Uluru (Ayers Rock) Australia
Our story is in the land … it is written in those sacred places … My children will look after those places, That’s the law” Bill Neidji, Kakadu elder.
The thing about Uluru (Ayers Rock with the respectful Aborigine name) is that it is nothing like you expected it to be and it is everything you expect it to be. It is not as red as it looks in the photos but the colors change constantly. You are advised to take photos every few minutes at sunrise and sunset. They say that we will see the difference on the computer. I was there at those times. It is never the same rock twice.
Uluru is 1150 feet high, a mile and a half long and five and a half miles around. It is one of the world’s largest monoliths and a symbol of Australia. The Rock is located in Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park , 440 km southwest from Alice Springs in the Northern Territories. Uluru is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
It is definitely biting fly season. I tried not wearing the net but finally gave in when they started flying in my mouth and nose. (you have no idea how many flies were just sitting on that net)
My first visit to the rock was the Sunset Tour with an Australian Tour Company. I shared this experience with people from the Southern Hemisphere . I pointed things out to them and they pointed them out to me . This shared undertaking was oddly spiritual.
Aborigine women were selling paintings. I had not brought any money with me but wanted to buy a painting. I kept saying that I had no money. She kept dropping the price. We were down to half of what she started with. The driver/guide who I had met five minutes ago, was talking to me about it. He said that he would have lent me the money but he only had twenty dollars. A few minutes later he came back with eighty dollars which he had borrowed from different drivers and tour guides. I was amazed. “How do you know that I will pay you back?”, I asked. ” Uluru is a spiritual place and I know people. You will pay me back.”, he answered. He dropped me off at my hotel in Yulara and said he would be back after he had dropped other people off . He drove off. “Nice meeting you,” I joked. I returned with money anxious to know more about a person who would do this. The painting will always remind me of Uluru and I will always remember that people can surprise you. Magical things happen at that big rock.
For the Aborigines, the rock is sacred and was used in religious ceremonies. In fact, there are parts of it that can’t be photographed.
The next morning we watched the sun rise.
We take a walk around the rock.
We see cave drawings and hear stories of the Dreamtime of the oldest people. They believed Uluru was created at the beginning of time by the ancestors of their people. (the yellow pear drawing is the print you make in the sand when you sit)
The cave drawings tell their stories.
The ancestors traveled the earth changing from animal to human form .When some important event happened the energy went into the ground and created a sacred place. It is believed that several ancestors passed through Uluru and some are still there.
Land is very important to the culture of the Aborigines. Many of their significant sites, like Uluru focus on their connection to land. (heart imprint in the rock)
There is a part of Uluru that you can climb on but the Aborigines do not like people climbing on their rock. They call them minga which means ants.
This is not me.
There are many tourists from many countries at Uluru. People came for different reasons but once you are there you know it is a place that you were supposed to see in your lifetime.