Friday, 26 September 2014

My Pilgrimage to the Rock

The bike has been coughing and spluttering since arriving in Alice so after a hearty breakfast in the restaurant I head off to the nearby Suzuki dealer but their only mechanic works on trail bikes and lawnmowers, he knows nothing of fuel injected road bikes. Great! I head round to Supercheap and grab myself a bottle of injector cleaner and hope for the best. Fuel up, add the cleaner, and off I go.

Typical of dogs, poor cow is trying to sleep and the Dingo has to go and sniff its bum. Not sure what hit this in the night but it must have left a scar or two.

I get to Erlunda and fuel both me and the bike and chat to some fellow bikers. Some are heading off-road for a week after having ridden across the desert from Perth (keen) and another couple are riding an old (very old) Yamaha Diversion 900 to Adelaide. They're school teachers from the UK working their way round the world and recently relocated to Alice from Auckland. They have a week to go to Adelaide and back (it's 3 days each way) and are sleeping rough all the way with one night in a motel.

I arrive at Uluru early afternoon and head out to the rock. $25 to enter the park and I'm away to see how close I can get. 

This is everything I expected. From all the people I've spoken to it's different things to different people. For me, although already knowing it's just one big rock, seeing it up close knocks you in the head with that. On the way round I sit and watch the climbers, but in jeans, boots, jacket, etc, and as it's in the mid to high 30's it's just too hot to even think about climbing it.

After heading back into town I take a campsite, set up the tent, and take a nana nap before heading back out to watch the sunset.

Back out at the rock at sunset and I can't believe the massive carpark at the sunset viewing area is over-flowing. There are literally hundreds of cars here and everyone is standing along a fence watching out over the rock. I find a space behind a car near the entrance and start talking to a couple from Beenliegh who offer to share their non-alcoholic wine while we toast the sunset.

Such a spectacular view with the rock changing colour as quickly as the sun sets.

Today's route.