Leaving Coober Peedy we drove north into the Northern Territory and headed for the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. In other parts of the world you can drive through a few countries by the time you have driven as many kilometers as we have, so crossing the state border felt like a massive achievement.
Spectacular! is the only way to describe Uluru.
One of those places that you can see hundreds of images of but it is only when you are standing before it do you feel its enormity and spiritual significance. Surprisingly for us, the surrounding desert was not has harsh as we had expected and was full of life, water and food (as we learned in the Cultural Centre). It was great to learn that the Anangu people have been given the title to their land and are working with the park rangers to care for and preserve the land using traditional methods. It seemed to be a genuine collaboration that was benifiting both the Anangu people as well as the thousands of tourists that come to visit each year.
We first saw Uluru from afar, at sunset and sunrise (and enjoyed a delicious pancake breakfast – thanks to Boaz!) and then spent an afternoon walking around the 10.5km base of Uluru. Being up close we visited a number of waterholes, saw traditional drawings and interesting formations carved out in the rock after thousands of years of erosion and exposure to the elements. We read about the yjukurpa (creation stories) of Uluru and were humbled to learn that the stories that we were being told were the equivalent of children’s tales, and that there were richer and deeper meanings to be learned as one grew older, but were not for us to know.