After a great day exploring Uluru, we were ready to adventure further afield. About 50km in the distance, still in the same National Park is Kata Tjuta – the Olgas. This literally means ‘many heads’ and that is exactly what they look like – similar kind of rock to Uluru, just a few more of them rising out of the desert sand like smooth rock waves…
Again we arose before dawn and drove out to the sunrise viewing platform. It was hard to know which way to look, as the sun was rising up behind Uluru, but at the same time as Kata Tjuta was lighting up behind us, showing all their magnificent colours as well.
There weren’t as many people at Kata Tjuta, which was good! The sunrise was incredible, in fact a much better view here than it was from the Uluru viewing spots.
As soon as it was light we headed a bit further up the road to the Valley of the Winds for a hike. The guide book said it was a ‘Grade 4 – Difficult’ walk, so we were keen to get going before it got too hot. at 7am it was still nice and cool when we set off.
There are far fewer people at Kata Tjuta and the track wasn’t as well formed as the ones at Uluru. There weren’t any signboards explaining the significance of the area like there was at Uluru either, however we knew that this too was a very spiritual place for the Aboriginal people and it is easy to see why. The stunning sheer rock formations shoot straight up from the sandy desert floor. The track had us ambling between the ‘many heads’ and deep in to the Valley of the Winds. Sailors like wind – so I reckoned I was going to like this walk.
Despite the track notices saying it was ‘grade 4 – difficult’ and all sorts of other warning signs out there, still we saw tourists in big groups, chatting loudly, playing music, dressed in short skirts, sandals and carrying a plastic supermarket bag – which hopefully contained some water, attempting the hike. I was still grumpy having to share this beautiful place with lots of other people… anyway we let them go past so we could enjoy the peacefulness of this stunning place on our own.
The walk itself actually wasn’t that hard at all. We gradually climbed up through the valley, in to a huge basin between the rocks. It was like an oasis with more water pools and lush green trees with birds swooping overhead. The track was rocky so we skipped over the boulders and eventually made it up to the saddle with a spectacular view of the small basin we had walked through and out over the plains beyond.
I swear a dinosaur could have walked past right then and I would not have been in the least bit surprised! (and yes there were lots of flies…)
After the climb up to the saddle, the rest of the walk was supposed to be the easy bit, but with the sun now out in full force, the temperature was rising, and there was no shade on the track. We guzzled down the litres of water we had brought with us and carried on. This track would be classed as easy or moderate in other places, but I think it was the heat that made it difficult.
We did the 7km track in just over 3 hours – again with lots of stops along the way. The sun was absolutely blazing, and by the time we got back to the car I thought I was going to melt!
Time to head back to the pool for lunch, beers and a snooze…
We didn’t do sunset that night, doing dinner instead at the hotel restaurant. A bit of barramundi this time – an Australian fish. And good it was too.
The next day it was time to head home. Back to reality and work and stuff like that… the end of another great adventure.
Read my travel tips here… (post to come)