Rebecca: The Outback
Ok, so here is my long awaited entry. I'm sorry I haven't written anything yet, I am keeping a journal though so I can share that with all of you when I get home. So the outback. Well, it's hot. And dusty. And hot. And did I mention hot? No, but it really wasn't all that bad (despite what other members of my family might lead you to believe). When my dad first said we were camping in the outback, I immediately thought we were going to die and be stranded in the middle of the desert and I would never get to go to Brandeis. It was very traumatic. So we get picked up by the Connections tour bus, and immediately my fears begin to slightly subside. Our tour guides, Mark and Rowen, were really nice and friendly, and the people on the bus already were also very nice. We drove along, picking up more people (there were about 19 of us...mostly from Germany and England-my family were the only Americans) and then we headed to the outback. On the way to the campsite, we stopped at a camel farm and I rode a camel for about five minutes around this little corall. Not that exciting, but whatever. Then we got back on the bus and we went to Mt. Ebonezer, which to be honest, didn't really consist of a mountain. It was mostly just a bunch of sand dunes and a road house with a place to buy drinks and food. The scenery on the way to the campsite was really not that exciting, there wasn't much to see. Lots of red dust and even more random shrubs and bushes that looked as though they were desperate for water. We arrived at the campsite, which was actually pretty nice, there were showers and a clean bathroom and the tents were fine. The people we were with were awesome, there were mostly young couples on thier honeymoon, which was adorable, and everyone was just so sweet. We unpacked our stuff and had dinner, which was sausages and steak (i didn't eat the sausages, they told me they were kangaroo sausages and I didn't want to eat it, it wasn't until later that I figured out they were kidding). Then we went to bed, we were all so exhausted from getting up really early to catch the bus that we just crashed. It was really hot in the tents, but I was so tired that I immediately fell asleep. Only to be woken up at a painfully early 4 am to head to Uluru or Ayers Rock. We staggered out of our tents, sluggishly swallowed some toast, and then headed off. As we approached the rock, my fatigue seemed to slip away as I marveled at the sight before me. It was an enormous red rock, that stood out like a beacon of hope and spirituality among the bleak desert landscape. We walked around the rock and went to an Aborignal cultural center to learn more about thier culture and beliefs. The rock is a very sacred site to the aboriginies, almost like the Jewish version of the kotel. It was really hot, and the flies were buzzing around my face, but all that didn't really seem to matter, because the sight before me was so magnificent. We got back on the bus and went to the Olgas, another sacred Aborignal site. It wasn't quite as interesting as Uluru, but it was very pretty. The next day, we were woken up at four am again to head to Kings Creek Station, another campsite. This one had a pool..which was very exciting. We hung out around there during the afternoon...and then I went to go take a cold shower. Or so I thought. I go to the bathroom and am so looking forward to the cool water rushing down my skin but when I turn on the cold, it comes out warm. I thought maybe I was mistaken, but nope. Even the cold water is hot. Very disappointing. We had dinner, and then we went to bed again, but this time it was not as easy to fall asleep. it was even hotter, and I had a very hard time finding a comfortable position. I finally managed to fall into something resembling sleep and woke up what I thought was a long time later. I looked at my watch, and only an hour had passed. Needless to say, it was a long night. We woke up at 4 am again the next morning, and went to Kings Canyon. It was beautiful, we climbed to the top and walked around, learning about the plants and the landscape from our very knowledgeable guide. We headed back to camp for lunch, and then we drove back to Alice Springs. It was a great trip, the people were awesome, (I even learned some british slang from one of the people from England) and the scenery was beautiful. It was hot, and there were lots of flies, but that didn't seem to matter that much in the end.