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The Magic of Uluru
Also known as Ayers Rock, Uluru is an international icon. One of those natural wonders everyone should see once in their lives. Located smack dab in the center of the Australian continent this sacred sandstone monolith towers over the flat, desolate landscape around it. In the words of a nearby tourist upon seeing Uluru for the first time “that’s one big rock.”
Uluru aka Ayers Rock
I hopped into the driver’s seat of my rental car and headed for roads unknown. Windows down the blistering heat whipped through my hair sending shivers of excitement down my spine. How glorious it felt to be out of a city and celebrating the desolation of the outback. Uluru is surrounded by desert; a place that at first appears devoid of life but is richly bio-diverse upon closer inspection. It had to be, humans have been living as nomads around Uluru for 50,000 years.
My first reaction, upon getting close to Uluru, was: I want to climb that! It’s just in my blood to pick a point and fight my way there. I tightened my laces and sprang towards the base of Uluru. It turned out hiking was closed due to high temperatures; the I park closes the climb often because of adverse weather. I opted instead to hike around the massive stone. I walked out my disappointment during the 11km hike.
The Vibrant Colors of the Outback Blew me Away
The more time I spent at Uluru the more I understood the sanctity of it. Hiking the monolith would be like climbing all over the ka’bah or rock climbing the Vatican. The aboriginal people are in the process of closing the hike permanently.
In the evening I ventured back to the famous sunset vantage point at Uluru. I pulled my economical rental car into a space and climbed on the roof to take it all in. To my right a family had set up a row of folding chairs and leggy tripods to relax and film the event. To my left another family had gone all out; setting up a table complete with tablecloth, champagne, champagne flutes and finger food. The deep indigo hues of sunset gradually enveloped the sky.
Dark clouds to the west were building momentum and I hoped for rain. Strange thing to request while watching a sunset I know. But I’d been told about the magic that happens at Uluru the few times a year when it rains.
The drops came suddenly. Big drops that threaten to drench you within moments. I jumped in my car and zoomed down to the base of Uluru. My windshield wipers working on overtime as I watched the scene unfold before me. Due to the vertical ridges of Uluru, rainwater collects and forms dozens of waterfalls that appear to spring from the rock. It was incredible witnessing the waterfalls grow and fade in unison.
I was incredibly fortunate, one local told me later. This beautiful sight only occurs a couple times a year. I felt very lucky to have witnessed the magic of Uluru.