Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Climb and The Base Walk

Today we slept in a bit (which means not viewing sunrise). We headed out to the roc by 8:30. Our mission for the day was to climb Uluru! We started the climb, which began as a steep ascent over a broad face of the rock. We (I) started to feel a little worried and sat down for a bit. Eventually we continued and got to the large portion of the climb that has posts and a chain to hold on to. I thought this would be helpful, but the chain was so low you had to stoop down to hold on. So we continued to climb, all stooped over. We took several breaks along the way as it got cooler and the air thinned out. I kept hoping I would look up and see the end, but it was nowhere in sight. A few times I asked someone coming down if we were close, they would always just chuckle and say “no.” We got to the point where the chain ended and found a nice flat spot to sit and rest. Upon arriving up there, I started to get my usual lightheaded feeling and tunnel vision that I get before blacking out, so I was glad to rest. We sat there for about 15 minutes, then tried to continue on. After about 20 meters, I needed to rest again as I had completely lost my breath. We looked up, saw that we had a long way to go, and made the tough decision to go back. I just couldn’t do it. On top of being exhausted, I was terrified of falling. Eventually we started down. It was crazy. Sometimes I was able to stand upright, but a few times I had to sit down and scoot on my butt. Crazy. When we finally got to the bottom, I sat down and was very thankful to be done. I felt a little bit like a failure for not making it when so many other people do, but my body just wasn’t willing or able. To anyone ever reading this, if you ever go to Uluru, just don’t climb it. 30 something people have died on it because it’s not safe. Do what the Aborigines say and stay on the ground. I wish I had listened.

After the climb, we had a quick early lunch in the car (to avoid the million bajillion flies that I haven’t mentioned yet) and began the base walk that goes around Uluru. Much better! J It is about 9 km around and took us 2 hrs and 15 minutes. It was a really nice walk with constantly beautiful views of Uluru. Some of the best parts are sacred to the Aborigines, so I couldn’t take pictures of them, I’ll just have to remember them. To those of you reading this who ever want to go here, this is the walk to do. Forget the climb, this was much better. Seriously.

After the walk we came back to the resort with no plans other than relaxing J It’s been a while since we did that! I went for a swim, did some more sunbathing, read, and watched TV. I enjoyed that the resort (at least our hotel) was relatively empty. Lots of space to myself.

After some relaxing we went back to the park for sunset. It was totally different from the 1st night we watched sunset because there were different types of clouds. WE both thought the rock appeared more orange than red. Even so, it was really pretty and again the rock was GLOWING in the few minutes before official sunset. Truly spectacular. Back at the resort, we had a “picnic” in our room of cheese, crackers, wine, and chocolate. Good times.

No comments:

Post a Comment