Trekking Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)

At camping area in the nearby village Yulara not far from Uluru / Ayers Rock where we chose to sleep for the first night of our camping tour, we helped our tour guide in dinner preparation. To be honest, I was not really good in kitchen and food stuff but still I tried my best to be useful, like helping the group in washing the dishes. After dinner, our tour guide announced that our wake-up call was 6am the next morning.

I washed-up myself before I get in the swag. When I was inside the swag, I got a chance to enjoy the sky at night and tried to listen to my surroundings. While I was in that moment, I was also checking my other group mates and found some were snoozing, some still talking and some were just quiet like me.

Overnight in an open space and sleeping in swag was one of the first unique experience I had in the Outback. Yes, as mountaineers, I usually sleep in sleeping bag inside the tent but it was first in swag which quite different. Swag is like a self contain sleeping bag, I never felt cold over night which was really surprising but good as well. Before I totally passed out for day, I was with a thought of happiness and satisfaction with my first day with Uluru / Ayers Rock specifically the base walk experience. That night, I felt excited again and I was looking forward for the next adventure.

Second day at the outback, I woke-up early in the morning. I organised my swag, I tried to roll it to be like it was before I used it, but it’s kind of difficult to roll, so I just fixed it as much I can.  I joined my group in preparing our breakfast. Since I had shower the night before, I was ready for the day’s event. It was still dark when we left the camping area, I felt like it was still early in the morning. As we were catching the sunrise we drove back again to Lasseter Highway from Yulara and visited a lookout area called Kata Tjuta Viewing Area (or Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing). We waited a little, in few minutes we witnessed the sunrise while watching  Kata Tjuta from a far. While observing The Olgas , from a distance at our right side while facing The Olgas, Uluru / Ayers Rock was also visible, the sun was actually behind it. It was a spectacular moment for me. We watched how great sceneries that Kata Tjuta shows because it is a rock dome ranges, it was called t that moment with the sun rising, I felt really alive, I felt really good. It was a moment that I was content and loved my life. It was one of the effect of the Outback to me. Sometimes I can’t explain why, because to other people maybe it’s just a places of rocks with probably no meaning to them, but for me it was a world of amazing things and serenity.

— Uluru / Ayers Rock at dawn and early in the morning from Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing Area

Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) from Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing Area

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— On our way to Kata Tjuta

After, the sunrise, we went back to the bus and we drove towards The Olgas. We returned to Lassetter Highway and I knew that time, that the second day was the day to get up close and personal with Kata Tjuta. We arrived at the parking area where the “Valley of the Winds” trekking trail starts.

— Up close and personal with Kata Tjuta / The Olgas

— The trekking trail

— The first glimpse of Valley of the Winds from Karu Lookout

We jumped-off the bus and started our walk towards the base of The Olgas. At firs,t I thought that The Olgas are small hills until we were really close to it and realized how huge the rock formations and was like Uluru / Ayers Rock. Kata Tjuta is a unique kind of natural rock formation. I was reckoning, in such desert plain like Red Centre, that there such kind of rock formations like Uluru  / Ayers Rock and The Olgas existed. I was amazed how these were created and become what they are today. If we are living in a magical world like from a fantasy story, we can think of that someone may put Uluru and Kata Tjuta in the middle of desert plain and the most surprising, they are located in the almost center of Australia. I was still contemplating how these kind of rock formations evolved in the middle of the desert until I thought that it was some amazing geological miracle. The first part of the trail was Karu Lookout where we first witness the “Valley of the Winds”.

— The trekking trail

— The Olgas

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— Featuring the highest dome called Mount Olga

P1080011— Water Stream

We followed the trail inside The Olgas. I enjoyed the trek around the area. We passed a small water streams that looks like a natural canal or a petite river. Trekking in a natural environment such as The Olgas are one of the activities that I really enjoyed. Then, along the trail we saw the water falls which seems the source of the water stream that we just passed by. The same trail where the water fall is, we have to combine walking and hiking in an inclined part of one of the huge rock formation and there’s nothing to hold on. Honestly, that kind of trail made me felt really unsure to myself. I tried my best and we successfully passed the part of the trail until we reach the top area where the water falls came from.

— Trekking Trail

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— Getting inside The Olgas

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— The poop (captured this photo while our tour guide is telling something about the poop)

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— The water falls we passed by along the trail

— The top most area where the water falls came from

— Trekking trail

— Between The Olgas

We arrived at the top most area that we can reach in the trail and walk towards Karingana Lookout. There, I saw the “Valley of the Winds” again. At Karingana Lookout, “Valley of the Winds” was an amazing and a picturesque view. At the time of trekking, I was quite tired after taking steps upward to the area, though tired a bit, I felt it was worth to climb. At the lookout, I realized how lucky I was to witness such sceneries and such views  that cannot be appreciated down below.

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— Trail to Karingana Lookout for “Valley of the Winds” view

— Between The Olgas

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Valley of the Winds at Karingana Lookout

— Couple of shots on the way back to the parking area.

— Kata Tjuta / The Olgas

After spending sometime and after enjoying photo snapshots at Karingana lookout for the “Valley of the Winds”, we started to go back. We used the same trail going up to descend The Olgas. We passed the same water falls and slippery trail. After returning to the parking area, I thought that the adventure in The Olgas was finished until we drove back to Lasseter Highway and stopped at The Olgas Viewing Area.

Before we completely ended our adventure that day, after finishing Kata Tjuta trek, we returned to Uluru Sunset Viewing area because our tour guide considered that we experienced rain during the first camping day tour, it was good to go back for such wonderful day. And we spent few minutes to take photos and snapshots until we leave the premise.

— Kata Tjuta

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— Uluru / Ayers Rock (during our second day)

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Mount Conner

On our way to Kings Creek station, which was the designated place for our upgraded accommodation arrangement. Upgraded because from swag, we were about to sleep in Tent with two beds, which means one thing, a more comfortable bed are waiting for our group. Passing Lasseter Highway, we stopped at Mount Conner lookout area, where we saw how magnificent Mount Conner. I was amazed because the rock formation that Mount Conner has which stands around the area of Red Centre is another piece of huge rock formation in the middle of the desert and its  distinguished shape still notable compared to Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

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— Our Tour Guide

— Lasseter Highway

After enjoying Mount Conner from a distance, we crossed Lasseter Highway to enjoy the nearby desert with perfect sand dunes, we walked around the area and played the sands, we saw the lake as well and discovered a unique species in the outback desert called Ngiyari or Thorny Devil.

— Lake

— Desert sand dunes

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— Ngiyari (Thorny Devil)

The rest of the afternoon spent in the road while we were on our way to Kings Creek station for our third and last day adventure in Kings Canyon. It was another worth experience I had in the outback of Australia. And though I was quite sad that the adventure will be over soon, I was still excited for the next adventure.

Until then.

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Quick Peek of Sydney Darling Harbour

I had a post about my first travel in Sydney entitle “Serenading at Opera House” that covers the first place that I visited which was the famous Sydney Opera House and then I returned to the city after almost two weeks since I got a deal for Blue Mountains and Jenolan Caves tour from Groupon which scheduled and planned prior to my first travel in Sydney. Why that was happened? It happened because the musical collaboration activity event that I attended in my first travel was announced after my Blue Mountains tour had been set.

Since I was in Australia for work and not for a holiday, the only days I had a chance to roam in Australia were mostly weekends, holidays and scheduled leaves. And similar to my first travel in the city, I just spent more than one day again in Sydney just for the tour. I booked a single room in a hostel for 1 night as I am a solo traveler. I can say that accommodations such as hotels in this prime city are quite expensive and you can get good deals in a short period of time with hostels unless I wanted to spend a lot of money for hotels for such one day holiday just to sleep for few hours.

I have to end such introductions since I’m here to tell my memories of my second visit in Sydney. I flew to Sydney at Friday night last April 2013. Then I took train from Domestic Terminal to Town Hall Station which in the middle of Central Business District of Sydney, then walked a little bit until I found the hostel that I will be staying for few hours of sleep. Yes I only had overnight in Sydney as I will be flying back to Melbourne in the evening the next day. I came to the hotel quite late like past 11PM, which I informed the hostel prior my flight as I wanted to make sure that they were aware of my arrival time because some hostels does not have 24 hours service desk and I cannot afford to sleep outside to a place that I had been second time and I do not knew someone personally. I can’t forget the experience that I had that night because the person in charge in the hostel was not around at the time I was in front of the building. I called the number and I felt relieved because someone showed up and open the door for me.

I checked out early in the morning and walked to the meeting place where the bus was stationed for Blue Mountains Tour. At the moment of my walk I saw Sydney on its most silent time which is Saturday morning because most of the time Friday night in Australia in major cities of this continent country down under are significant to them for party and chilling out. The bus was located at Level B2 Coach Terminal in Pirrama Road within The Star (The Star Sydney Casino Hotel) building.

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From the hostel (Sydney Backpackers in Wilmot Street) I walked few kilometres. From Wilmot St to George St, turned left to Bathurst St until I reached Harbour St. I passed IMAX Theatre and then saw Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. I saw some hotels surrounding the famous harbour such as Novotel and Ibis Hotel. Pyrmont Bridge which carries pedestrian and bicycle traffic are also to be found in the harbour. I peek as well the Cockle Bay and Cockle Bay Wharf, a steam ferry before but now floating restaurant South Steyne Sydney. Last but not the least, I also passed the Australian National Maritime Museum.

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For me it was really a good walk and it was a good thing that I went to the bus coach terminal early and had ample time for normal walk and photo shots in the area.

View At My Window : Big Ben Mall

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View At My Window (Post#2) : Big Ben Mall

I captured this photo of Big Ben mall in Lipa City, Batangas in Philippines along Ayala Highway while inside the public jeep when we were on our way to Cuenca, Batangas for our Freedom Climb which happened in Mount Maculot last June 2009.