Monday, January 3, 2011

Day One - The Red Centre

Day One - 28th of December 2010 - Arrival and Kata Tjuta Tour

At 3.30 am on Tuesday the 28th of December I awoke from a very restless slumber full of excitement and nerves. It was here, finally here. The night before I had packed and re packed and packed again for our holiday. We were going from a humid and rain attacked Brisbane to a 42 degree dry (with a possibility of showers) Northern Territory. What on earth do you pack for that. I have never experienced that type of heat before and being fair skinned and knowing we were going to be in the sun ALL day every day it was so hard to chose the right clothing. Then throw in the possibility of it raining urgh lets just say it was a nightmare but finally Rob and I finalised our packing and managed to shove place it all nicely into one suitcase...go us! My parents arrived at 4.30 to pick us up and take us to the airport. (Thanks Mum and Dad) Goodbyes were said, air sickness tablets taken, bags checked in, flight food bought we were ready for our adventure to the red center.

We had to fly from Brisbane to Sydney and then Sydney to Ayers Rock - I have no idea why we had to go the total opposite way before going to our destination but it worked out cheaper that way and hey we got to see some beautiful sights of Sydney and its views as we flew over. Ok that's a lie...Rob saw all the beautiful views and I saw the photos later. I get SEVERE motion sickness. I always have - oh the memories of traveling to Hervey Bay every school holidays and vomiting my guts up on the side of the road every time - so when I fly I have routines and behaviors that I must obey otherwise it is a very unpleasant trip for me and the poor people around me. I find if I sleep I'm fine! So the minute we get on the plane headphones are on and eyes are shut...thank goodness for Qwells (travel sickness tablets) and their drowsy side effects. At 12 i got a very hard nudge from Rob and he said I HAD to look out the window. Reluctantly I looked and oh my goodness I am so glad I did..there it was...Uluru! We were so excited we were like little kids at a toy store. I guess it finally hit us! After a full on year and our ups and downs here we were, finally, doing something for US and taking a special holiday!

We landed and the minute you stepped of the plane the heat just hit you. We had come from weeks and weeks of rain and terrible weather so the heat was just amazing and the sun oh my gosh the sun felt so good beaming down on our skins (I will complain about this over the next few days of course but that initial experience was beautiful) We collected bags, quick toilet stop and were transferred straight to our hotel. We stayed at Ayers Rock Resort and as we were driving Uluru followed us the entire way. We always had view of the special Rock and it acted as a brilliant background to the gorgeous red dessert and the greenery on the side of the road. We arrived at our hotel "The lost camel" and settled in. We didn't have much time to waste though because we were on a tight schedule and our bus for our first tour was picking us up at 3.00pm sharp.

The walking shoes were put on, the camel packs were filled, the sunscreen was applied, the hats where put on and we were ready for our tour of "Kata Tjuta" or "The Olgas" We were picked up by coach not a bus a beautiful air conditioned coach which over the following days I would CHERISH and taken to our first destination. This was the lookout for "The Olgas". It was a short 10 minute walk up to the lookout to view the olgas from a distance and see the panoramic view of these amazing rocks. I feel a little guilty as I describe the olgas and Uluru as 'rocks' but ultimately that's what they are so I'm sorry in advance if this offends anyone. The first thing that we noticed were the flies. I was warned about the flies by my travel agent and was advised to buy fly hats, which I did, but didn't bring them out on our first tour as I wanted to experience it all. The heat, the flies, the sun, December is the worst time to visit Uluru, as I was also told by my travel agent, as it was extremely hot - reaching temps up to 45 degrees and swarms and swarms of flies. I saw this as adding to the experience though. When you go to the dessert you expect it to be hot, when you go to the dessert you expect there to be flies. I wanted to experience it all so 'bring on the flies' They were a little annoying and they loved your lips and nose but nothing to drastic that I needed to put a net over my face. We took a few photos and admired the view and we were then sent back onto the coach for our next stop.

I must admit, I was nervous. I'm not a very fit person. I have a gym membership and I had lots of intentions to go but the end of the year got so busy th....ok I'm stopping...that's another lie, basically coming home and snuggling with my man was way more enticing than going to run on the treadmill at the gym every night...anyway long story short, I lost my breath after walking up a flight of stairs at work. there I said it. Sooo you can see my nerves and as we approached our next stop which was the Olgas and a 2.5 hour hike up the 'rock'. But you know what...I did pretty good! I was actually quite impressed. I guess it helps being surrounded by gorgeous scenery! The rocks and their formations were just unbelievable. The colours, the textures, the imperfections, they were just amazing. My poor little digital camera could not capture the beauty of this area but boy did I give it a work out. Our guide told us stories along the way which also helped in the motivation department and took my mind off the grueling hike I was partaking in with no previous training or experience. But I made it, I had done it! I completed my first hike and boy was I excited. I wasn't tired, I wasn't sore, I was pumped! So pumped and ready for the next one! Rob was so proud of me and we both knew that this was the first step to an awesome journey of the beginning of awesome adventures together.Ok I was hot...very hot! The temperature was 42 degrees and it was 7.00 at night! I was sweating so bad, more than I had ever sweat before in my life, but who cares, I had done it! I just had to remember to keep sipping on my water and keep my body hydrated!

We all jumped back onto the coach and were taken to our final stage of the tour which was watching the sunset over the Olgas. The sun set at 7.58pm that night. How crazy is that! We were greeted with champagne and salty peanuts to recharge our batteries. I don't drink champagne and dont like nuts....great!!! I miss out on the cool treats! Luckily they had some lemonade for the kids (and me wooo) and I thought hell I had just completed a 2.5 hours hike which I thought I could NEVER do so I can seriously try a measly little nut. Umm YUM addicted to peanuts now! It tasted like peanut butter - who would have thought haha! The setting was beautiful, the colours were extraordinary. As the sun set over the 'rocks' they changed colours so many times it was just gorgeous! It was a perfect ending to a perfect first day in the red center. We took photos and laughed and enjoyed watching the special view! Our first day was a beautiful success. fun was had, stories were told, lessons were learned and limits were pushed, What an adventure.

x S.K.K x


Hayley said...

Oh Wow already looks like you guys had heaps of fun! It's terrible that I grew up in the territory for 11 years and never explored 'The Rock' and surrounding area. I love that I can now do it through you and Rob ;) bahaha!
What an awesome present!!

The Clip Cafe said...

Have a great time (I will just pretend I am you - I so want to do a trip like that!!)