Sunday, June 20, 2010

Alice Springs 4

You know how I have been emo for a few days, well maybe you can't tell since I hid it so well :P

Okay back to the Alice Springs adventure where we left off at the climax of Uluru.

Everyone tells me that sunrise and sunset at Uluru are experiences you can never miss in Australia. They tell of the extraordinary colours of the sky, the impressive sun and the magical way Uluru changes in appearance under different sunlight.

We got into our car and drove to Uluru at 5.30 a.m. READ THAT CAREFULLY. 5.30 A.M.

We reached the sunrise viewing point in 30 minutes. How did we get there? We just tailed the tourbuses!

#1 The striking yellow

#2 Uluru waiting for the sun

#3 Uluru as the sun peeked out

#4 The yellow turning into a blazing red

#5 The red taking over the yellow

#6 I was mesmerized by the redness of the sky

#7 I loved the changing colours of the clouds although it was apparently a bit too cloudy for the ultimate sunrise view

#8 The clouds turning red, one after another

#9 Sadly, the clouds really did block the sun. Before we knew it, the sky was brightly lit :)

#10 The sun can only be partially seen :( but beautiful nonetheless

#11 Uluru brightly lit

Next on our itinerary, what else? Another exciting walk/hike - The Valley of the Winds. I felt so happy upon hearing the name of this place. I felt like Pocahontas, man.

I was totally wrapped up, in anticipation of the 'Wind' part of the valley. This coat is one purchase I never regretted once from Tokyo. LOVE max.

As we were about to start the hike I got all excited because I finally saw one of the things on my 'List of things to see in Central Australia'!

LIZARD! (Albeit a dead one :<)

Other things on the list - kangaroos, emus, camel meat, red rocks and sand.

#12 Ray overlooking the . . . .rocks.

#13 The amazingly huge gorges which the hiking trail circles

#14 Like I mentioned before, I find creeks amidst sand and rock, really serene

#15 How can such greens survive so well here?

#15 I love this picture :)

#16 What you can expect to walk on

#17 I especially loved this part of the trail with the giant rocks and soft grass

#18 Not so soft when you are wearing shorts (ah eeh ah)

#19 Another mini waterhole

#20 Isn't this beautiful?

#21 "This looks like sakura - weeping sakura, to be precise - in Osaka?", I said. And he gave me the 'sweat' look

#22 I haven't even stopped myself from slipping down the rocks and he snapped the picture already! - Talk about patience!

#23 Gorges soooooooooooooo high up...

#24 "This looks like something out of Jurassic Park!" I said. And he gave me a 'sweat' look. Doesn't he have another look? Cher!
#25 See the hike was so easy I yawned - on camera.

#26 We walked using these blue little arrows for direction. Sometimes when it points upwards, you really wonder what you have to climb . . .

#26 My weeping sakura moment.

#28 After 3 days in Central Australia, I learnt the art of finding my way by following the trail of kangaroo poo

#27 I loved this picture very much.

#28 Full view of the gorges :)

#29 I want to be on top of the world!

As we approached our car we spotted a dingo all alone! Another thing to see to scratch out of my list! Dingoes usually travel in packs, so it was a surprise to see a dingo alone and so near to our car! I thank the million stars above again!!!

Then there was actually another surprise in store for me from the stars! Wild camels! OMG, I felt so lucky that day that thinking back I could cry :P

Next up: ULURU.

See, big mou?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Plan A, Plan B

Do you remember what you were doing 4 years ago at this very moment?

I can't say I remember clearly but I was definitely happier and felt free back then.

As you age, whether you like it or not, things do get more complicated and troubles do pile up. And then it all comes down to you, whether you choose to face it head on or turn a blind eye and try to live in denial for as long as you can.

Sometimes I feel like there is so much in my head that it can go kaboom in an instant. From that one very big problem to the million other bite-sized issues, they can be so overwhelming that you wish there was a button you could switch off within you. But even if there is, what does it change? Once you are turned back on, you will have to face everything again.

I always prefer facing and solving my issues as soon as possible. It is like taking down an enemy, the longer you take, the more it will level up and the harder it will be to beat. I remember the time my sister spent so much time fiddling with her Gameshark tricks to make her Squall Leonhart & co reach level 99 at the start of her (destined to be doomed) Final Fantasy 8, only to find all the other enemies, random monsters to bosses, level 99 too. In the end, the fat caterpillar took her 10 mins to defeat.

I don't like to feel incomplete. If I start something, I won't stop until I finish. If I eat something, I won't stop until I finish. If I like something, I won't stop until I get it. If I break up, I won't stop until it is clean.

I can do so much for something I really want. Is that even normal?

I remember vividly the moment I received the sad news about the departure of someone I really loved dearly with my life. I was 18. Mature to some extent. But, I couldn't help but think that someone must be playing a nasty trick on me.

From the moment I got the news. Even when I booked tickets to return to Sabah. Throughout the journey up in the skies. Until the very last second before I saw him resting in peace.

Thinking back it was quite childish. But that was the length I am willing to go for something I want. No matter how impossible it was.

There was this other once when I dreamt that my mother left for heaven. I was utterly broken inside out and inside the dream, I was behaving just like how I did last time. I repeatedly told myself that it was a dream and that if I try hard enough I would be able to make this a dream. In the end, I really woke up.

But not everything is just a bad dream.

A lot of times you wish they were, don't you?

They say, the higher you dream, the harder you fall.

But does that mean I will have to settle for whatever I have now. Even if it is bad. Even if it is not good enough. And if everything is written in the stars and fated/destined, then what is the reason for existence? Just to live by the rules and re-enact whatever has been planned for us?

Don't get me wrong, I believe God has everything planned for us.

But I also believe God would be interested to see how far we can go with what he gave us, how creative we can be with the plan he devised us and how strong we can be in face of what he has in store for us.

I think God gave us all a fair Plan A, and the freedom to make the most out of life with our own Plan B.

So, life is not written in stone but depends on how much you are willing to do for the things you want.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Technology, family & guys

Okay let me be a pessimist just for one day.

Girls don't need guys to keep them warm - an electric blanket can do the job, what more you can even adjust the temperature to your liking.

Girls don't need guys for security - from extended alarm systems monitoring every inch of your house to pepper sprays to the Chanel bag, that is security boost, physically all the way to emotionally.

Girls don't need guys to have a good time - hit the malls, buy the world, eat those chocolates, gym off that butt, strut the city, wee off the hours in gossip, I am pretty sure you'll feel equally good.

Girls don't need guys for support/help - the pile of laundry, the broken door knob, the virus infected computer, the emotional issue, which of that can you not solve? You might have to call some technical person, but hey, you still solved it didn't you?

Girls don't need guys to ease their emptiness - there is the weekend road trip you can go to, the long abandoned overseas travel plan, the contacts you haven't kept in touch with in ages and also your loyal pet waiting for your attention.

Girls don't need guys to feel complete - in fact, look at yourself. What is missing?

Technology and material are most probably capable of filling in all the blanks what we traditionally think only the opposite sex can. To a certain extent, at least.

Now, before you dismiss me as being materialistic/shallow/bitter/PMS-y/unreasonable, maybe technology and material can't take the place of having a good guy in your life. (Hence, I added 'to a certain extent')

I have my family and friends for all the -warmth, security, good times, support/help - in the world. Most importantly, you can always count on these people to make you feel loved and important.

Okay, on a different note, I am probably an optimist for being able to see technology and material (ahem) as being able to replace having a guy in my life!

Or maybe, I have grown to be more a realist - to be able to see family as friends as the more important part of my life and also to realise that I don't need a guy, I want a man in my life.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Alice Springs 3

After the bumpy drama ride to Kings Canyon, we were bright awake the following day for the famed Kings Canyon hike. I am used to bushwalking and kangaroo poo ever since coming to Melby, so I was in a casual mode when approaching this 'walk'.

Even with extreme tiptoe-ing, I still couldn't make it look like I was wearing the hat. And then I read: 6 km, 3.5 hours return.

I was slightly stunned, but if it was walking, I should be fine. After all, the burger-monstrosity from the night before had to go somewhere other than my tums.

And then from afar, I saw the 'walk'.

More like a staircase. A 'climb'.

The view going up the rockbeds was amazing. It was early in the morning, the morning dew was still in the air and the sunlight was lukewarm.

Throughout the whole trip our main conversation topic was "Do you think these stairs are man-made or natural?"

Along the way, you don't only have to go through staircases, but also narrow paths. .

. . . massive beds of flat rocks. . .and stop for a little nap . .

. . . crawl through low ceilings of rock. . .and stop for a little mermaid-time . . .

. . . and sometimes the arrow points to seemingly no paths! So send someone to run in front to look first and approach only once you get the ok! Smarter Ways of Treading Kings Canyon 101 Tip#1.

While someone checks the unforeseen for you, take some pictures yourself as the sunlight there is bombastic for your skin and hair. Smarter Ways of Treading Kings Canyon 101 Tip#2.

Then there are the seemingly bottomless pits for you to cross over - leg by leg (what else haha). Despite the suspense, it is actually "very narrow" - according to the Man :-(

The most amazing sight was the Eve's Garden. In the middle of sand, rocks and sun - lies a hidden oasis with water crystal clear and trees fresh green.

You can even see the reflection of the water on the rocks.

Once you make it to the other side of the canyon, you can overlook the flat terrains of rock you walked, limped, crawled past just now. The clear blue skies as background to the humongous red rocks - very impressive.

There are some really oddly shaped and placed rocks throughout the canyon. Like this one dubbed the 'Sacrificial Altar' by Prof. Tan. Why didn't I take a picture there? #1 It was dubbed the Sacrificial Altar #2 I had to climb gulp.

It makes one feel so small to be standing among all the great creations of nature over time. It feels as if all my problems and troubles are so minute and insignificant as compared to what made these.

We managed to complete the Kings Canyon Hike at just under 3 hours! So if I could do it in under 3 hours, you bet you can do it at around 4.5 :) Believe me, if not, my athletic gift.
After Kings Canyon, it was another long journey to the highlight of our trip! Uluru or Ayers Rock! No more off-road driving so it was smooth crusing all the way.
We did not forget to stop by this sign for a picture. . . before realising that it is everywhere!

After some laughing, some bickering - we finally saw it. Our red little panna cotta *tears up*

Along the way to Uluru, you are bound to come across some roadhouses. These are basically an area with a petrol station, a row of motel rooms, a caravan park, a cafe and. . . .nothing else?
To give you a better picture, this picture below literally describes the whole place! And if that picture is big enough to show, you can see on the topmost sign that this area is in fact more than 1 million acres.

After a 3 hours hike and more than 3 hours drive, we were more than ready to kick back and fill up then only relax.
We stayed in Yulara, which is the resort town near the base of Uluru. At the center of Yulara is a big round-a-bout and the various turnings out of this round-a-bout lead to different accomodations ranging from hotels to motels to caravan sites to camping grounds.
We went to Pioneer BBQ and Bar, where you can pick and BBQ your own meat. And we are talking about exotic meat like crocodile, emu, kangaroo and buffalo. Along with free flow salad and dessert :)

Crocodile and kangaroo skewers!

Wooolaaaa Fiestaaaaa!

And this makes me very happy and my tums filled up for....the next two days.

On the way back to our hotel, we saw the roundest and brightest moon ever.

Next up: ULURU!