This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

1999 Travels June 6

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When we woke, it was still raining, quite strongly. At intervals, through the night, had woken and heard the steady rain on the pop top roof. But inside the van was dry and snug.

I would expect lots of desert wild flowers to bloom in the next few weeks, after this soaking. There is much red mud in the caravan park. It has made the floors in the amenities areas really messy. It is quite cold, too, like a Melbourne winter day.

Visitors who have only scheduled a day or two here are not going to see Ayers Rock the way they expected it to look!

06-06-1999 cloud on Rock.jpg

Cloud sitting on the top of Ayers Rock

After breakfast, we drove out to the Rock, and drove around it, on the circuit road. We were looking to spot places where water was flowing down the Rock. Found some on the southern side – lots of little streams and small falls. We walked for a short while, and took photos – and got wet feet.

06-06-1999 streams on the rock.jpg

A chain of water holes down the face of Ayers Rock


06-06-1999 Rock feature in wet

Caves, and a little stream on the Ayers Rock surface

The Rock today is rather like it was when I first saw it – there was even some cloud drifting across the top. Ten years ago, I was in Alice Springs for meetings to do with work, and my boss organized a day trip tour for me, to Ayers Rock. It was raining there, and the top of the Rock was obscured in cloud. But a bus took us out for a close-up view. It was my first trip in a small plane. After we took off from Yulara to return, the pilot decided to try to give us a closer, low  aerial view of the Rock. I shall never forget him peering through the windscreen, saying “There’s another small plane up here, somewhere.” I was thinking never mind that, there’s also a bloody big rock in those clouds somewhere! Flying over the rugged ranges between Yulara and Alice Springs was awe inspiring.

I think we are most fortunate to have seen the Rock in all moods, in this way.

06-06-1999 mist on rock top.jpg

Streams flowing down the Rock face – and a sheltered section that looks like a big wound on its side!

We got back to the van mid-afternoon. Read the papers some more. John watched football on TV. He drank the last of the beer – and it is expensive to replenish, here.

I made a batch of kumara soup and we had some of that for tea, then pasta and a tomato sauce, and yoghurt.

We both had a reasonably early night.

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