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Trekking Solo: My Adventures Down Under

Middle of Nowhere Never Felt So Cool

AUSTRALIA | Saturday, 27 April 2013 | Views [434]

April 27, 2013
Trip Post 2: Middle of Nowhere Never Felt So Cool
To this jet-lagged princess, 5AM came even earlier than it usually would. We realized that the "free breakfast" consisted of bread out on a table that you could toast yourself in a shared kitchen. I woke up with a bit of a headache and maybe a sinus issue. So if you know me at all, you know that I popped a few Excedrin and found a Coke ASAP and a Zyrtec just to be safe! I was not about to feel bad on this tour half-way across the world in the Outback!
Well if I didn't have a headache before, I would have gotten one when our tour was leaving and Belle, our tour guide, didn't have my name down for the group! A few phone calls later, I put my backpack on the trailer and found a seat on the bus! Phew! We departed at about 6:45 and when I had a chance to take a deep breath and relax, I made quick friends with the crew around me. Many of them traveling solo as well, a couple are from Germany, one from Canada, one from Holland, and Michelle my Aussi friend I met yesterday. 
Hearing their stories so far has been quite interesting. Many over here for a few months up to a year on holiday being a Nanny or just for fun. 
We all introduced ourselves via the microphone, and I'm the only American which is pretty neat. I already like the Germans better than the French people I've come across on other travels.
Belle started with the intro. She's from Melbourne and studied Outdoor Education at Uni. I would have loved that, thus my PRTM major which was the closest thing to at Clemson. Ideally, a Masters in Outdoor Ed and an MBA would be fantastic. Working for an outdoor adventure company-or having my own- would be a dream! I'd officially like to work for a tour company in America and guide the group to other countries from the airport to connect them with the native tour guides, but also join them on the tours. A tour organizer of sorts.. So if any of you have that connection, hook a sister up!
Our first stop in the Outback was at a Camel Farm. Michelle and I paid $7 for a camel walk/run around the track where they have professional camel races! Camels were originally brought here in the 1800s from the Canary Islands to move goods, kind of like early Americans using oxen. 
To get to this camel farm, we drove down the Stuart Highway, famous in the country named after an adventurer named Stuart who vowed discover the Northern Coast and territory from Adelaide. Hence, the Stuart Highway runs from Adelaide all the way up to Darwin. Wow! That's nearly 3,000miles and it took him 6 times to accomplish this major feat because of reasons such as aboriginal threats, dangerous conditions, etc. He was a smart and somewhat safe traveller, and never had a death on his trips. And it's not like he had train or car, and the reason for the ventures was to map out the region in order to build the telegraph system in the country. 
We've stopped at a couple places on our way to Ulara, which is where Uluru is- Ayers Rock! Ulara has about 3000 people total, almost all who work in hotels to accommodate the many visitors to the National Park! We passed a rocked that I was convinced was Ayers Rock and low and behold it's nickname was "Fuluru"' a private mountain owned by a cattle rancher who has a ranch the size of Belgium. 
We made it to our camp ground right outside the park. Uluru and Kata Tjuta rocks are in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. It is run by Parks Australia and the Anangu (the aboriginal people in this region). It is said that there are 250 different tribal regions that spread throughout the country, each with their own language and ritual. They urge the public not to climb the Uluru due to respect of the Anangu people. We stopped to eat lunch at our campsite, which had tents, a fire pit, and outdoor kitchen/eating area. And let me tll you, the flies here are worse than the mosquitos on a hot, muggy evening in the middle of Florida. NASTY.
We left there to check in at the park, a double World Heritage Site- the only park in the world to have such. Wow!! Want a wow factor?nits in the middle of nowhere. Seeing these two massive rocks towering above when all else is completely flat is a little mind-boggling.  It's certainly something you have to see. Beautiful from a far, even more amazing up close! Today we did the valley of the Winds Tour and hiked around and part of the Kata-Tjuta rock. It was about 6miles or so, some parts pretty steep, but definitely worth the views and  being part of the magnificent place. Many pics later, we went to Uluru to watch the sunset. WOW on both parts, the Uluru, and the Kata-Tjuta on the other side. We took so many pictures. Belle and Ray, our guides had champagne for us and we toasted our wonderful day. I was dog-tired and could have gone to sleep on the pavement, but I'm glad I made it through! 
We had an Aussi BBQ tonight for dinner: kangaroo (yum), camel sausage (yum), and beef with cheesy potatoes. It was delicious. We talked about sleeping in our Swags under the stars.. I can't wait for this! All by the fire, after singing songs along with the guitar played by Ray (who sang his own song) and Belle, we soon will be sound asleep. I feel like I'm running on 0% energy. I started my delirious talk/laughing so they already know me pretty well ;) 
It's been a truly incredible day-- seeing kangaroos, riding camels, Uluru, Kata-Tjuta and an Aussie BBQ. I really like our group, and wish that everyone were staying for the 11 days. Most are just here for the 3 Uluru. 
As the Anangu would say, "Payla! " 
Tomorrow morning we wake up at 5am and that's going to be...
AWESOME! W'll be off to see the sunrise at the Uluru :)

Tags: aussi bbq, flies, jet lagged, kata tjuta, outback, swag, tired, uluru

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