We left the campsite after another evening of showers and light rain in the desert and arrived at King’s Canyon some time after another overcast dawn. I overheard a tour guide mentioning that she had never been there when the temperature was that low. We walked up the canyon a ways, then had to turn around because the upper portion was still used for ceremonies. Then we hiked around the rim of the canyon.
The whole area was once close to the coast line. The walls of the canyon in some areas revealled the various directions that sand had been deposited when the area was coastal. As a result there are species of plants and animals here that have held on in little pockets for millions of years. There were palm trees that were roughly 400 years old in the canyon, so obvioiusly the place must have been much wetter at one point.
There was a portion of the canyon called “The Garden of Eden” and a set of steps led down into that section. Because the sandstone of the walls is so porous, all rain that does fall, ends up seeping out of the walls in a few narrow ravines.
The sun came out for a few minutes, and it didn’t take long to warm up, but the clouds came back. I spent the last part of the hike talking with a tour guide from one of the groups that were there. He had been in the Australian military as an anti-aircraft gunner. He said he’d been in the gulf, but since the Taliban didn’t have an air force, he didn’t shoot anything down. In fact, they told him he didn’t have a job any more. He decided guiding tours in a national park would be cool, and he’d been doing that ever since.
Hopped in the car and drove north to Alice Springs. Met a German woman who had some recommendations about places to see on the East Coast, and we shared photos of our experience of our visit to some of the sights in central Australia. She had been teaching German in Sydney. It gave me hope that I might be able to do the same with English as a native speaker in some far off land.