Today we will walk along Ayers Rock (also called Uluru) and find out what it’s all about. Therefore we booked a guided tour with somebody that knows a lot of the rock, its history and the people that used to live around it: the Aboriginal people. Since our tour guide does not speak English, we also have a translator.
There’s a cultural centre close to the rock that gives an overview of everything you possibly would like to know about the Aboriginal people that used to live here and the history of the struggle of these people with the government about ownership and use of the land around the rock. Very informative and it’s clear that there has been (and probably still is) a lot of emotion related to this place.
One subject is very visible. The Aboriginal people don’t want you to climb the rock. The information board by the rock states that you should not climb the rock, but the reason here is only the safety of the climbers. When you ask the people in the cultural centre or our guide there are far more reasons not to do so. But a lot of people want to take on this challenge. It’s a difficult climb and the views from up there must be magnificent. Well I did not climb the rock. If this place has special meaning to the Aborigines then let’s stay of it.
Our guide takes us to several cages alongside the rock. He explains about their use and history. At certain positions along this route, you will find signs prohibiting you from taking pictures of the rock. These places have special meaning and therefore you are not allowed to take pictures. All in all, it was a very informative walk and this thing is impressive. Here’s a small overview (have a look at the picture library for more pictures):
Tomorrow we will fly along the rock and we will also see the Olgas. The Olgas are rocks close to Uluru and we planned to see them as well. But since there was no way to get to both places in one day, we will have to do with a view from above. Since all other tours were full, we spend the afternoon at the pool. The weather was great and it’s also very nice to just relax a bit, do some shopping and have a beer.
Wednesday 25 March 2009