|Our first view of Uluru from the ground.|
|The sun going down on Uluru.|
|As the sun set, the colors gradually changed.|
|Color Ethan unimpressed.|
|We did get a nice photo of the two of us in front of the rock.|
I have to say, though, the sunsets we saw were some of the best I've ever seen.
|One of the brilliant sunsets we saw.|
|Can you find the Southern Cross? (hint: it's towards the lower left)|
We also spent one day traveling 100 km to the west to see the Olgas, another rock formation. On the way, we happened on a wild camel.
|Color this camel unimpressed.|
|The Olgas from the viewpoint on the road.|
I was impressed by the amount of water around Uluru and the Olgas. Granted, this has been one of the wettest seasons on record. But part of the reason these rock formations are special for the Aborigines is that water flows off and forms waterholes around the center. They were able to find water here even in the driest of times.
|One of the streams running through the Olgas.|
We weren't allowed to climb on the Olgas, and the Aborigines strongly request that you don't climb Uluru (although people do, which seems pretty disrespectful given how strongly they request you not to). However, the hikes through the Olgas went up to a couple of really cool lookouts. From the top of this hill, I felt like I was looking into an ancient landscape. I almost expected to see dinosaurs roaming around.
|Lookout! Oh, I'm clever.|
|Wide open spaces...|
The main thing I didn't like about our trip was that there's really only one place to stay. So that meant we were at a campground with about a million other people, including a lot of inconsiderate backpackers. There's nothing like lying in your tent at 5:30 in the morning, listening to the rest of the campground wake up to go watch the sunrise.
I was also disappointed that we didn't see any kangaroos. We've seen kangaroos while we've been here, but I was really hoping to see some of the big red kangaroos that only live out west. No dice. We did see a dingo though, and of course that surly camel, so our trip wasn't without wildlife.
Before this trip, I felt like it was one of the "must-dos" in Australia, and after going, I still feel that way The landscape is beautiful and iconic, and it's really neat to be in a place with such a sense of ancient culture. There's a lot we haven't done in Australia that we won't get to, but I'm glad we didn't miss out on this.