from July 6
I awoke at 3 a.m. last night in my swag, which is basically heavy canvas designed like a sleeping bag. It was unbelievably warm and cozy, but when the started coming down, I moved into one of the permanent tents. It felt a bit like cheating, but I ended up shivering most the night without the swag, even if I was dry.
When I woke up to pouring rain, I confirmed that the outback is definitely not a desert. Everything was soaking, cold, wet, and miserable. The fog and clouds blocked our view of the sunrise, which was disappointing, but there was nothing to be done about the weather.
I went for a 5k walk around the south part of Uluru this morning. Weather aside, it was awesome. And I mean awesome in the truest sense of the word. I was in awe. I tried to take a few photos but they just didn’t do the rock any justice. No words can describe it either. All I can say is the trip, all 1500+ km from Darwin and all 1500+ left to Adelaide, was worth it.
You might think, oh it’s just a rock, what’s so great about it. But when you see it, you just can’t take your eyes off it. Every step I took revealed a different angle, a different nuance. I could easily see myself spending all day here, just walking around it. Thankfully the walk was flat, because I was so busy staring up I didn’t pay much attention to where I was putting my feet. I did end up in a few puddles though.
After that walk, we met up with an Aboriginal and his interpreter. He told us the dreamtime story of the Mala people, and how they were the original people at the rock until they were forced south. We are staying at Mala tonight. At first I wondered why they needed two people; why they didn’t just tell the story in English to begin with. But it was interesting to hear the story be translated from the native language. I do wish it wasn’t so wet and cold though, even if I was one of the “lucky” 1% of people who ever get to see water on the rock.