Click for Bradenton Beach, Florida Forecast

 

Other great sites
coming soon


 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Vol 5 No. 20 - February 2, 2005

Vision of Uluru
By Charlene Doll
SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The second marvel of our dream trip was to stand at Uluru, which I knew as Ayers Rock from my elementary geography book. Uluru is simply a place named in the language of local Aborigines which is applied to both the rock and the waterhole on top of the rock. For the Aborigines, it is a sacred place full of meaning in their concept of creation.

For scientists, it is the world’s largest monolith sticking up out of the desert seemingly in the middle of nowhere. For me, it was the culmination of a travel dream. This beautiful rock changes color, depending on the light, and is probably the most photographed site in Australia. I was fortunate enough to see it both at sunset and sunrise. We stood in the viewing area mesmerized by its changing beauty as the sun slowly set. I saw a glorious colorwheel including grays, browns, oranges, reds and yellows – so beautiful that it speeded up my heartbeat and made me realize how fortunate I was to be actually standing there soaking up the beauty. I was so into the scene that I almost forgot to take a picture every 5 minutes as our guide suggested!


PHOTO/CHARLENE DOLL
Rick and Charlene Doll get comfortable aboard Jackson the camel, their transportation out to Ayers Rock, or Uluru, as the aboriginal people called it.

The second marvel of our dream trip was to stand at Uluru, which I knew as Ayers Rock from my elementary geography book. Uluru is simply a place named in the language of local Aborigines which is applied to both the rock and the waterhole on top of the rock. For the Aborigines, it is a sacred place full of meaning in their concept of creation.

For scientists, it is the world’s largest monolith sticking up out of the desert seemingly in the middle of nowhere. For me, it was the culmination of a travel dream. This beautiful rock changes color, depending on the light, and is probably the most photographed site in Australia. I was fortunate enough to see it both at sunset and sunrise. We stood in the viewing area mesmerized by its changing beauty as the sun slowly set. I saw a glorious colorwheel including grays, browns, oranges, reds and yellows – so beautiful that it speeded up my heartbeat and made me realize how fortunate I was to be actually standing there soaking up the beauty. I was so into the scene that I almost forgot to take a picture every 5 minutes as our guide suggested!

The next morning I had chosen to take an early morning camel ride to see the sun come up over the rock. Once again that meant a very early rising! There were 13 people who elected to enjoy this most excellent adventure. We arrived in the dark to see the camels lying on the ground, tethered together, saddled and ready for the excursion. We were required to wear helmets; we also took a sheepskin for a little extra padding for our "bums." These are dromedaries or one-humped camels.

The saddles they wore were for two people so we all had to share a camel. I rode in front (the lighter person) and my brother Chuck rode in back on Jackson, a very SPECIAL camel because he was one of only a few content to be at the very back of the line. A young girl named Lucy, who was a true camel wrangler and enthusiast, rode lead. These saddles had stirrups and also a standing rectangular bar to hold onto when the camel got up or knelt down.

When Chuck and I were seated, Lucy gave Jackson a command and two lurches had him on his feet. When a camel gets up, he starts with his back legs so you are looking straight down and leaning back. The second lurch comes as he brings his front end up, then we were ready for the trail. As we rode, Lucy talked about working with camels and told us many interesting things about them. Australian camels are captured in the wild. Australia actually exports camels to the Arabic world because they are virtually disease free.

The morning air seemed so fresh and cool with no indication of the hot day to follow. We could see magnificent Uluru as the sun was rising and it was an awe-inspiring sight right in front of us, not in a book! Again we were treated to a spectrum of color changes that dazzled our eyes – the blue of the sky, the bold orange of the sun and the beautiful Uluru changing from brown to pink to rusty red. Reveling in the view, we plodded along for a little over hour learning about camels and enjoying the special silence of the desert; all too soon it was time to go back to the stable. Jackson kneeled obligingly and we slid off. Another girl working there came and unsaddled the camels, so we got to see what they looked like without burdens. Many were in the midst of shedding their hair for the hot summer ahead.

We were offered "breakfast" of beer bread (delicious) with butter, jam or vegemite and instant tea or coffee, which was served in the little gift shop. It was a wonderful way to end our camel safari experience.

We have many countries yet to see in my quest to travel the dream born so long ago in an elementary school geography class. My digital camera worked very hard capturing over 1,100 shots I considered memorable enough to save. However, no matter where I go from here, these two experiences will always be very high on my list of memorable moments.

<< Go back to Index Feb. 2

<< Go back to Index archives


 

About us | News | The Island | Subscription | SUN Store | Classified

 

 




 
 



 
 
 
 
 
Copyright 2003 The Anna Maria Island Sun, All Rights Reserved.
E-mail:
amisun@tampabay.rr.com