De’flies, de’flies! Oh how I love de’flies. There are so many and I love them all. Each landing is like a tiny massage. That’s thousands of little fly feet massaging your legs arms and face. Why, sometimes you even get a little massage inside your nose. No extra charge. I love the flies. You have to. It’s not optional. If you don’t love them, you hate them. If you hate them life is miserable. At Kings Canyon, Uluru, and especially at Kata-Juta, it is essential that you embrace the flies.
Or buy a fly net. That’s the other option. $7 at the Uluru IGA, or a bulk buy of three for $20. It’s not much of a discount, but then they would continue to walk off the shelf at twice the price. We were offered $200 bucks in the Valley of the Winds at Kata-Juta. I would have taken $400 but not a penny less. By that time even I had crumbled and could no longer embrace my inner fly. When the breeze stopped the air was thick with the sticky little critters. Apparently it is not always like this, there has been enough rain lately for them to breed up big this season.
Fortunately the flies are not as bad at the Yulara Resort. At the resort you need be more concerned with errant boomerangs thrown by your friends. We went along to a boomerang and spear-throwing lesson and Paul almost took my head off when his boomerang came back.
I extracted revenge at the cultural dancing the next day. I was plucked out of a crowd of 100 or so people to join in the dancing, guilting Paul into coming to join me. We bounced like kangaroos before Emma and Khia were also extracted from the crowd to take their turn, bobbing like Emus.
Of course we didn’t come to Kings Canyon or Uluru to thrown spears, boomerangs or even to dance. We came to do as so many other white fella’s do and take photos of those iconic rocks. The traditional owners find all this snapping most bemusing and after witnessing the circus of busses arriving and departing Uluru just afore and after sunrise and sunset it is not hard to see why. Still that didn’t stop us joining the throngs as we snapped away, all of us, Amy and Oliver included. Yes we seem to be raising a couple of excellent little shutter-bugs. Monkey see, monkey do.
Photos are a sensitive issue in this part of the world. Around the base of Uluru there are three or four sections where the Anangu (traditional owners) request that photos not be taken, for cultural reasons. Many if not most of the other tourists we encountered on our circumnavigation sidled right up beside the ‘no photos’ sign and snapped away! I amused myself by commenting as loudly as I could to our own little party about the no photos request and then watching as the guilty persons quickly hid their cameras away.
Of course outside the no photo zones we snapped away until our hearts were content. It’s a special place and it’s hard to resist the urge to try and capture a little bit of it before time whisks you away. Of course our images will never do it justice. You have to see those towering walls and read the Anangu stories for yourself to even begin to know this place.
We, unlike the Anangu, will only manage a matter of days in this part of the world at best. We made the most of it by hiking the excellent Kings Canyon Rim Walk, the Kata-Juta Valley of the Winds, and by cycling around the base of Uluru. We dined at sunset, watching and photographing Uluru, we also rose early to catch the sunrise on Uluru twice and Kata-Juta once. Tis a sight to see, though there is something ironic about racing through the desert to catch a sunrise.
This morning we bid our travelling companions, the Atkins, a sad farewell. They are continuing on to north and then to the west. It has been just wonderful to spend the last three weeks together and we love the haiku, limericks, poem and picture with which they bid us goodbye. Happy travels Atkins. We can’t wait to hear about your adventures.