Sunday Morning, December 8, 2002, Rose Allen (17 days to my birthday)
An early start this morning, packed and away before seven. Howard was even earlier to see the sunrise and climb Ayerís Rock. We saw just how steep it was last evening and Howard is used to rock climbing. A beautiful clear morning to walk around the "Rock". Unfortunately the wind was strong by the rock and the climb cancelled so Howard was waiting for us. We started off with Miles as guide. David R. and Becky returned with Miles to the bus. We came upon a huge lizard crossing the track. Debbie almost tripped over it! It hung around for a good view. It was the Perentie (Varanus giganteus) lizard. There were many signs for no photos, but after awhile people became blind. Howard and Bill climbed little Ayerís Rock. It got hotter and hotter. Just in time met Miles, Becky and David to see the pool and a rock cave with paintings. Off to the culture centre for toilets and culture. Our wonderful eclipse trip is nearly over Ė so fast. Thanks to the organisers, Stuart and Dave for another great holiday.
Sunday Afternoon, December 8, 2002, Bill Allen
After a wonderful walk around the Rock we visited "Maggies Spring" a pool at the foot of rock where a major water course cascades down. This water was the only surface water available for 50 km. Bores now supply the area. After this we visited the Uluru Cultural Centre to view the various cultural exhibits. We then boarded the bus for photo stops around the Rock, including one of the southern flank of Uluru and the Olgas, 20 miles away. The photo was taken from an area where the old 1930 airport was situated. Outside temperature around 40 degrees C or 100 degrees F. After lunch at the Ebenzer Road House we headed off for Henbury Meteorite Craters. On the way we heard a great story on the outback about John Flynn. Miles our driver told how John Flynn mustered his supporters to set up the flying doctor service in 1928. John appears on the $20 note. The Royal Flying Doctor Service now covers all the outback with especially fitted out aeroplanes and modern communication. The walk to the Henbury Craters was most rewarding for all except for Becky who exclaimed "Is this aull it is!"* We saw 4 of the craters and walked around the rims. The largest was about 180 metres and 15 metres deep. It was a hot walk- 38C and the flies enjoyed our company.
*Mnemonic spelling for "this all".
On our last leg to Alice we saw a herd of young camel destined for some Arabs
cooking pot. Last night I had the opportunity of tasting camel and kangaroo. The
camel was a taste not unlike chicken, but more stringy. The kangaroo was a gamey
red meat and enjoyable. Iím looking forward to emu and goanna tonight in a
gecko egg batter lightly sprinkled with red sand and a tinny of XXXX. (*Beer in
Australian because they cannot spell "beer").