Brother, yes bro, want to come to Ayers Rock with me? That was all that was needed to be said.... After traveling for more than 34 years I finally get to tick the Rock off..
Uluru also known as Ayers Rock officially gazetted as "Uluru / Ayers Rock" is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory in central Australia. It lies 335 km south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs, 450 km by road.
But how? I couldn't fly "straight" from Brisbane to Alice springs, as I need to change planes at Sydney or Melbourne and the layover is 16 hours, the price how much ?.. Time to think, Lets go to Adelaide, hang out with the family and fly to Alice Springs from there, Since Brisbane doesn't have a "direct" flight. Well HELLO to a weekend at the wineries..
It was a nice weekend to catch up with friends and family, it was certainly a wine time one too, well we decided to go a wine tour ended up at one winery Samuel's Gorge and stayed for 6 hours lets just say we need to call for the better halves to pick the boys up as the designated driver wasn't designated no more, tho it was a bonus cause we had home cooked wood fire pizzas when we arrived home.. The weather was a normal South Australia winter, 8 degrees and rain did I mention the rain and how could you forget the wind, tho I was able to capture a few good shots on a little drive with the brother to some popluar places...
Monday 18th of June, Touch down hello Alice Springs, I get to be the co-navigator, well passenger on an epic Australian outback adventure in the Northern Territory, First it was to a few of my brother jobs sites as he is working so I get to edit and blog, we arrive late at our hotel Double Tree, and the key cards wouldn't work, the hotel manger had to get the room ready so we look time the and said if we run we can make the top of Mount Gillen in 45 minutes before sunset, lets just say we didn't factor in the cold or the light, but it was my first taste of Alice Springs . When we got back the room was opened and free breakfast coupons waiting you can't complain about that..
Well it was that time for the road trip 550ks to Uluru (Ayers Rock) we drove and drove few pit stops Henbury Meteorites Conservation Reserve where a meteor crashed into the earth 4,700 years ago it left 12 craters was one of them, We were about 100ks out from Uluru and my brother asked me to check the wind speed, so I jump onto the willy weather's site and it said 14.3km/h gusts which is nothing, his eyes light up and I think he knows, that's climbing weather for Uluru, once a month for 6 years my brother comes here and has never been able to climb the Rock as it was closed due to weather. The week he brings me and its perfect and We did, We climbed it, What a sight, What a memory certainly worth the 5 hour drive from Alice Springs..
(I understand the culture and request from the Anangu people, The climb is not prohibited, they wish the public not to climb as they feel a great sadness if we get hurt, however it will be closed to the public in October 2019 you can read more about climbing and the request on the Ayers Rock resort website)
After a half a day of wondering the desert waiting for my brother to finish his work and duties, it was another 300ks to Kings Canyon.. The walk had a few stairs to the canyons rim track with a view to shock and all, this place was huge the walls of the canyon are over 100 meters high and so beautiful.
Kings Canyon is in the Northern Territory of Australia located at the western end of the George Gill Range about 323 km southwest of Alice Springs and about 1,316km south of Darwin within the Watarrka National Park.
The best memory I will have of this place, isn't the walk it was when the shower ran out of hot water at the resort, not because we had long showers the only way to keep warm in a broken air-con was to fill-up the spa bath full of hot water like a water bottle, my brother comes up with some crazy ideas..
Now, my dad left me with some advice before the trip, he said don't get too close the the edge of the canyon, I think I need to learn the definition of "too close" some people have a fear of heights, for me this is where it begins the calm, the peace of the it all..
After our night at the kings Canyon Resort, we again adventures back to Alice Springs, but Ash thought lets take a shortcut on the Mereenie loop road the only problem with that shortcut was it was on 200ks of 4WD dirt road, if you like you martinis shaken, not stirring this is the road for you..
We headed to the Namatjira dr, where West MacDonnell National park is 150ks out of Alice Springs a quick drive for everyone to see some great little places, I choose 3 out of the 12 spots. Ormiston Gorge, Ochre Pits and Ellery Creek..
Now it was a dash to the finish line back to Alice Springs for one more night, another climb to the top of Mount Gillen some Indian cuisine and a good soft bed to rest the travelling bodies, in totally we drove 1369ks about 400ks was on dirt roads, hiked about 30ks up mountains, sand dunes and over rocks, plus surviving the winter solstice in the outback of Australia, What a trip, What an experience...
Two brothers sharing the love of travelling, climbing and exploring this great world of ours.
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