Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 2 - The Red Centre

Day 2 - Kings Canyon Tour and BBQ dinner!

Ring Ring Ring - Hello this is your wake up call! I love wake up calls...i wish I got them every morning...but then I guess they would loose their spark! Our wake up call was at 3.30 that morning! You will see a pattern in our days up there! Up at 3.30am bed at midnight ohhhhh gosh the days were so long! But we had so much to fit in to so little time so we powered through it! Our day began in the dark as we drove off in our coach to our second tour on our trip. It was dark, their air was hot, such an amazing thing to experience! Even in our summer here in Brisbane the early morning still have that little chill to the air! Sitting there watching the coach drive into darkness I was so tired peaceful that I drifted into a lovely little snooze on the bus... BANG stomach was in my mouth, bags were flying everywhere coffee was spilled in front of us! Driver on the speaker - "totally normal folks, there's a lotta roos out ere and there's no way I'm hitting them so sit tight and hold on to your coffees" Grreeaaatttt maybe a little warning of this would have been nice! Thank goodness for seat belts otherwise I may have been through the windscreen myself! It was dark and the driver would only see the kangaroos or birds at the last minute and out there its animals before people! He hit those brakes so hard and our HUGE coach went screeching about 20 times that trip! Only 1 'roo' was hit but jumped away ok! The breaking and screeching kept me up for the 3 hour trip but I am so thankful that it did because I witnessed the most beautiful sunrise! The colours were gorgeous and the silhouettes of the outback were just amazing!

We finally arrived at a local cattle station which was about 15 minutes from our destination. We stopped in here for breakfast. I got spaghetti on toast and Rob got jam on toast! Quite the fancy eaters we are hahah The cattle station was so beautiful! An old rustic shed with beautiful surrounding trees. 6 dogs playing and walking around the place, camels in their yard. It was just gorgeous and very outback Australia! I loved every inch of this place! It just had that homely country feel that I long for back at home! We all finished up and were back on the bus...but not without the water police on everyones back! You were not allowed on the bus unless you had 3 litres of water! Rob and I were lucky we had our camel packs which were (thankfully) 3 liters each! But most of the other travelers had to go and buy water in order to get on the bus! We were about to take a 3 and hlaf hour hike in 42 degree heat...we needed every single drop of the 3 liters. A quick drive down the road and we arrived at Kings Canyon! I must admit that I did not look up! I don't have any memory of actually looking at where we were about to climb! I was nervous! Very nervous! I had been awesome the day before, but that was nothing to what we were about to do today!

Once we got to the start, it was then I looked up! Yes I looked at the 500 stairs that we were about to climb! This was the lovely motivating beginning to our 7.5 kilometer hike! Oh Crap! Our guide told us that we would take the stairs 200 at a time...200 then 200 then 100...easy! Yeah right! I was nearly vomiting and we hadn't even started! She said that the first 200 was the test. If you didn't want to keep going you could turn around and go back down! But once you hit that 201st step there was no going back and you were stuck with the group for the next 3.5 hours! I knew I would of had to push myself! So off we went..umm I think I got to about step 20 and everything was burning but I just sucked it up and kept going...200 done! but oh so puffed! I was so determined to do this walk that nothing would have stopped me! Of course my lovely, helping and caring husband was running up those steps and was right behind the guide so I was by myself just pushing and pushing and motivating myself! Thanks babe! But I got through...burning thighs, chest pounding...but oh my gosh I tell you it was worth it! The first view was spectacular! Just to stop and look out over kilometers of rock and dessert woah amazing! We kept on going as our guide said there was a better view! Um how could there be...but she was right! It was right down into the canyon! Who would of thought that red rock could be so beautiful! The different colours and formations you could stand there for days! But the views just got better and better as we went on! It was hot and sweat was dripping, but for most of the way I didn't even realise. It was so empowering just walking and being ok! I was worried...I honestly didn't think I would be able to do it! But I was ok!

We walked on through the red and then we got to the "dead sea" which led us through to the 'garden of eden' where right in the middle of red red red was the most gorgeous greenery I have ever seen. The perfect little sanctuary with a gorgeous water hole. The plants were hundreds and hundreds of years old and were so big and lush! We walked around this and retired to the waterhole for a break! A few international tourist were swimming but the thought of completing the hike in wet undies just didn't tickle my fancy so we admired it from the edge! It was a beautiful backdrop for our little breather! We had 8 minutes for break! It was getting very hot! So if we didn't keep moving we would melt! It was only 9.00am and already 42 degrees! Our guide explained that the last leg would be hard! We were in direct sun the whole way with no shade! Ohhh man! Ok 8 minutes to regroup, refocus and get sipping on that water! We were off and boy she was not wrong! It was soooooo hot! Every step I took I swear it rose a degree! But luckily, once again, the views just kept getting better! We finally reached a sign that said 3 km to go! Woop this was like gold! I had made it this far! Over half way! Not much more to go! Then the most amazing sight I had ever seen! 1 KM to go! I nearly ran the whole way back! Ok not really because it was on the face of a cliff and I would have fallen to my death! I actually stopped on that 1 km and just looked around and soaked it all in. I felt the heat on my face, the sweat dripping down my arms, the burn in my thighs and I shed a tear! I was so proud of myself! I've never done anything like this before and what made it better...Rob turned around to me, kissed me and told me how proud of me he was. I had done it! Rob then got very excited and started talking about going on 2 day hikes when we get home up to ORileys ummmmmm no! Well actually maybe! I think I'd give it a go ;)

With no mucking around we were back on the bus, mainly because it was air con and it was 1000 degrees outside! On the way home we stopped in on another local cattle station! cute! Rob enjoyed a cool beer  from the "bar" and we went and met the local emu and visited the birds in the aviary! Even the birds had their wings and beaks open and were panting! What a sight! Once we got back to our hotel we decided to have a quick shower and have an early dinner and early bed as we had another early rise in the morning! We went to another hotel and went to their outback hotel for dinner! On the menu...Kangaroo and Crocodile! This was an experience to eat buy your raw meat...we chose roo and crock...."when in Rome" and then you cook it yourself on the BBQ...totally Australian...totally corny...but I loved every second of it! We cooked up a storm and chose from the selection of hot and cold salads from the buffet! We sat down to our "Aussie Meal' watched the sunset through the trees and reflected on our amazing day! Perfect!

~ 500 steps completed! ~

~ The Dead Sea and The Garden of Eden ~

~ 1 km to go!! ~

~ Completed! What an achievement! ~

~ Kangaroo and Crocodile for dinner ~
x S.K.K x


Hayley said...

How fit are you!!! Good on you for completing that hike that would of been a mission in a half! Hope you enjoyed your meal of crocodile.

The Clip Cafe said...

I am so jealous - sounds amazing!

The Clip Cafe said...

Ps Just saw I am on your blog roll. I have put your button on my blog :-) It's a wedding pic of your - if that is not okay please let me know and I will take it off. Thanks