richoztrek: Richos trek oz 2013 travel blog

One of the locals

Bukhu, the Mongolian horse head fiddle player and throat singer

Sal and Pip making their way up the initial 'rock scramble' on...

Pip reaches the top - only 6.5 km to go!

Our three with Larissa and Patrick

Sitting near the edge - the picture doesn't quite convey the drop...

Approaching the Garden of Eden

Lunch by the water in the Garden of Eden


(Ben)

As the crow flies, the distance between Uluru and Kings Canyon is significantly shorter than the road which connects them, which took us a bit over four hours to drive. Once again though, the result was rewarding, with that feeling of being among spectacular and ancient landscapes. We'd 'sync-ed' our travels to match up with the Parkyns (Kev and Tania and family), and after setting up camp, Kev and I took the 10 minute drive to the Canyon car park to do the short (1-2 km?) return walk in the canyon floor. As we returned, the sun was setting and we witnessed some more of the fantastic reds of the rocks contrasting brilliantly with the white of the eucalypts.

That evening we all headed up to the bistro for dinner and a show. The family entertainment was pretty amusing, very ocker and involved the grown ups as well as the kids getting up on stage at various points (picture silly hats and equally silly songs). An unexpected end to the evening was the arrival on stage of Bukhu, a Mongolian throat singer and horse head fiddle player. I hadn't come across either of these talents before, and even if I had, I don't think I would have expected to encounter them again in the middle of nowhere in central Australia. Needless to say he had adults and kids alike fairly enthralled, to the point that the kids spent some of their own money buying his CD.

Next morning we were up to face the challenge of the canyon rim walk. As the name suggests, this involves walking around the top of the canyon, a walk of about 7 km (with side track for lunch included in calculations). As mentioned previously, ours is not a keen walking family and so when word leaked out regarding the distance of this one ("that's further than we've ever done before!") there was close to a revolt. However, we figured that the motivation of walking with friends might just be enough to get them through. The walk is classified as moderate to hard and is rarely even for very long, especially for little legs. It starts with something close to a 'rock scramble' - some steep flights of stone steps to get up rapidly towards the rim. The kids took to this with gusto - four year old Patrick in particular never taking the easy way if he could find a more challenging alternative. For the most part of the walk, the enthusiasm was maintained. Around half way, down in a gorge, we took a side track to a waterhole called the garden of Eden where we ate lunch. Alice found the last three kilometres pretty hard going but the others charged on, and even Alice made it all he way under her own steam. It's great to witness that sense of satisfaction in the kids when they achieve something they thought almost beyond possible. Will (by far the most negative before the walk) said he now wanted to try an even longer one! It was also brilliant having Larissa and Patrick to impart some of their enthusiasm.

Tomorrow we commence the re-tracing of our steps to get back up to Darwin.



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