photo blog_head_zpsonl8fonu.jpg
Meesa gonna kill you!

Get email updates of new posts:        (Delivered by FeedBurner)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Australia 2011 - Day 4, Part 2 - Ayer's Rock (Uluru)

"With most men, unbelief in one thing springs from blind belief in another." - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

***

Australia 2011
Day 4 - 1st August - Ayer's Rock (Uluru)
(Part 2)

Finally we reached Yulara, an artificial town near Uluru created for administrative reasons.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Outback Pioneer Hotel + Lodge - our lodging

We asked the guy at the counter what the best strategy for viewing the sunset was, and he asked if we had a car. What, he thought we were going to walk?!

Then we drove to Ayer's Rock.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Sign at entrance

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
In the distance

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Getting closer

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
"Watch for wildlife" (Gecko Edition)
There was a series of these signs. I didn't manage to get snaps of all of them, unfortunately.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
More gratuitous shots. As you can tell, I wasn't driving at this time.


Drive by Ayer's Rock

They gave us a handout about not climbing Ayer's Rock:

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Notice the nonsense about it being dangerous that they bandy about. "Over 35 people have died while attempting it".

When you consider that more than 100,000 climb it every year, and that 36 people have died climbing it since 1958, that's pretty pathetic.

Making the generous assumption (the climb rate has decreased over the years) that a million people have climbed Ayer's Rock and only 36 people have died, we get a mortality rate of 3.6 x 10^-5, or one in 28,000.

Here are some activities which are more dangerous than climbing Ayer's Rock (Source: National Safety Council):

- Exposure to excessive natural heat (1/12,517)
- Exposure to electric current, radiation, temperature, and pressure (1/9,943)
- Air and space transport accidents (1/7,032)
- Firearms discharge (1/6,309)
- Exposure to smoke, fire and flames (1/1,177)
- Accidental drowning and submersion (1/1,123)
- Being a motorcycle rider (1/770)
- Being a pedestrian (1/649)
- Assault by firearm (1/306)
- Riding in a car (1/303)

The visitors' centre said that they feel sad when people get hurt or die when climbing it, but the only reason that they don't want you to climb it, of course, is that it is sacred to them. Anyhow, the main reason not to climb it is that it is damn xiong, and unlike other xiong hikes, there isn't much space to rest and recuperate when you're tired.

If you're wondering why the aborigines don't just ban people from climbing the rock (it is their land, after all) the answer is simple: the government only gave them the land on condition that people continue to be allowed to climb it!

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
The visitors' centre is in the middle ground.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

The visitors' centre mentioned that there were women's and men's sacred sites (structural violence!). And that there were some aspects of their law that they couldn't share with outsiders: I hope they wrote them down somewhere, or they might very well disappear one day. The information inside was in English, German, Italian, French and Japanese - impressive.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
3 red cars. The facial recognition thought 2 of the wheels were faces. FAIL!

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us


Long side of Ayer's Rock

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Side view. You can see that there are a lot of holes in the rock, a fact which doesn't strike you in all the classic shots

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us


Drive around Ayer's Rock

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
In the sun

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
There was a sign: "No stopping anytime", so we just went veeeeeeeeeeeeeery slowly.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Route up

We then went to the sunset viewing point. Apparently the bus viewing point was better than the one for cars. Ah well.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Start of sunset

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Viewing the sunset on top of cars. I wondered if I'd damage the car if I sat on its roof.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Leftovers from a picnic. I thought alcohol was not kosher here.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
"ATTENTION ASSHOLE 8th commandment 'thou shalt not steal' God is watching you you thieving bastard. It's a wicked culture, you'll be cursed by it"
The whole van was very... decorated. Wicked Campers has character. They also have a special offer for pot smokers and gays (cannabis is illegal in Australia, so I don't know how that works).

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Group chillin' with wine and cheese

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Next to Australians, the French were the most represented nationality. This was because it was August - the month of vacations. Then again perhaps there were hordes of PRCs at the tour bus spot.

As most people had scooted by then, we also left (the last photo was taken at 6:33pm). In the last 15 minutes, everyone had filed out. It was quite probable that everyone was in rented cars, so we should all have been under the same conditions - no driving from dusk to dawn in the Northern Territory.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
These were taken at 6:44pm. In the background should be Kata Tjuta (more of that in the next day).

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Abstract art efforts

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
The shadow of sunset

Our dinner options were a little limited. There was a A$54 buffet option, or a grill-your-own-meat 'restaurant' (with $10+ for one meat and the buffet salad bar and $27+ for a sampler with Emu, Crocodile, Beef and Kangaroo). We went to a burger/wrap/pizza kiosk which cost A$10-14.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Here you can literally draw the short straw

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Menu

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
My kangaroo wrap. Kangaroo has a very bland taste and a beefy texture.
I meant to order the combo but we got the order wrong. Fries alone were >$4 so it was worth it.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
The shuttle bus stops only for 30 minutes. Very good.

We then headed to an attraction which was rated as #12 of 20 things to do in Yulara - Yulara IGA Supermarket.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
No paint for you

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Korean Kimchi
There were many 4kg bags. I theorise that Korean tour groups call here often.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Tons of bread (there was another rack behind me). There was a lot of bread from the previous day.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
This is really marked down. I tried it and saw why - the bush honey and vanilla was not sweet (and I tasted neither - maybe the cultures had consumed all the sugar and flavour). No wonder it was marked down so much.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
What's the difference between Singapore and Hokkien noodles?

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Vegemite in tubes (to squeeze on people's faces), Marmite ("the original"), and a pirated version of vegemite.
The pirated one isn't much cheaper. They tell you the price per 100g. That's great.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Honeycomb!

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Yet another exhibit in my "Bad Australian English" series
So much for it being their First Language

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
"Do not buy glue for other people unless you are certain it will not be used for sniffing"

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
The REAL Grinning Gecko

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Amusing circular on bugs: "Most insects and animals do not present any danger to our guests, however if you come across any centipedes, please do not attempt to remove them yourself and call reception immediately"

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Some performance at the hotel


I wonder what the racial hierarchy (of perceived/actual discrimination) in Australia is like. Aborigines are probably at the bottom, but after them do we have black people or East Asians?

A lot of places in Australia (or the Northern Territory, at least) had credit card surcharges. Apparently there was no credit card culture there.

My rule about local soft drinks not tasting very nice (and so staying local) held: Lift tastes like the kick has been lifted from it and is a very hollow drink.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Latest posts (which you might not see on this page)

powered by Blogger | WordPress by Newwpthemes