Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Kata Tjuta: Valley of the Wind

That - was me, with my head covered in fly net
Kata Tjuta, also known as the Olgas is one of the two main sections of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The other obviously is Uluru. Kata Tjuta comes from the local Anangu people meaning "Many Heads". Kata Tjuta is a collection of 36 steep sandstone monoliths dotting a rugged landscape. It lies 36 km to the west of Uluru, about an hour or so by car.

There  is a viewing area easily named as Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing Area is a prime spot to view this part of landscape.

While I queued up to check in, Little P has booked us in to do a 3 hours Valley of the Winds Walk in Kata Tjuta. As we did not have a pre-book rental cars (and there wasn't any more left), we got tickets to a bus shuttle called The Uluru Express to ferry us to Kata Tjuta ($95 pp).

This basically just sent us off to the start of the Valley of the Winds walk, then picked us after 3 hours and off to view the majestic sunset at Uluru. Prior to the walk, it also made a brief stop at the Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing Area. (Read: Um, yes we paid for a $95 bus shuttle :|)

Thereafter I realised there was another opton of Kata Tjuta walk - Walpa Gorge walk which takes approximately 1 hour. Curious as to why the tour desk lady recommended this 3 hours walk to us rather than the 1 hour, I asked Little P. The pin dropped when Little P happily told the tour desk lady that our fitness level is considered good. Ahem....

Walking towards the first lookout point - Karu Lookout

We reached!
Remember the first photo where I mentioned the flynet? I sprayed some insect repellent but the flies in Uluru/Kata Tjuta were scary. They would land and stick on you, particularly on the face. The flynet did make it felt hotter but it beats having flies surrounding your face.

We lingered for a little while, took some photos, drank some water and continued with our way towards the second lookout.

Towards Karingana Lookout

From Karingana Lookout
We had a little picnic here, ate the banana bread we packed and goofing around. We saw an adorable little boy hugged a rock so tightly because he wanted his father to carry him, instead of his uncle.

We turned back and backtracked our steps, so that we could make it back to the starting point in the three hours limits and not missed the bus.

Once we got on the bus again, it brought us round and round Uluru before stopping the car in the carpark to let us catch the sun set upon the majestic rock.

Side note: Valley of the Wind reminds me of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind