Spending …

… most of our time in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and loving every second of it.

Uluru/Ayers Rock is definitely a presence. So fat, tho, we’ve explored more of the Olgas/Kata Tjuta. (Pics below.) Did a short hike into a gorge area Monday afternoon, just to get our feet wet, figuratively. No water to actually get wet in, but the results of summer rains are very evident in all the flowering desert plants. One, called the upsidedown plant, has a lovely dark red flower at the base of the plant rather than at the top. And the desert oak that Penny mentioned in comments yesterday is pretty abundant. Nothing like the oaks I am used to – needles and pods similar to pines.

After a leisurely and lovely breakfast Tuesday, we spent some time at the Cultural Center in the park – fascinating, sad and hopeful history of the land and its people. Back to Kata Tjuta and the Valley of the Winds walk. Definitely windy in areas between the big rocks, other spaces were still and potentially deadly hot in summer. We scaled rock strewn mountain sides, scrambled over boulders and generally hiked hard with lots of ups and downs to see the constantly changing beauty of the interior of Kata Tjuta. Ate lunch at the second viewpoint which was at the top of the gap in perhaps the windiest, coldest spot on the trail. And met fellow hikers from literally all over the world. A gal from Scandinavia was knitting socks at one stop.

One of the stories we heard (from a fake park ranger – good fun!) was that the rounded peaks of Kata Tjuta were seven sisters who wandered the earth. Hopefully will get the full/real story today.

Also today we plan to spend time with Uluru. This morning dawned clear and lovely (see pic of moon and morning star/planet) so we expect another lovely and warm day. Off to enjoy it!

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Alas, having trouble uploading pics! Sorry!

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