Kata Tjuta, to the left of Uluru, Australia

Just 25 km west of Uluru are the Kata Tjuta’s, which translates into something like “heads.” We went there for a hike just after watching the sunrise at Uluru, still very early for us, but that was better than being in the sun during midday.

We drove into the parking lot and headed out on the 6 km walk into and around some of the “heads.” The are actually quite large, and as you walk between two of them, you get the feeling of being in a deep valley. The walls of the rocks just go straight up from the path that you are walking on.

And the bugs are huge. Not huge for Australia, with it’s bird eating spiders, but huge for me, the entomophobic one.

The first 40 minutes of the hike winds you around and through some of the rocks, starting out on rocks and then taking you into some tree cover, before making you climb a steep incline.

Once you’ve reached the top of this incline, it seems as though you are looking onto jurassic park. Instead of the red rocky landscape you see on the way into the park, there is green grass and trees and green bushes. We stood atop the incline overwhelmed by the view, it was such a drastic change of scenery, that is confused and empowered us.

 

 

We kept our eyes peeled for dinosaurs and kangaroos, but unfortunately they were all sleeping in. The area started to look a bit like Pride Rock from The Lion King after the initial Jurassic Park image wore off. The heads and trees all seem to lean in one direction, giving a leaning look the the landscape.

Jeff only wears glasses when he wants to see things. Confuses me too.

After our morning walk through the Olgas, the western name for Kata Tjuta, we started heading towards King’s Canyon. It is a 315km drive north from the Uluru/Kata Tjuta National Park, but mostly because it goes in a wide U shape. It was a long drive, and we were running out of conversation points and car games but it was mostly okay because it was during the hottest hours of the day. When we arrived at the canyon, it was early evening with plenty of daylight hours, but there were big dark clouds coming in. I persuaded Jeff to just do the shorter hike then, and the next day we would do the longer “rim walk” at the top of the canyon.

During our walk we saw one of those lizards that stand on their hand legs when they run.

We headed to the small town near the canyon and went into the only restaurant/bar/poolhouse in the town and watch cricket until it was dark outside and we could go to bed. We ordered an “outback” pizza which had crocodile, kangaroo, emu, and camel meat on it. We played “which meat is this piece” during dinner. Outside it was storming and thundering and lightning for over an hour, which I loved to watch as the rain came off in sheets off the roof. During a short break, Jeff went outside to get something from the car, and came back in quickly to get me so he could show me this humongous double rainbow.

You can’t see the 2nd band in this shot, but the size is more important for this rainbow.

After dinner we drove a few miles out of town and turned the car into a bed again. I stayed up a bit late watching the purple sky over the outback light up with solid streaks of lightning every now and then and listening to the rain pound on the roof of the car, with the occasional howls and barks of a dingo pack in the distance. A real life magic moment.

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