To celebrate my 40th birthday my sweet husband took me to see a BIG rock. Sounds good to this rock hound!
The whole family got up at 5am to meet the tour bus at 6am for our grand adventure. It was still dark when we got on the bus. This picture was taken at the roadhouse about halfway down the road to Uluru. We can highly, HIGHLY, recommend this tour company. They were great!!
True to the tour company name, we got to see some Emus at that roadhouse. Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of an Emu's eye through a chain link fence? If you do, you know how chuffed I am with this photo! Look at me, sounding all Aussie!
When we got to Uluru, after a pit stop at the visitor center in the little town, we headed for the other big rocks there, Kata Tjuta, or the Olgas. Did you know that this outcrop of rocks is actually bigger and more varied than Uluru? We were only allowed access to one spot around them, since most of the area is used for ceremony by the aboriginal owners. We got to hike a short trail in between the first and second domes, from the right. I was totally geeking out over the cool conglomerate structure of the rock.
Then it was on to the cultural center at the base of Uluru, where we could learn about Uluru from the indigenous perspective, and a little about their culture. It was fascinating and convinced C and I not to attempt to climb the rock, which we had planned to do. The tribes feel very strongly about us not climbing it, and after getting a look at the very steep and precarious trail up to the top, we opted to skip the climb.
So, instead we stayed with the group and got to do several walks at spots along the base, and hear the stories of the creation of the features of the rock, both geological and aboriginal. The girls loved the stories and finding the pictures in the rocks that went with them.
This is taken from inside a cave, at the base. There are paintings on the cave walls and if you look closely you can see the Emu tracks painted on the upper point above.
One of the walks took us to a waterhole. It was so lush and green and peaceful, I could have sat and soaked it up if we had had more time. But by then it was getting on in the day and the grand finale was calling.
So, off we went to our champagne dinner while watching the sun set on Uluru. It was yummy and fun and a great way to top off our day.
This shot was taken just as the sun was going down behind me.
And this is how we celebrated 15 years of marriage!