As we head south on the Stuart Highway out of Alice Springs a realization hits us: we are really in the middle of nowhere. The "big city" fades into a brilliant burst of vibrant colors. The deep green of the fauna, the glowing yellow of the brush, the brilliant red of the dirt, and the otherworldly blue of the sky tease your eyes. Indeed, I have never seen colors quite so bright before.
In under an hour there is no sign of civilization save for the highway we're driving on. It's nearly 400km to Uluru and the only stops between here and there are the roadhouse town of Erldunda and two working cattle stations that also sell gas - Mount Ebenezer and Castle Springs. There is no cell service, the radio only tunes in to static, and the last car we saw passed going the other direction about an hour ago. This is really the middle of nowhere.
Slowly but surely the kilometers tick away and we get closer and closer to Uluru. As is true with any wonder of the world there is always the fear that the build up may in fact ruin the actual site itself. Fortunately after driving four hours through the flattest country outside of Nebraska, the site of a 10 square kilometer, 1000 foot tall giant red monolith both wowed and amazed us.
When I say there is NOTHING else around, I mean there is NOTHING else around. Save for a hotel, a cultural center, and another rock formation (all at least 40 kilometers from "the rock") there is NOTHING but red dirt, yellow brush, green trees, and blue sky. How red, you ask? As red as these unedited photos.
We drove around it, we walked right up to it, and we learned as much as we could about it. What we did not do is climb it. Why? Because it is the most holy site in Aboriginal history, culture, and religion they have asked people not to climb it. Despite this very clear, very real, and very understandable reasoning there was still an army of wayward tourists who thought the rock was their play thing. An aboriginal guide said the easiest comparison for Christianity would be if people went to the site of the crucifixion of Christ and peed. I don't really feel like we should be peeing on anyone's holy sites, do you? On that note we heckled some climbers, took some photos of aboriginals, and broke a piece of the rock off to take home with us.
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Location:Middle of Australia