...Is waking up at 3:00am thinking it's 4:30am and the gates to Uluru don't open until 5:00am. At least we figured it out before we left the hotel. We were also very fortunate to run into "Animal" a praying mantis on our way out. We think of praying mantises as our critter since we have seen one on every single major trip since Egypt. When we were in Egypt I spotted a praying mantis in the desert by a small town. I tried to communicate with two locals to inquire what a praying mantis is in Arabic. It was not working so I finally said "what is his name?" The two men exchanged confused looks and had a long conversation among themselves. One of them finally turned to me and said slowly, "in Egypt we call him Animal." I am sure they now think there is some odd Canadian who names every insect. Since then we call praying mantises "Animal." Some websites indicate that a praying mantis is a symbol of stillness and mindfulness which fits for me as I feel most mindful when traveling.
So after such an auspicious start we headed to Uluru. We began the hike at just after 5am with reasonable temperatures in the twenties. It was mesmerizing to hike alongside this amazing geological formation while the sun slowly started to rise. Uluru really looks other-worldly to me, like it came here from another galaxy as a giant asteroid. Along the hike we came across two wild dogs which I am sure were at least part dingo. We enjoyed the serenading birds as they awoke to the sun. The entire hike was 10 kms and at the end the temperature had climbed to a far more sweaty +33C. It was terrific to accomplish the hike in such a powerful place. And I was the only person rocking the flip flops on the hike. Of corse they are the awesome Keen flip flops which performed well, but I think next time I'd bring some running shoes with all this walking!
Tomorrow we head to Brisbane.
Ps Jason insists inquiring minds want to know: the toilets appear to flush straight down and gas costs $1.67 a liter.
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