We left Coober Pedy SA for Yulara NT (Ayers Rock). However, as the trip was over 750 km’s, we had an overnight stop at Erldunda, which is basically a roadhouse with a caravan park at the back. Lots of other caravanners were doing the same thing. We were very excited about getting to Yulara as Kaitlin was joining us there. We have noticed that along the roads in the NT car kill has now replaced road kill. That is, instead of seeing dead animals line the road, we are now seeing abandoned and destroyed cars. I wonder who they belonged to.
Driving towards Yulara we came across a big rock in the distance and if we hadn’t already been told we would have thought that it was Ayers Rock. It was actually Mt Connor. It really doesn’t look anything like Ayers Rock when you are up close and you definitely couldn’t climb it. Jacob spotted Ayers Rock first in the distance when we were over 30 km’s from Yalara, which would have made Ayers Rock around 40km’s away. Very exciting. We could also see these others rocks in the further distance. I thought they were the Olgas but Doug said they couldn’t be because we were still 75 k’s away from the Olgas according to the map. But guess what, they were the Olga’s. They are actually bigger than Ayers Rock in one part.
In our 6 days in Yulura we managed to walk up the rock twice, walk a little around it and watch the sunrise and sunset over it. The rock really is an impressive natural formation. It’s 350 meters above the plain and 9.6 k’s around the base. To put this into perspective, the Eiffel Tower is 300 metres high and the highest point on the Sydney Opera House is 67 metres.
It was hard going walking up the rock especially on our second trip up in the same day. Our intention was to wait for Kaitlin to arrive before we walked up, but as the rock was closed for 2 days before we got to Yulara, and open when we went out for our first look, we thought we better go up now. They close the rock due to high winds at the summit, or other various weather conditions, and Aboriginal ceremonies so your never quite sure when you will get the chance to do the climb. The first part of walk was the hardest; both on the way up and the way down. This is due to its steepness, thus they have a chain for the first 800 metres. It’s still hard going after you get past the chain and even when you get to the top of the chain there is more up and down sections before you reach the actual summit. Well worth it. Magnificent views.
In addition to Ayers Rock we did a number of other things – we walked through the Olgas and enjoyed the entertainment put on in the town square of Yulara. This consisted of boomerang and spear throwing for the boys (yes – spear throwing) and some aboriginal story-telling and dancing. Jacob managed to get his first throw of a boomerang stuck in a tree and with the second throw he managed to break the boomerang. Not his fault; they didn’t have any left handed boomerangs. He called it quits after that.
Kaitlin brought with her the next instalments of the Harry Potter series book 5 and 6 as birthday presents for the boys. We were all pretty stoked about that as Doug and I are now reading the books as well . Also, as a little extra, she also bought Berty Botts Every Flavour Beans. These are Harry Potter lollies for those who aren't Potter heads. The boys were happy with the watermelon and candy floss beans but nearly got sick when they tried earth worm, vomit and ear wax. Who thinks up these things and how did they get the flavours?
We also caught up with friends from the boy’s school, one of Jacob’s good friend, Levi and his family - Sandi, Jamie, Alizah, Zara and Kaine. They are also travelling around Australia and left a month after us. It was great to see familiar friendly faces and good for the boys. It looks like we are heading the same way for a little while.
On our second last day there we had to say goodbye to Kaitlin. It was fun having you with us and sharing a little of our travels. We are all going to miss you Kaitlin.
|This is how they fill in their day in the car|
|The fake Ayers Rock - Mt Connor|
|Ayers Rock from our camp ground|
|Ayers Rock. Sorry for all the photo's I had to show you all of the different angles and times of day|
|Our first climb|
|We made it|
|That's the Olgas in the back ground. We are on Ayers Rock|
|Getting ready for the second climb of the day|
|Poor Kaitlin, she had no sooner got off the plane and we had her walking up the Rock|
|We made it again|
|The Olgas again. Still in the same place|
|The trip down at the steepest section|
|Meal time and plenty of room for all.|
|Boys doing aboriginal art work with the Cutlers|
|Spear throwing. No animals were injured during this session|
|Nathan getting last minute instruction on boomerang throwing|
|Jacob with a non returning boomerang he made|
|Dinner at the "cook your own" barbeque|
|Boys getting the "Berty Botts". Obviously they hadn't tried "vomit" yet.|
|Approaching The Olgas|
|And in The Olgas|
|Rugged up to watch sunrise over the Rock|
|Later that morning and trying to warm up after a very cool start to the day|
|Jacob and Levi meet up for the first time at Ayers Rock sunset|
|Vicki and Sandi drink to ?|
|The Brennans and the Cutlers|