Day 44 – The Road to Uluru – Chambers Pillar to Mt. Conner Lookout (430km)
I’ve been waking early most mornings in anticipation of sunrise, and today was no exception. It’s so easy with sunrise being so late. I woke up this morning at 6:30 and it was still dark, by 6:45 there was a pale glow in the sky, but I could see the clouds. By 7:00 nothing had happened, the sky had grown a little lighter, but there was to be no sunrise. In fact, I couldn’t even work out where the sun was! So, I kept snoozing until 8:00.
Something that Risa wanted to do while on this trip is to create a wedding album. Let me explain that better, she wants to create an album of photos of us in our wedding clothes in different areas around Australia. We haven’t really been anywhere that stood out to us yet, so today was the first attempt. I’m not going to share them until we’ve finished the whole project, but this is a quick sneak peek of a test photo. Quite a location you have to agree!
Having driven here yesterday, I knew what was in store for us this morning, and I wasn’t looking forward to it – 43km of horrid corrugations, followed by another 110km of OK unsealed road. It still feels like I’m destroying my car, but with no choice, we pushed on through. Didn’t bother listening to music, as it was mostly inaudible over the rattles and vibrations. We stopped a few times to get feeling back into my finger tips (and found this awesome phone/microwave robot). A fellow traveller that was heading in our direction happened to pull up and ask about the road ahead. I took great pleasure in telling him of what he could look forward to!
Even the stunning mountain ranges that have been pushed up from below weren’t as interesting today. The skies were dark, a cold wind was blowing and it was raining. It’s actually the most rain we’ve had since Cairns. We just wanted to get onto the bitumen and get to Uluru. I’ll stop complaining now.
Oh, and speaking of stunning mountain ranges, I think that geology nerds would be in paradise in this area – so much going on.
A few short kilometres of smooth black tarmac bliss before a quick off-road detour to the Henbury Meteorite Craters. A moderate sized meteorite entered Earth’s atmosphere a few thousand years ago and on entry split into several large pieces (200L fuel drum size). The craters are still visible, though millennia of wind/water have taken their toll. Two of the larger pieces landed in close proximity and their craters were combined into a sort of peanut shape about 100m in diameter. Though, neither of us would have recognised them without the information signs pointing them out.
More driving and more refuelling before we reached our car park with a view. Sadly it was quite dark when we arrived, but we could make out the faint silhouette of Mt. Conner, which is a giant mesa standing all by itself. Apparently it’s commonly mistaken for Uluru by tourists (we’re still 120km away – it’s big, but not quite THAT big!).