Monday, September 05, 2005

Red Center Day 3

Dressing for the ice age paid off, for it got chilly at night and I felt warm the whole time and slept great.

We got up super early to go catch the sunrise at Uluru. On the way, angus was pumping the radio with Midnight Oil. The sunset was something to see but the sunrise was ten times better with the whole rock turning from a dull brown color to a bright red/orange color instantly as the sun was completley up. Incredible.

We then drove closer to the rock and did a 10km walk around the rock. Some chose to climb the rock instead. There is a very hard path to climb up the path if one choses so but the Aboriginals ask that you don't climb the rock since they believe parts of it are sacred. When I asked Angus why they just don't close the path off he said the two reasons are: 1. The aboriginals don't want to force you not to climb it, they just are afraid of your well being since people have hurt themselves and died trying to climb up, as well as people may not want to learn the cultural aspect if they can't come and climb it. 2. The organization that runs the national park threatened to sue the Aboriginals if they close it off. Originally the park was Aboriginal land and finally several years ago the Australians gave it back to them as long as they are allowed to lease it from the aboriginals for 99 years. That number was totally pulled out of someones ass but hopefully by then , they wil have full control of their own land.

As I walked around the rock, I was talking to the two french girls from Lyon who were both on vacation fro working as nurses back home. The best thing was I got ot practice my french sicne they didn;t understand a lot when Angus explained things. After the walk we drove to the Aboriginal Center where they expalained a lot of the culture and stories linked with the rock. I even bought a sticker that said 'I didn't climb Uluru'.

Went back to camp for hamburger lunch and then a swim in the public pool since it was getting hot.

We headed back to the rock and did a part of the base walk we missed earlier that was filled with all the stuff that the Aboriginal stories are related to. All sorts of things with the rock have a story to it and the aboriginals use these stories as lessons. Angus gave us a tour and told us a bunch of these stories. The french girls were totally lost so I kept translating as best I could to help them out and thanked me gratefuly. Angus told us that the name Kangaroo came from the fact that when Captain Cook came to Australia and saw the animals, he went up to an Aboriginal man and asked "What are those animals called?" assumig everyone knew english, to which the Aboriginal man replied "Kan ga roo" which means "I don't understand".

Also, Angus told us how the rock was formed scientifically. Way back in the past, South America and Africa were pushing towards each other with Australia in the middle, this caused a line of mountains to form in the middle of the continent. Over time the mountains eroded and turns into dust particles which got compacted into the ground. Later on in time, Australia moved north and this caused a whole bunch of mountain ranges to form horizontally and in the process, cracked the underground rock which uprooted to give us Uluru. The smae thing happend to form Kata Tjuta but they were more like splinters so their axis are at 12 degree while Uluru is at 90. The Aboriginal story for the creation is that two chirldren were making a mud pie and it kept getting bigger and bigger, so big the were on top of it and to get down, they had to slide down on their stomaches andwhile reaching out, their fingers caused these vertical lines (which are actually caused by water coming off the sides when it rains.

For sunset went to an area nick named the cattle grid to watch the sunset at Kata Tjuta. Not as impressive as the sunset at Uluru but still amazing.

Dinner was a HUGE BBQ meal cooked parially by yours truley. We ate sausages, marinated steaks, potaotes and onions, and fried rice. Didn't get a chance to play guitar since getting up at 4:45am tomorrow!

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