Sherry's Trip to Australia

April 2005 Trip to Australia

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.


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