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CENTRAL AUSTRALIA



Jumping on a Toyota Land Cruiser before dawn in Alice Springs, the nine tourist head for the south. Don, the guide for this tour, began to introduce himself and our 3-day adventure started. This outback tour mainly consists of walking and bush camping around Uluru National Park. We went to Ayers Rock (Uluru), Mt. Olga (Katatjuta), Kings Canyon, and enjoyed walking under the intense sunlight. At night we slept under the stars with swags (big sleeping bag for sleeping without tent) after dinner. I had not seen the milky way such clearly before then. I stayed up late and was looking up at it for a long time.....
This tour was the hardest and the most excited event for me.

(R) At Kings Canyon. They couldn't help lying down because there is a precipitous sheer cliff under their eyes


Sunset (L) and sunrise (R) at the camp site in Uluru National Park





Of course Uluru (Ayers Rock) is the highlight in Central Australia, isn't it? At first I was not very interested in this popular huge rock. I had expected it was just a sightseeing spot. But as I saw it actually, I had to change my prejudice. It looked like a huge god that sticks to the ground with mysterious gravitation. I understood it has been a sacred place for Aborigines since ancient days. Being afraid of god's punishment, we climbed such a holy rock. And we managed to reach the top after 1-hour straggle. Uluru is 348m height ground level (867m above sea level). But it is only a part of the whole rock and most part is under the ground.




(L) An open landscape from the top of Uluru. We look around the dry earth of Central Australia
(R) Uluru with a short distance



The beginning one-third is the hardest for climbing Uluru. Some people have died here (most of the victims are said to die for heart attack or heatstroke, not slipping).



Katatju‚”a (Mt.Olga). This consists of more than 30 rocks.





The participants of the tour. The tall man on the right is our guide, Don.



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