Arrived at Uluru and set up camp in the campground at Yulara. Then headed over to get a few supplies at the shop where we found out that the Dalai Lama was going to be giving a talk to local community and people staying here could also attend. We had planned to leave that day but when we found there were still a few tickets available we decided to grab some and change our plans. That’s one good thing about travelling with a pretty flexible itinerary! Often people will tell us of places that we should visit and we just head off that way next. That’s how we are doing our sightseeing between housesitting gigs. When we went to the campground office to extend our stay for an extra night they said they are heavily booked because the Dalai Lama is coming. We said we just got tickets and they told us we were lucky as they thought it was sold out. Then they said we didn’t need to pay any extra for our campsite as we had already paid for three nights and the fourth night is free! So the Dalai Lama was already giving us blessings!
A big day cycling from Yulara campground out to and around Uluru. A perfect sunny and warm day. Not so warm overnight for a man who climbed the rock, decided to take a shortcut back and fell into a crevice. Yes, people still climb despite requests from the local indigenous people not to. This place is sacred to them and they want everyone to appreciate the area by being there and experiencing the place from the ground like they always have. Anyway this man could not be rescued until morning as the sun was going down and it was too dangerous to attempt a rescue in the dark. We saw the rescue helicopter circling then landing by the rock as we were watching the sunset nearby. I thought it was a special sunset viewing helicopter ride that people were having. Didn’t even know it was an emergency rescue situation till later.
I became obsessed taking photos of trees at sunrise and sunset. Happily met another woman doing exactly the same thing. Of course that doesn’t mean I’m not crazy but it’s nice to know I’m not alone in this obsession!
Here is the Dalai Lama on a little stage at the Yulara oval. It’s hard to see him in the photo but we were only allowed to take photos with our mobile phones. No cameras or other recording equipment was allowed in. But photos on phones were ok. We also couldn’t bring any hard fruit in. Still wondering about that one and it sparked many discussions about hard versus soft fruit. Apples, hard, no question. Watermelon, oranges, bananas, hard on the outside but soft on the inside. Peaches, mangoes, soft on the outside but hard on the inside. Of course the Dalai Lama spoke of much more important things and he has the most infectious chuckle.
Sunset over Uluru with Kata Tjuta in the background. Lovely sky on our last night out here.