We got up at 4:30am, packed up our swags, had a little breakfast, and drove out to see the sun rise over Uluru and Kata Tjuta. It was a beautiful experience, and we stood there for about an hour or so just watching the change.
Our hike for the day was a 7.4km walk around Kata Tjuta, with quite a bit more learning about the geology of central australia, and some more sacred aboriginal sites. The hike took about 3 hours and even though we were finishing by 11am, it was incredibly hot and miserable by the time we were done. The end of the hike was hard for me, and I felt like I would never cool off or dry up.
Lunch was back at the campsite, mostly made by us with everyone helping to chop veggies and set up stations. We had make your own wraps with fresh veggies, and Ben cooked up some meat to go in it. We also helped wash up. One older gentleman commented he didn’t realize how much do-it-yourself was going to be involved in this trip. That’s how camping tends to be though.
We got on the road to head to our next campsite. Along the way we made a couple stops. The first was to collect firewood for that evening. The trees there are so incredibly dry it wasn’t hard to snap off large branches or find big pieces to collect, but they were also extremely hot to hold and carry. The second stop was to look at a salt lake and at Mount Connor. Unlike Uluru and Kata Tjuta which were sacred places to live and eat, Mount Connor is somewhere nobody would go. It was believed to be the site of an evil spirit who would cause the land to freeze over if it was angry. When we arrived to the next campsite we helped to work on dinner. Some people chopped vegetables or potatoes, I mixed up ingredients to make damper, a traditional bush bread.
We had some free time and some people went swimming at the camp’s pool. Dinner that night was a feast of salad, meats (cow, chicken, kangaroo, fake meat for me), potatoes, and damper bread. We set up our swags again and looked up at the stars and the milky way. The only downside to this night was the intense number of ants crawling all over us. Many people had trouble sleeping through the night this time and it was really very gross.