Yes, I am here again. After a 24 hour journey I have arrived Sydney in the early Sunday morning. Exhausted, tired but happy.
A half past nine I have arrived my old beauty victorian house from my B&B hosts in Darlinghurst. The feelings inside me were like coming home again, because all what i have seen on the taxi trip form the airport to the B&B were quite known. It feels like I have left Sydney only yesterday.
Tom, my host, was welcoming me at the door. He wanted to show me the facilities again, but I told him that i know already all from the last year.
The first thing i wanted to do was to get a sim card for my mobile phone. But it didn't work on this day because the system of the mobile phone provider didn't work on this day. So I decided to go to the circular quay on the feet of the Sydney Harbour Bridge to rest for a while. Then i recognized the upcoming jet lag from the long flight and the time zone change.
I noticed that I wasn't able to do a lot this day and went home, had dinner very early in the Beresford Hotel and went to bed at 7 o'clock and slept until 4:30.
After an 8 hours I couldn't sleep so that i decided to got to the Harbour bridge and to take some photos in in the sunrise. So I walked to the circular quay through the dawning City Sydney with a cappuccino on one hand and 2 croissants on the other hand, which I have bought on Pie Face a popular pie chain and the photo equipment on my bag, passing reveller who showed me naked skin and who asked me to take pictures from them, praying moslem between bistros against Mekka on the harbor and arrived it after 20 minutes.
The sunrise didn't happen because it was to cloudy unfortinality. So I took some picture from the harbor and surroundings, as a cruisers came in the harbour.
After I came back in my B&B Tom and his boyfriend were sitting in the living room and were waiting for the breakfast, which were delicious like always. We were were chatting about anything, my travel plans about the football match which happened yesterday and the weather.
Like i said it before. It was as i have left Sydney still only yesterday and was back.
After the opulent breakfast with ham and eggs and toast and a fruit salad before and a fine talk with my hosts and a guest from Adelaide I was getting tired accidentally. So I took a nap afterwards
The first goal of the day was to get a australian prepaid card for my phone. As I was thinking afterwards about this, I was wondering how we are depending from these new technologies. Without these we are not able to communicate, to orientate and so on. I tried to remember how we have organized our trip to Colombia 20 years ago with some fellow students. But we did it without getting lost.
After I have bought my sim card finally it was activated successfully, I decided to go to a place I wanted to go the last time I was here. It was a place from whom i was thinking it could be a good location for photography
And finally I found it beneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge on the north side of the bridge close to the train station Milson Point to the right time
It was a beautiful area, a lot of people were sitting below the pylons of the bridge which tried to reach the sky majestic, to enjoy their labour day in the setting sun. There was a small Luna Park close to the feet of the bridge, where a lot of families with childrens were enjoying the day off.
So it was so wonderful here so I decided to stay here the whole evening to wait for the right light. There was a little restaurant on the beach, where I had a coffee and wine between something, Some families we're standing on the habour and were trying to harvest fishes, but i guess this wasn't not the main reason.
After the sunset the twilight felt and brought a wonderful light so that i could I cacht some beautiful captures which you can see below.
After a very relaxing day yesterday in Sydney, I started my first step of my Australia in the Red Center to Alice Springs.
After a good breakfast made freshly from Tom, he baked a america breakfast cake today, the xi pickend me up at 8:15 o'clock to the Airport where my flight from Sydney to Alice Springs started at 09:50 o'clock.
I have been very excited to go there. I don't know exactly why, may I was a little bit anxious of the heat in the desert or something else. But i recognized it i n my stomach.
The flight took 2 hours and 40 min over a distance from around 2000 km. And it was very interesting how the surface of the earth was changing from green covered landscape like fields and mountain after the start in Sydney to a rusty shades of brown plain as we were landing in Alice Springs.
The climate was very hot and dry. Around 32 degrees and only 5% humidity in the air. I had the feeling that whilst i was breathing my mouth was running dry because the air took all the humidity from my moth mucosa.
After i have received my baggage a airport shuttle took me the my hostel Alice Secrets Travellers in.
There Seb was welcoming me very warm. After a small misunderstanding related to my bookings he showed my the Alice Secrets. The Hostel is a very unconventional facilities. The rooms are sometimes in barracks
or like my room in a disused camper.
But it doesn't disturb me, because i knew what i have booked before. Then the hotel prices in Alice Springs not the cheapest ones.
After i had organized myself I felt to go shopping some food an especially something to drink in one of. So walked through the dry hot climate through the dried-out river bed at noon the shopping center. And it was really hot. During my walk I was watching all the aboriginal people who are sitting under the trees of the dried-out Todd River not really taken part on the social life of Alice Springs.
Before Sunset I decided to mysef to go to as small hill called Anzac Hill from which you should have a good view across Alice Springs. And it was it worth it.
So I was waiting here for the sunset of the day and enjoyed the play of colors on the sky until the twilight came.
Wow the first night in my camper was really cold. I have often read that in a desert whilst is very hot during the day it can get very cold in the night. But if it happens surprisingly in reality, nevertheless you are wondering.
Today it's time for the Kangaroo Dreamimg Safari. Unfortunality i had to get up very early at 5 o'clock, and all of you who get to know me. IT'S NOT MY TIME. But if you want to experience something new you have to make compromise.
The 4wd bus picked me up at 6, After picking up of some other guests, we have left Alice Springs in the Stuart Highway in a southern direction. The shade of brown painted hills, which are surrounding Alice Springs, were dipped in a beautiful warm light from the rising sun. Wether I thought the Red Center is rather a Desert than a jungle, there are a lot bushes and trees are growing here, so the the hills were dabbed with small green bushes what builds a nicely contrast to the brown color of the hills.Our journey went further through endless driet-out bush land on this early morning for hours. Nothing else like bush land until to the horizont. I do not want to have an engine damage on this street, where you meet only every 4 or 5 hours another car. Only l up and off a herd of cows beside the street.
Our first stop after 2 hours was a camel farm for having a snack , coffee or a ride on a camel. Camels were very important for the infrastructure provision of the outback.
And whether it is very comfortable to go over sealed road from Alice to Uluru today, Around 150 years before there was nothing here.
So the camels were used to get all the building material, food and water in the outback to to build up the streets and so on. And everybody knows that camel are very modest to survive in the desert.
There were also kangaroos and emus on the farm.
After the break the journey continued, but the landscape didn't change. Still bush land on brown soil until the horizontal. You will be tempted to look for a house or something similiar which could be a sign for a civilisation on the horizont but you won't find it.
But then accidentally after hundreds of hundreds of kilometre two emu were standing beside the street and looking at our passing jeep a little bit stupid, But I could understand them very well when it doesn't happen very often. ;-)
Next stop was at Mt Ebenezer Roadhouse to have a break for toilet, have a coffe or for a visit of an aboriginal art exhibition.
In this exhibition you can see the typical art work from the aborigines, whilst they worked on new things in the back room. As I came in they have noticed me and exchanged glances. In the gallery were hanging profiles of the different aboriginal artists.
But an assistance noticed me and asked me not to take any photos. I had a feeling I shouldn't disturb the artist during doing their work and not to talk with them. The whole situation felt like a sheltered workshop, whether I was sure that the aborigines weren't mentally disabled but it looks like they were threatened in this way. So was asking myself who is protecting whom here.
I don't mention it by the way. Our air condition wasn't working during the trip from Alice to Uluru. And it's still getting hotter now.!!!!
Finally we have arived the majestic Stone in the desert.
We were walking a short walk, because of the hot weather beneath the rock while the tour guide was explaining the genesis of the stone and a lot of stories about the Uluru which the aborigines have given from one generation to another.
The Uluru is really beautiful.
On the feet of the Uluru you will find a lot of caves with the typical aborigines paintings and drawings on the wall.
The stone After the walk and a refreshment in a visitor center we were driving to a sunset viewing park place.
I was a little bit terrified as I have seen hundreds of busses and cars and the people who were standing outside and waiting for the sunset with champaign and crackers.
Nevertheless this Day was a great experience of nature.
After the dinner made from kangaroo I slept very well but only until 5 o'clock.
After a really early get up at 5 o'clock and a little unsettled sleep we had a small breakfast in our campsite close to the Uluru.
But it was it worth to get up so early then from a lookout close to our campsite the nature offers their beauty with a colourful spectacle whilst the sun rise slowly from the horizon to illuminate the Uluru with a magical light.
The next stop on your trip should be Katja Tjunta. A rock which were formed in the same geologic era like the Uluru.
We arrived it very early in the morning, and did a 7,5 km walk around of one of the hills.
The walk along the unsealed trails covered with rocks through sparse forrest on brown soil covered with small islands of light yellow glowing gras over brown shaded rocks lightning with the early sun beams under a saturated blue sky was enchantingly.
So I couldn't resist to become inflamed by passion for my photography.
Afterwards we were going to the Uluru visitor and culture center for toilet, some refreshings and lunch. There were also a galley where it was possible to bey some aboriginal arts.
The next goal for this day was to arrive our campsite close to the Kings Geek Station.
We made a stop on the Lasseter Highway on a dried-out salt lake sea.
It was an amazing view over an endless landscape. I have never seen that before.
Around the sunset we arrived the Kings Greek Station. Our campsite was deep in the bush.
But as we have arrived, there were still visitors there. Two camels were standing between our tents.
The whole group was excited.
After the sunset we had dinner which was cooked on a bonfire and a beer under a stary night.
After get up early like always the last days, I have experienced a wonderful sunrise like always with the colorful play of the nature in the outback again.
Our goals for today should be the Kings Canyon and Glen Helen in the MacDonnel Ranges.
The first stop after app. an hour drive was the famous Kings Canyon. We arrived it in the early morning I think at 8 O'clock. But it was a good time, then the Canyon Rim Walk will be closed in the afternoon often, because of the strong heat on the plateaus in the afternoon. So we were asked to take at least 1,5 l water with us.
The six km (loop) Kings Canyon Rim Walk traces the top of the canyon and takes three to four hours to complete.
A steep climb at the beginning of the walk, which locals call "Heartbreak Hill" (or "Heart Attack Hill", due to its steepness), takes visitors up to the top, with spectacular views of the gorge below and of the surrounding landscape.
After passing a beautiful plateau we hat to go through a small crack, called the Priscilla Crack. Through this crack the three drag queens in the movie "Priscilla - Quenns of the desert" had to climb to achieve the top of the Kings Canyon.
About half way during the walk, a detour descends to Garden of Eden, a permanent waterhole surrounded by lush plant life.
The last half of the walk passes through a large maze of weathered sandstone domes, reminiscent of the Bungle Bungle.
A slow descent brings the visitor back to the starting point.
After the Kings Canyon we had to drive over the 93 km long Mereenie Loop Road, which is the shortest way from Uluru to the Glen Helen in the MacDonnel Ranges.
It was a really amazing experience to drive with an 4WD car over a red colored wide runway over a so long distance.
The unsealed Mereenie Loop Road lets you drive directly from Kings Canyon (Watarrka National Park) to the West MacDonnell Ranges - or the other way round - without backtracking.
It is a lovely drive through some beautiful desert country, certainly more appealing than the much longer detour along the sealed highway.
Glen Helen is surrounded by the majestic MacDonnell Ranges, and is a destination in its own right, with easy day trip access to the whole West MacDonnell National Park, including Palm Valley, Hermannsburg, Ormiston Gorge, Redbank Gorge and Mt Sonder.
Our tour guide cooked potato gratin, steak and salad for dinner.
The day started early at 5:30 o'clock again. But the advantage of this is that you have the chance of a beautiful sunrise. And the sunrises in the outback are always amazing. So my first step, you can imagine was to pick up my camera bag und to go to the beautiful cliff I have been in the evening yesterday. And I guessed the early sunset beams were setting it in a warm magnificent light.
After we have had our breakfast with fresh coffee and toasts fresh on our campsite always freshly prepared from our tour guide Kathy, we left the beautiful Glen Helen Ressort
with their comfortable pub, nice staff and beautiful surroundings and went to the Mt Sonder Lookout, from which we had a wonderful view over the plateau of the MacDonnel Ranges, which were framed from the two mountain range.
This day should become the day of the gorges. Then the MacDonnel Ranges offered a lot of them. If you want to get more information click here.
The first step on our daily tour should be the Redbank Gorge which we reached after an half an hour drive over a sealed and unsealed road. We did there a 30 minute walk through a beautiful dried-out river bed which was covered with majestic gum trees in a warm sunlight.
Finally we get the tight steep gorge with a waterhole on the ground, in where some of our group took a swim.
Afterwards we were going to our second gorge, the Orminston Gorge. It was for me the most beautiful of this day, because it was so varying.
We were walking on the Ghost Gum Walk which leads us at first over a steep but short climbing on a top with a spectacular lookout over the valley with the mountain crest in the background.
The trail leads us on a slightly scoping way to the base of the gorge where a waterhole was located.
Our way return took us over large brown marbled rocks
to a sandy river food plain with a waterhole again where some of our members of the group took a swim.
On the picnic area of the Orminston Gorge Kathy prepared a lunch for us s always delicious.
The next stop of our daily tour shouldn't be a gorge but a Ochre Pit.
I think the most of my readers don't know what a Ochre Pit is like I didn't know it before to. The pits consist of several layers of multi-coloured, layered rock that was traditionally used by Australian Aborigines in ceremonies and played an important role in the continent's economy, being traded with neighbouring clans and "countries", in every direction on the continent. Ochre has always been an important part of Aboriginal culture and a vital part of everyday life. For medicinal purposes red ochre can be mixed with grease and applied as an ointment and to relieve decongestion when mixed with eucalyptus leaves. White ochre was used as a magical charm, when mixed with water and blown from the mouth it is believed to abate the heat of the sun or the force of the wind. Weapons were painted with ochre to increase the success of hunting. It also protected the wooden weapons from termites.
The last gorge of the day which we visited was the Everly Greek Hole.
Because of the heat of the day a few people of our group were taking a swim the waterhole.
On a parking site some members of our group left us because the had booked only a four day trip.
The rest of the group stayed overnight deep in the Bush.
And after a eventful day we slept after a beautiful sunset
under a sky of millions of stars of the milky way very well.
After a little unsettled night in the swag, we were waken up from our tour guide really early again. But as a compensation a amazing sunrise in the bush land expected us.
We didn't have breakfast at our campsite, but we went very shortly to Wallace Rockhole an Aboriginal Community to have our morning toilet and our breakfast there.
Afterwards an aboriginal man guided us through the not far away located gorge and explained us different tools which were used from the former aboriginals who have lived in this area.
And he described also the meaning of the engraved patterns in the brown sandstone, which regularly were used as maps from the area from generation to generation and showed waterholes (circles) for instance.
In the community room one female aboriginal artist were painting a picture in the typical aboriginal way.
After that we attended the Art Culture Center there to watch a movie about the history of the Aboriginals in this land and we tried to paint some aboriginal arts too. I guess it was mor an trial than a success. But In my eyes it wasn't so bad.
After our stay in the Art Culture Center wer were going over unsealed streets
passing by wild horses to our lunch place, where we could watch a few Galahs
and a big grasshopper.
After a short visit on the oldest cattle station of Australia the Owen Springs cattle station
our trips leads us back to Alice Springs, which arrived in the late afternoon exhausted but satisfied full of impressions.
Because of the 5 day trip through the outback I rested the last day in the Alice Secrets Hostel and did nothing important except that i talked with a dutch guy a lot. He asked me of a cable to download his photos from his camera, because his sd card weren't working on his computer. But the card wasn't working in his camera too, so he had a problem. Then on this card were all his photo he has taken in Indonesia. And he did very good photos, because he showed me some on his computer. I thought he has gat a talent to portrait people. His photo of people in Thailand were very good. So we get into a long conversation about photography, photos, techniques, policy, travel, and the sense of life. Its funny, then I was a little bit annoyed about him as i have arrived the hostel and he was skyping very loud in the kitchen of the hostel. And its interesting how you can build an opinion only from one meeting of an other human being and then it is your brain. So what i have learned, give everyone a second chance. The conversation with him was really fine ;-).
So this day i had to get up really early at 3:30 o'clock to experience my first balloon flight.
I was picked up from the crew from my hostel and after we have picked up the other passengers we went with the bus approximately 15 km form Alice Springs away.
At first the balloon was inflated with a fan.
After the balloon was inflated, there air in the balloon was heating up with a gas burner.
After a few minutes the hot air in the balloon was lifting it up.
Out balloon pilot had a pile of things to do until we were floating against the sky in this cold early morning.
And at once we had the the landscape to the outback in Alice Springs to our feet.
It was a really impressionable feeling to float loudness through the morning air only interrupted by the gas burner.
While the moon stood high in the sky,
the sun prepared to rise over the horizon
and touched the surrounding landscape in warm beautiful light.
All the passengers were impressed from this performance very much.
But after a half of an hour it was time to land again safety in the desert.