Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Alice Springs, Australia--Day 60

Today we were woken up by Brendan at 4:30 in the morning, which of course is way too early for anyone to get up. I surprised myself, however, and didn’t really feel that tired (or as tired as I should have been!). We packed up our swags and had breakfast and were on the road by 5:30am and heading off to catch the sunrise over Uluru and Kata Tjuta (another really neat rock formation) at a viewing spot that was far away from the other tourists, which turned out to be really great since we basically had the whole viewing area to ourselves to watch the sunrise, with other people only showing up after the sun had risen. After taking a ridiculous amount of pictures, we then got back into our landrover and headed over to Kata Tjuta where we started out on a four hour walk which was also really great. We were practically the only people there as well and I really couldn’t get enough of the contrasts between the blue sky and green trees with white trunks, as well as the red dirt everywhere. It was really beautiful and I was surprised to see so much vegetation in the Outback. After four hours of walking and talking, as well as the occasional factoid from Brendan, we climbed back into our landrover and headed to a spot to have lunch which gave several neat outlooks over to Uluru and Kata Tjuta as well as many, many flies. They were so bad that I had to eat my lunch under my fly net, with one hand holding the net sort of shut around my face and the other holding my sandwich under my net. Anyways, they were really bad.

Tonight we were to sleep more in the bush and away from all of the other campsites. Our camp was a proper bush camp (with a shower and everything!) and after surveying our surroundings we got back into our landrover and Brendan dropped us off at the main campground’s swimming pool for a nice afternoon dip.

Things were going just great- most of us got into the pool and had a great time swimming around practicing synchronized swimming (obviously the thing to do!) and having a great laugh about everything. A few of us decided to jump into the showers that were near the pool which later turned out to be a big mess since apparently we were not technically allowed to use these facilities, and were only supposed to use our bush shower.

I won’t go into too much detail but basically it turned into a sort of fight between our guide and a few of us and was really just one big misunderstanding since we were never told not to use them (we were paying to use the pool and we weren’t allowed to use the facilities for the pool??). Anyways, after picking us up Brendan was quite mad at us which made for a very awkward situation afterwards while dinner was being prepared. It was like we were all back in the third grade or something and extremely weird since we were all supposed to be having a good time. Anyways, while Brendan made dinner the rest of us watched the sunset and came back to have dinner, only to have Brendan refuse to eat with us. Whatever.

That night we all sat around the campfire and Brendan finally came out of hiding after a while, bringing with him a didgeridoo for us all to try out and I have to say that I could make a couple of notes out which weren’t too unrecognizable. It was fun but the whole atmosphere was still weird and uncomfortable and we all went to bed wondering what would happen in the morning! Brendan was convinced that he was “going to lose his job over this” and the rest of us couldn’t believe how much he was overreacting.

(c) 2004 Sarah Galbraith. All Rights Reserved.