The drive from Coober Pedy to Uluru (pronounced OO’ loo roo) can be summed up as a day of roadkill sightings, counting abandonned cars in the outback, blessing the air conditioning in our rental car, and making sure to fill up at nearly every petrol station we came across. (They were often several hours apart. By the way, gas in the desert costs $1.55 Australian per liter = $4.60/gal US approx.)
I have to admit that the prospect of driving hundreds of miles through the desert to see some big rock that I’d seen on dozens of postcards, and in every tour book on Australia, wasn’t thrilling to me. Once we saw it in the horizon, I was still thinking, “Hey, that’s a big rock! OK, big rock after many miles of flat desert… at least it isn’t more flat desert.” After we checked in, and set up the tent in the campground, we went to the obligatory sunset viewing point, and the thing kind of grew on me… real fast.
It was big.
It was red.
It was in the middle of nowhere.
It looked like it was made out of red clay.
It definitely made me curious.
We drove further so that we could drive around it. To give you an idea, the sunset viewing station is about 3-5km from the rock itself. We kept driving towards it, and it kept getting bigger and bigger.
In short, it’s friggin’ huge.
Water and wind have worked for many millions of years on this thing, and it’s turned it into a giant sculpture. It’s not as porous as I imagined, and water has slowly eroded it into huge basins and just about everything has been smoothed out.
I’m not sure I’m going to be able get the immensity of this thing across in writing, or even via pictures for that matter, but I’ll try in further posts.