Sunday, December 12, 2010

Central Australia Part 3 - Kata Tjuta

Yeah, yeah. I'm a slacker, I know. Let's get into part 3 of the saga. So we left Uluru at like 8.45am, which was an incredibly depressing realisation. Nothing like having walked ten ks by that time of day to make you feel exhausted! So from Uluru, we headed down the road to Kata Tjuta, or The Olgas. And while we were on the way, we got hit with the most godawful collection of songs. Yes, our tour leader decided that we needed exposure to some "classic Aussie hits"...

The list of doom included 'Pub with No Beer', 'G'day G'day', and the obligatory 'Down Under'. But as the list went on, it got progressively worse. We moved from "classic Aussie hits" to "crap they teach you in primary school" - when we hit 'Click Go the Shears' followed by 'Bound for Botany Bay', I was about ready to jump out of the bus window. Thankfully, we got to Kata Tjuta, and the torture stopped.

When we got there, it was time for yet another walk. *sigh* This time, it was into Walpa Gorge.

The start of the walk looked quite a lot like it belonged in Jordan or somewhere similar, in my opinion!

Sara, as you can see, was thrilled by our second walk of the day:

As we got further into the gorge, it became less like something that had escaped from the Middle East:

This bit was pretty cool - more of the black algae that grows where water runs during the rains:

And here's the end of the gorge. Honestly, while it was impressive and all, it was rather a let-down after having spent two hours walking around Uluru!

The view back towards the plain below wasn't too shabby:

It was pretty nice to see the sky this blue though after the previous day of epic rainingness:

On the way back to Uluru for lunch, we stopped off at a viewing platform where you can see the whole of Kata Tjuta from the one site, which is FAR more impressive than the view you get from up close:

And off to the right, you can see clear across to Uluru:

After a quick stop there to take photos, it was back to the campsite at Uluru for lunch. And from there, it was a sad and dull four or five hour drive back to Alice Springs. Good Lord, but it was long and painful... Although I suppose it can't really be avoided!

Anyway, Kata Tjuta is spectacular, but unlike Uluru, loses some of its impressiveness the closer you get to it. But from a distance? Totally worth the gazillions of hours of driving!

K xx

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