Thursday, 13 September 2018

Day 9–The Olga’s, Uluru and no bolts

Another 100km this morning and we reached the junction of the Great Central Road (this part is known as Docker River Road) and the Lasseter Highway.  Earlier we crossed from Western Australia to the Northern Territory and this also resulted in a time zone change where we had to advance our watches by 90 minutes. 
We’re also back on bitumen which meant stopping and adding air to the bottom of the tyres.  The Olgas had been visible on the horizon for the last 35km.  These rock formations are part of Kata Tjuṯa, also known as the Olgas, and are a group of large, domed rock formations or bornhardts located about 300 km southwest of Alice Springs, in the southern part of the Northern Territory, central Australia.
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The Olga’s
A map with red arrows (just for Pip on nb Oleanna)
The Olga's
We turned left at the road junction and then left again to reach the toilets.  Such a pleasure after days of squatting!  Then it was on to the car park where we left the 4x4 and trailer for a closer inspection of this interesting geographical feature.  I’d already researched and planned to complete the “Valley of the Winds” walk (blue route on map above).
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The ‘kiwis’ take in the scenery.
Some video footage for those readers who wish to use some of their data allowance.

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It’s a further 59km from The Olga’s to Uluru (Ayers Rock). Uluru is a sandstone monolith (one piece of rock) approximately 350 metres high.
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The rock is sacred to the local aboriginal people and visitor are encouraged not to climb it.  Despite this there are always a steady stream of people who do climb.  Wikipedia records that at least 36 people have died whilst climbing Uluru.
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The wind and infrequent rainfall have created some interesting erosion patterns
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A dark mark left by water
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Aboriginal rock drawings
After looking around Uluru we drove to the nearby town of Yulara to restock the fridge along with an unsuccessful attempt to buy replacement bolts.  By now our wire and duct tape had been used for more than 1000km and I was concerned it might fail.  Rather than continue on unsealed roads (and corrugations) to Alice Springs via Kings Canyon we decided to go directly to Alice Springs on the bitumen (450km).  We had obtained a mobile phone signal at Yulara and I phoned the Perth camper trailer hire company to report the problem with the shock absorbers and camber bolts.  They informed me replacement parts world be air freighted to Alice Springs.
As part of my trip planning I’d identified a potential “freedom campsite” with views of The Olga’s and Uluru just outside the national park boundary.  Freedom camping inside the national park is prohibited and the paid camping inside the park is very expensive.
My research proved to be correct and we managed to establish a campsite with the views I’d planned.  Dusk and dawn photos of The OIgas and Uluru.
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And dawn the following morning
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And now to Alice Springs

4 comments :

Pip and Mick said...

Thank you for the red arrows Tom.

Neil Corbett said...

Stunning pictures. Why are the Olgas not sacred to the aboriginal population, they look just as interesting? I read somewhere that walking up Uluru is to be banned in a couple of years time.
I think I would be a nervous wreck by now over those bolts!
Kath (nb Herbie)

Tom and Jan said...

:-)

Tom and Jan said...

Kath,

Most of the trails in the Olgas are closed to tourists as they are used by the local aboriginal community for sacred ceremonies. Some believe The Olgas are more interesting than Uluru but it's the latter that receives the most attention from the tourists.

I was watching the bolts (actually our temporary repair) every hour and was amazed the wire and tape held so well.