Uluru / Kata Tjuta
Wednesday, 29th May 2002

CarCar

The Red Centre lives up to its name by the way. It is very red. A scrub desert with red sand. Vast distances to cover on roads with no speed limit and seemingly no other cars. Suddenly you might sight a wild camel or lone dingo by the side of the road, right by the side of the road. And then you're past it, glad you didn't add to the numbers killed.

Being a desert area as soon as the sun dips down so does the temperature. Bring your pullover. Particularly if you go on the astronomy show at Yuwara where you can see that M6 looks uncannily like a butterfly.

Uluru WallsUluru Walls

Uluru is the big tourist attraction here (Uluru being the Aboriginal name for Ayer's Rock.) I didn't climb it by the way. The Aborigines prefer that you don't, and the climb is strenuous and exposed. I was disappointed by Uluru. Disappointed by this symbol of Australia which people almost worship at sunset and sunrise. Perhaps it was expecting too much. Perhaps it was that experiences need to be shared. Life needs to be shared.

Local aboriginal cultural centres give insights into what Uluru means to the aboriginal peoples. By the way the local Aboriginal groups granted tourist access to Uluru under a 99-year lease so hurry to be sure of seeing this world famous rock. Every hole and cleft in Uluru is part of Aboriginal lore.

Kata TjutaKata Tjuta

I preferred Kata Tjuta (or many heads) as an enigmatic group of rocks to Uluru. Kata Tjuta is what is also called the Olgas. There are many different Aborigine groups and languages and names for things like kangaroos vary. The dreamtime stories of the Aborigines bind together their history, the geography, the lore of plants and animals, the way they live. For them (if I understand correctly) life is an integrated whole in which the parts reinforce each other. They find identity as part of the whole not as individuals.