit back. What a difference an ocean makes.

The inside archetecture reminded me of the old museum style like ANSP. A tall main room with balconies, pretty hardwood railings and wrought iron and marble steps eroded by footfalls.

They have en entire FLOOR of geology, which shouldn't be a suprise with the rich mineral hertitage here. Fossicking (collecting) is popular here as a hobby.

So I have a few hours left, I'm going to zip through some of the public buildings before I leave today. I'll be home tonight (21st). I'm getting a bit sad that my big adventure is over.

Oh, and I have the hives, all over from something. I look like a leper. I'm happy they sell antihistimines here OTC.

Monday, April 18, 2005


Yesterday we hiked around Ayer's rock (Uluru). It was a 10 km hike. We first did a short walk with an aborigional park ranger who was able to explain some of the lore of the park and show us some of the artwork and paintings done there. Then we did the rest of the base walk- it was nice that everyone in our group respected the requests of the aborigional tribe and did not do the rock climb.
The base walk was nice, but it was 110 degrees and lots of flies. I had to buy a fly net a few days ago. We passed by some really interesting caves, and some sacred sites that are off limits to pictures and people. We went to a buffet dinner for our last night together, where I had croc and kangaroo. Then of course, we went to the pub. It was out last night before everyone had to leave.

Today we went to the Olgas (kata tjtiu), a sister formation near Uluru. We didn't have the time to do the long 7 km walk, but did a short one instead. It's really interesting that while Uluru and Olgas where made with the same geological process, the Olgas are conclomerate (rock cement) and Uluru is sandstone.

Then we went to camp and cleaned everything for the next group that leave tomorrow. Poor Nathan, our tour guide doesn't even get a day off before another 30 day trek. We dropped off half the people who had flights out tonight.

Then at 5:30, it was HELICOPTER TIME! They picked me up in a cute helicopter van driven by the pilots. I got to go on a Bell 206 Jet Ranger. We had a sister copter with us too. Copters are nothing at all like airplanes. They are much smoother, and a lot more fun to ride in. It was really great, I got to see both the Olgas and Uluru at sunset, the mountain range in the distance, and a falt line that helped form them all. We had a little disagreement with another helicopter trying to fly aboce us, but our sister copter warned us and my pilot shooed him away on the radio. We didn't know until he peeled away right over us. Interesting seeing another copter right above you. Anyway, I got some great sunset shots, the copter had domed windows so you could see right down. Landing was lots of fun. Smooth as glass. But these guys also so the search and rescue on the mountains too. WHOOOO!

Tomorrow I leave the red center and I'll be back in Sydney by supper time.

Sunday, April 17, 2005


The King's Canyon hike was great. It has a killer staircase out of stone that they call 'cornary hill' at the trail head. It pretty much takes you tot he top of the mountain formation. Once up there the hike is pretty resonable. You go around this gorge area with lots of really cool geomorphs and funky rock formations, sheer drops, and other neat things. It was kind of like the west of the US, actually. Camera got a workout.

We then drove to Uluru, or Ayer's rock. We set up camp and watched the sunset over the rock. It's hard to decribe this giant rock that just rises out of the middle of nothing. It has lost of caves and niches and is just an odd shape. About 1 hour before the big rock we saw a flat toped mesa-like mountain that was bigger, but not the same mysterious shapes or color of Uluru. We had suprise champange and crackers and cheese at the lookout. It was really breathtaking to watch it just light up with colors.

Today we woke up really early (before dawn) to see the show in reverse and watch the sunrise on the other side of the rock. Not as magical, I'm sorry to say. But then I'm not a AM person. Then we went to hike AROUND the rock. I did not climb it, since it is a sacred site of the Aborigionals who live and are the caretakers of the land. They ask people not to climb but don't forbid it, but so many people sadly chose to do so. It's also a hazard to climb and people die, which also saddens the tribe, who according to their laws, feel responsible for the deaths.

We went on a 2 hour guided tour of about 1 KM around the rock to start, where an aborgional ranger told us about some of the artwork on the rock and the stories that go along with some of the caves and crevases. Then we went along the base of the rock 10 km walk, that was much more interesting then climbing along the top like a bunch of 'ants'.

We then went to the cultural center, which I honestly was a bit disapointed with. The museum at Kakadu was better, but this place was award winning and has rave reveiws.

Tomorrow we hike the Olgas, a sister fomrmation down the road. Then my tour is up.

Oh, but that night I chartered a helicopter to go over the Rock and the olgas at sunset.



Friday, April 15, 2005

Kings Canyon

Yesterday we went to an aborigional culture center. We threw boomerangs and got a chance to talk to some shy aboriginal artists. Then we got to try thr famous bush tucker. We got billy tea (man in a can over the fire), spotted dog bread with syrup, kind of like a scone cooked in a dutch oven. Then we traied bush tomatoes, and the ever famous witchity grub.

I ate a live 2" catterpillar. Only 3 of us did it. We all agreed once in a lifetime was enough. They don't taste bad, kind of like a nutty custard. I almost gagged when I got to a few crunchy bits and was informed it was a head. Yuck! Well, it was an experince I would have regretted if I hadn't done it.

That night we went to dinner at an outback Aussie cowboy resturant. They sell all kinds of crazy meat like roo, camel and croc. I tried the roo and camel, and it is indeed tasty. We then decided to chill out for a night an went to see a movie in town.

Today we arrived at kings caynon. Earlier in the day we stopped by a ranch. We had the option of a camel ride or a 4 wheeler. Some of us opted for the 4 wheeler option. The trails where really fun, but not really for beginners! Especially that they required shifting! I did get the hang of it eventually, but let's just say we all took out our share of scrub trees going off the crazy track.

Tonight was my turn to cook, and I made fireman's chicken. It went over well, of course!

Tomorrow we go on a real hike, and then it's off to Uluru.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

A town called Alice

Today and tonight I'm in Alice Springs, right in the middle of the outback.

When we left Katherine, we went to a campsite with a hot spring. It wasn't very hot actually, but since it's usually 90, that's a good thing. At the campsite I got to see my first roos...lots and lots of roos. Wallabies, actually, they are smaller. They munched grass around our tents at night.

After that we had a couple long driving days. We went to swim at a waterfall for a lunch stop, and then we got to Devil's marbles, a really odd collection of granite boulders eroded into egg-shapes. We watched the sunset from there.

Now we are in Alice for a couple days, and we're busy. Last night we went around town a bit, and at night we went to an aborigional show and dinner. They danced and told stories and played the didgi. We had a full dinner of lamb, barramundi fish, and water bufflalo. Lots of wine too. Afterwards we went to a pub, where our guide is trying to teach me to play pool. It was a really spectacular night.

Today we go to another aborigional town and we learn about arts and crafts and get real bush tucker. That's roo tail roasted over the fire, wild yams, honey ant honey, green ants (I tried them allready) and witchity grubs. We also get to learn how food was collected, how to throw a boomarang, etc.

Tomorrow morning we drive a few hours to het to kings canyon. We should get a nice hike in there. Then it's off to Uluru for 2 days before the trek is over. Weather is better now, hot but dry in the day and cool at night.

animal count:
wallabies: a mob
rock wallabies: another mob
Some sort of bearded dragon lizard
stick insects
extra large spider

Yet to be seen: frilled lizard