Curtain Springs/Ayres Rock

Sunday 20th April, (Curtain Springs).

What an eventful few days we have just had. We have spent the last few days camping out on our way to Ayres Rock, and while in the area of the rock. We met up with a family, 2 +1, at a rest area on the way and as they were on the same travel plans as we were we kept bumping into them whenever we stopped. We even met them again at the rest area we decided to camp at, along with another couple who were only waiting for someone else to pull up to make up the numbers for security. This rest area was at Marryat/t, not sure one or two tees, and enjoyed the night.

We had a long days travel that day and the following one, and with travel to the rock today and again tomorrow, we are looking forward to a couple of restful weeks at Alice Springs.

Speaking of the rock, Ayres that is, here is a saga; We had almost decided to stay at a roadhouse, Curtain Springs, 100k or so from Ayres rock as it has a free camping area and we decided that it would be in daily travel distance to the rock. As we approached the area where the roadhouse is Linda exclaimed, “look, there is Ayres Rock”, and sure enough at a distance to the south, out left, was Ayres Rock. I did comment at the time that I wouldn’t have expected to see it so early as we had 50-80k to go before I thought we would be able to see it, but there it was. I was a little disappointed that there was no spot to stop and have a look at and take a photo of our first glimpse of this spectacle that we are sure everybody would like to visit at least in there lifetime, but about 10k down the road this disappointment was overcome by a lookout on the side of the road. I did also notice that this lookout was called Mt Connor lookout and seeing we were standing on relatively flat ground I questioned Linda, without trying to sound too stupid, as to whether Ayres rock is also known as Mt Connor because there does not seem to be any other mountains around. The answer, as one could imagine, was a very emphatic NO! Don’t be so stupid. I did leave it at that until later that afternoon when I studied my map and decided that what we saw wasn’t in the position that Ayres rock should have been. Further enquiries revealed that this mountain was in fact not Ayres Rock, but was Mt. Connor; Ayres Rock was 100k further down the road. It took a little convincing Linda of this and when I finally did she was absolutely disillusioned and shattered, as she was so thrilled that she had finally seen Ayres Rock. She did explain to me how she felt, but I find it very hard to put into words.

My main reaction to this startling discovery was that how could it happen that there could be another large rock, actually larger than Ayres Rock, so close to Ayres rock and never be mentioned in any teachings we both had ever heard. We were not the only ones to fall into this trap as enquiries revealed that about 95% of people think the same thing. I wonder what the other people that keep travelling to the rock think when they get there and the one they are seeing is actually different. Ayres Rock by the way is much more magical.

We did have a day trip to Ayres rock today; by the way we did decide to stay at Curtain Springs as previously mentioned, and it was truly an awesome sight. I won’t include photos because I’m sure everyone has seen them before.

We also went a little further west to visit another rocky outcrop called The Olgas, these are also in the Uluru national park and we had heard of them before.