Our third and final day of our camping extravaganza took us to King's Canyon, which was the big unknown of this trip for us. We had never even heard of it, but we think it was the best place we went to. Uluru may get all the press for its importance to Aboriginal culture, and for being an amazingly big rock, however King's Canyon was just amazing. Greg thinks it was the best hike he's ever been on.
We started our day, once again, at 4am. After eating a hearty breakfast, we hightailed it to the canyon so we could watch the sunrise. Needless to say, it was gorgeous.
The only problem was that in order to get up to that ridge to watch the sunrise we had to climb "Heart Attack Hill." Heart Attack Rock Staircase would have been more accurate. We did not count steps, it would have been too discouraging. Here's Greg at the top, admiring the view. Totally worth it.
Laurel and Olivia, taking a well earned rest.
After some time to rest and enjoy the sunrise we started the trek through the canyon. This was a typical Aussie bush hike. There's no real "trail" or "guide signs," you just kind of walk the path that seems most logical.
A lot of the rock formations have names. This is "the Camel."
We had a great hike through, around, and over-top the canyon. Here's an assortment of the pictures we took.
After we hiked for about an hour we came around a corner and could see the opposite face of the canyon, a sheer wall. Pretty impressive. Fun rock facts- The white portions of the rock are limestone. The black portions of the rock are oxidized iron.
Looking down is the small pool at the base of the canyon that's a great swimming spot, even if the water was freezing.
About half the group though was undeterred, Greg being one of them. I mean, when are you ever going to have the chance to do this ever again. Brrrrrrrrrr, refreshing! Can you find him in the picture? Hint, look for the beard!
A couple more landscapes for you. Australia, you are a beautiful country.
On the way back, our Tour Guide, Carmen, gave us a lesson in Aboriginal pictograph writing. Below is the summary of our trip. The three concentric circles represent important places. The writing is all very vague, and does not give a lot of specifics in terms of names, places, or dates; instead relying on context and the reader's own knowledge to fill in the gaps.
We're back! We went on a three day camping trip to the Outback and didn't die! We're quite proud of ourselves.
All in all, this was just a fantastic trip. We highly recommend www.therocktour.com.au to anyone who wants to see Uluru and the surrounding areas. We had a great time, the guide was a lot of fun, and best of all, it was about an eighth of the price of flying directly to Uluru and staying at the hotels there. Plus, this was a way better, more authentic outback experience.