We made it to Uluru area yesterday. Jason describes our hotel area as post-apocalyptic, which makes sense given the harsh desert climate and the piles of vegetation and leaf debris around. It just looks like the day after the world ended. As well, I am disturbed by the large numbers of roaches/beetles and bugs twitching on their backsides with legs flailing. I finally may have figured it out after attempting to right one of these little guys and he kept flipping over. I can only assume it is the effects of toxic pesticides. Sigh. I also can't help but contemplate the impact of the overuse of pesticides in our food, homes and gardens, on our own well being and that of the planet. I also wonder if pesticides are potentially one factor in colony collapse disorder among bees, the critter essential for pollinating our food supply. It is much better to buy organic, use natural repellants, use natural household cleaners, and preventative measures, where ever possible. (for example India taught us to never keep unsealed food in the room).
Now the flies have tried every ounce of my Buddhist patience and I briefly pondered breaking the First Precept (do not kill), as hundreds of flies dive bombed me trying to get into every facial orifice. But I found sanctuary in a fly head net, which envelopes your entire head and neck in a fine mesh and conveniently fits under your hat. It's not attractive but it works. Of course one sneaky fellow got under the net on a water break, that was fun trying to get him out with out inviting in all his cousins.
I met the worst of the flies in our 2.6 km hike at the Kata Tjuta which is a collection of 36 giant rock monoliths. Now a 2.6 km hike does not seem like much but imagine doing it in a 35+ sauna (with flies all over your sweltering head net). It was a gorgeous view with incredible outback flora. There are a lot more trees than I expected. I've seen a few small lizards, giant grasshoppers, and some lovely birds. I hope to see some larger critters like kangaroos as well.
"You can tell I'm signaling because my windshield wipers are going" ... Or how Jason keeps mixing up the wipers and signal controls in the right side drive car. I also find it odd that in a highly tourist area, with warning signs about driving on the left side, and giant arrows painted on the highway in case you forget, that there would be, not one, but two traffic circles with in a few kms of each other. I imagine some planner sitting back with binoculars laughing at th tourists trying to maneuver through. So far Jason has only driven on the wrong side of the road once.
Tonight we went to Uluru to watch it at sunset. Jason successfully drove on the wrong side of the road in the dark as well!
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