It's a long drive from Alice Springs to Uluru (Ayer's Rock) and one would think it would be boring to drive for hours through the Outback, but not on this trip. Our tour leader Darrin kept us engaged in dialogues about Australian controversial cultural topics - education, immigration, taxation, marriage equality (Australian for same-sex marriage), health care, etc. In addition we had several stops at Stations (large ranches that raise cattle) which have a tourist concession to raise extra cash. All offered food and drinks, much needed rest rooms and Aboriginal art for sale. The most interesting was Curtin Springs Station where we stopped for lunch and enjoyed a talk by Peter who was one of the original settlers of this area.
Watching the sun as it sets on Uluru, it’s vividly clear just why the local Anangu people attach paramount spiritual significance to it. As the Outback sun descends on the monolith the rock seems to glow eerily, as if lit from within. It’s almost impossible not to feel the ancient spirit of Uluru. Our Anangu guide Owen, explainednUluru is a literal giver of life, attracting animals in abundance to its waterhole and providing shelter and firewood to visitors. All in a rugged place one might freely describe as “the middle of nowhere.”
A few brave souls (not including me,) rose early the next morning to revisit Uluru in the light of dawn, which is as dramatic as sunset (so they tell me). Later we visited the nearby Kata Tjuta which is not nearly as well known as Uluru, but every bit as wonderful.
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