Tales From The Australian Outback – Part 1……..

Tuesday 12th May – started my 9 day ‘Cloud 9’ tour with Adventure tours. Picked up from Alice Springs early morning and first stop was a camel farm where I got to ride a camel. It was quite terrifying as the camel rose from its knees, as it’s really tall and I felt like I was going to fall off face first. When we got going the guy said to let go and just move your hips with the camel, and it works, it was a really easy ride, then he said to hold on tight as he raced the camels down, and my god my arse got a wakeup call!! Then we went to Kata Tjuta which are amazing, walked around the rock formations, and their dead impressive from afar. Then gathered some firewood for camp, and pitched up at our site, dumped our stuff and headed to Uluru for sunset. This was so surreal, it looked like something from space had been put there, but no photos will ever do it justice, I was covered in goose bumps – its spectacular, absolutely beautiful beyond words. We had champagne and nibbles as we watched the sunset, and it goes through all different stages of the colour orange. Afterwards we went back to camp for dinner, and sat drinking round the fire, and then we slept in our swags. The temperature really drops at night and its freezing, but it’s warmer to sleep in the swags outside than in the permanent tents. The swags are great, you open up the canvas zip and there’s a mattress in there, then you put your sleeping bag in and snuggle down for the night round the fire, and the sky was full of stars, it was so pretty. As there is no pollution or lights, you can see the Milky Way. Really comfy night’s sleep, (some of the guys were pestered by dingoes sniffing around their heads, but I didn’t notice as was out for the count). In the morning we were up at 4.30am to get ready to go back to Uluru for sunrise. Freezing beyond words!!!, but we got to Uluru when still dark and started the 10km walk round the base which took 2 hours, and we got to the sunrise viewing place and watched the rock go through all oranges close up as the sun came up. Again, I was covered in goose bumps. I felt like I was in space walking around the bottom and half expected to be abducted by aliens at any moment. We then went to the cultural centre to learn about how Aborigines lived there and performed their ritual ceremonies. Back to camp at Kings Canyon and stayed up playing more games round the fire before bunking down for the night.

Thursday 14th May – Up early and off to Kings Canyon to do a 6km trek. The first stage was climbing up a really steep hill which they call ‘Heart Attack Hill’ – no kidding!!!. We almost died, but it was plain sailing after that, trekking all across the top of the canyon. Parts of the film ‘Priscilla Queen of the Dessert’ were filmed there, and we were at the rock place where Terence Stamp quotes “All we need now is another c*** in a frock on a rock” – awesome line. (God I love Terence Stamp). We learnt all about the formations of the Canyon, Kata Tjuta and Uluru. After lunch headed back to Alice Springs (NO, NOT ALICE!!!!!).

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    Thomas Neal

    Thomas Neal was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He was a bookseller before shifting to publishing where he worked at a literary development company, a creative writing website for millennials, and as a book reviewer of adult and young adult novels. He lives in New York City and is obviously a voracious reader. He has just released his debut novel and working on his second already!

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