Alice Springs and Uluru
Alice Springs and Uluru
We landed in Alice Springs after a two hour flight from Adelaide. Our rental car was a Mitsubishi Magna. I insisted on getting a car with unlimited miles because some of the rental car carriers try to limit your mileage. With the distances needed to travel in the Outback, the extra miles add up. Avis tried to rent a car to me with a 900 Kilometer allotment, which wouldn’t have even returned us to the airport from Uluru! I ended up with Europcar, but even then I still had to insist that I wouldn’t rent the car unless they gave me unlimited miles!
The Stuart Highway is the main north-south road linking Adelaide with Darwin and is about 3000 kilometers of road. Had we decided to drive to Alice Spring we would have driven 1500 km to reach the middle of Australia. Flying was a much better option, even though there was still quite a bit of driving once we landed. From Alice Springs, it is still a 5 hour drive to Uluru, the main attraction of the “Red Center.”
The five hour drive wasn’t too bad in the air conditioned comfort of a modern automobile. It was over a 100 degrees F. and whenever I got out of the car, the heat hit me in the face like the blast from an oven. Trying to imagine crossing these areas on foot like the Aborigines was unimaginable.
There is only one place to stay that is close to Uluru and that is the Ayers Rock Resort. There are many choices in accommodations, but since it is all owned by the same people, all the prices are high, even the campground is expensive. There unfortunately is really no choice if you want to stay near the big red rock. We chose to stay at an air conditioned cabin that cost half as much as the hotel rooms but was still twice as expensive as than what we would normally pay, and the bathrooms were communal!
After we checked in late in the afternoon, we set out for Uluru. It was still a 20 minute drive to the base of the rock. Whenever I read about Uluru, people always speak about the color changes of the rock, but I have never seen comparative photos. As I began shooting the great Sandstone monolith, the color changes happened within minutes.
There was a little bit of haze when we first arrived. I don’t think it was humidity, as it was very dry and hot. Actually, I think it was from wind blown dust.
As the sunset approached, some low clouds cleared and the rock lightened.
Once the setting sun came out from behind the clouds, it cast magenta shadows across its face.
As the sun set, and the moon rose over the monolith, the hard sandstone looked more like soft curtains.
Remember this photo I took a couple of months ago? The same moon rising over two Australian Icons.
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