It's the third day and also the last day of the trip with The Rock Tour.

We wait for the sunrise at the viewing area we watched sunset yesterday.

Waiting for the sun rising from the sky line, I take lots of photos in different conditions of aperture and shutter time. Because Uluru and the sun are at the same direction, it's not very easy to get a nice and balanced shoot.

Except for Uluru, the cloud also changes the color as the time passed.

During the breakfast, two guy climb to the top of the cart for photographing.

This scene is also tremendous as a nice picture.

About photographing of people, my prinsiple is "Nature" and I don't like to take photos in a designed way unless the scene is good.

The worst picture I think is standing in front of the attraction without any sense of beauty.

Unfortunately, most of tourists will do such things.

I don't want  be a tourist like them. I want to be an artist, a photographer.

Our final destination before my separation is Uluru Base Walk.

Mark reminds us that photographing and recording are prohibited in some sections.

These areas are sacred places of aboriginal people according to men's law or women's law.

Unless you are permitted, you could not enter these areas, otherwise, you will be fined by the law of Austrlia.

Just as the discussion about climbing Uluru, it's the respect to aboriginal people.

The details are not important to me and you.

Without Tjukurpa, these things are as normal as stones found somewhere.

Though the geographic features are worthy of observation such as the big mouth or the black waterfall, the mountain view of Landmannalaugar in Iceland is much impressive to me.

(Landmannalaugar, Iceland)

 

At the end of Base Walk is Mutijulu Waterhole. Another group of tourists are already there.

Their guide introduce the waterhole in Japanese, so it means these tourists should be Japanese.

One of our members asks me whether I know which language they are speaking. (I think that's beacuse I also come from Asia)

"It's the Japanese" I say, because Japanese TV programs are also displayed in Taiwan.

Actually, I have learned a little Japanese and I love the Japanese TV programs, TV games, cartoons and movies. I even travlled in Hokaiddo, the north territory of Japan, in 2008 by myself.

After Japanese tourists leave, it's our turn to take a look at Mutijulu Waterhole. 

The reflection on the water make the scene looks special.

About Mutijulu Waterhole, the aboriginal legend is told that a water snack named Wanampi lived here.

Wanampi is also called Rainbow Serpent which is the motif of aboriginal art.

However, is there a real snake with colors of the rainbow?

Actullay, Rainbow Serpent is referred to the snake-like meandering of water. When the sunlight strike the water, the observer will see the spectrum in a specific angle.

In the belief of aboriginal people, the Tjukurpa, Rainbow Serpent is in control of important resource, oil and water. It formed the gullies and deep channels as he slithered across the landscape.

I think it's the same as the Chinese legend in which the king of dragon could control the wind, rain and thunder and lives in the palace located in the depth of the ocean.

We keep walking toward the entrance and it seems that we missed the meeting point with Mark.

Mark shows us the only white trace on Uluru and tells a story about that.

The legend said, there is a creature living on the top of Uluru. He stole the food of other people and made them very angry. The people shouted at him but he ignored them. Suddently, the creature fell down from the top and died without any reason. His slip created the white trace and it's said his body was at the bottom.

I still don't know the truth of the formation but the story is fun.

Returning to Ayers Rock Resort, I say goodbye to everyone in front of Outback Pioneer Hotel and Lodge.

Though it would be fun to travel with them for the rest of the trip, I've already had my plan in my lasy day at Uluru.

Outback Pioneer is a series of YHA hostels. It's awesome that the facilities of this hostel should be the best of all, included restaurant, guest kitchen, shop, pub and swimming pool. Precisely, it looks like a cheap resort with backpacker rooms.

After the check-in, I reorder my stuffs into my baggages. I really don't like this job before the flight.

So, what is my plan in the afternoon?

When I studied the information and activities about Uluru, I decided to take the helicopter and watch Uluru on the sky. It would be amazing to take a photo of Uluru in this way. Besides, I also want to see the sunset for the last time.

I ask for the heli trip at the desk. There are two companies for the heli tour and another one for the aeroplane.

It's lucky that the staff booked the PHS Helicopter Scenic Flights for me.

Actually, I didn't book all the activities before coming to Australia and the weather today is also good for flying. 

Sometimes, I will change my mind according to my feeling even I've made the decision in my itinerary.

Anyway, today is my lucky day.

I write my diary and postcards before the pick-up.

There is a excellent viewing area called Uluru Lookout at where you could watch Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

I also buy a music cd about Didgeridoo, stones with aboriginal drawing and other souvenirs in the store.

I know some tourists may buy a real Didgeridoo, but it's too long to be carried with me.

Besides, there is a controversial issue of the hardwood used for producing Didgeridoo.

In the traditional way, Didgeridoo is only made by the dead hardwood, not the living one. 

Therefore, buying a music cd is a better way unless you have learned how to play Didgeridoo.

When the time is coming, I read other information in the lobby and wait for the bus.

Suddently, I notice that I could take a short camel ride at the camel farm in the resort.

However, I have to arrive the farm before 5:00 p.m

If the heli tour is finished earlier than I expected, I even want to join the camel ride at sunset.

No matter which activity I will join later, the decision will be made after the heli tour. 

The place we take the helicopter is at the airport. The plane of Qantas is not far from our helicopter.

Because I'm alone, I'm lucky to have a seat beside the driver.

As for the windows, they are the domed glasses specialized for photographing.

This domed window is quite perfect for it will not affect your camara in any angle and the photo you take will be  good in quality.

Taking off and flying toward Uluru, the red landscape looks like an aboriginal artwork.

The view of Uluru becomes 3D as we get close to it.

I think it's impossible to watch on the ground or on the top of Uluru and there is no high mountain around here where could provide you the same amazing scenery.

At this moment, I have no word to describe this impressive feeling.

Except for Uluru, I also see Kata Tjuta in the far. This scene is also very special and awesome.

About fifteen minutes, the helicopter tour is finished.

I ask the bus driver to send me directly to the camel farm. 

It seems that I could join the camel tour at sunset. That's Great!

Before 5:00 p.m, I've booked the trip and stay at the camel farm watching the lovely camels. 

There is a baby camel behind the office. 

Let's talk about some dat about camels.

Camel is not the native animal in Australia and they were imported from Europe in the 19 century.

Someone considered that camel could be the substitute for the disappeared Diprotodon just as dingo replaced Tasmania tiger.

Besides, camels can live pretty well in the desert region, and are ideal for transport, especially the heavy work.

However, their characteristics make the impact on the environment.

First, camels could eat any plants. Camel could ingest 80% of the plant species available. Therefroe, they afftect the harvest of food plants for aboriginal people and other vegetarian animals.

Second, camels could drink 10 to 20 liters of water in just one minutes so that they could walk for a long distance without drinking any water. However, the water is also the important resource to aboriginal people and other animals in the desert region.

So, their good talent for the food and water become the trouble, the nuisance. 

(Copyright (C) Damien, Uluru Photography; Please Don't Use Without Permission)

(Copyright (C) Damien, Uluru Photography; Please Don't Use Without Permission)

 

Riding a camel is similar to riding a horse, but the way you get on the camel is different.

The camel will kneel down on the ground before you sit on him.

When you seated, you have to lie your body back so that you will not fall down as the camel stands up.

These camels are connected one after one by the strings on their noses.

The first camel is the leader. After everyone got on their camels, we depart in a slow pace away from the farm.

Riding on the camel is very interesting and fun. It would be a pity if you only ride for a few minutes.

Sometimes, the camel I ride will eat the plants when walking. "Are you so hungry?" I wonder.

Because of the weaving from the camel, taking photos is not an easy job.

Of course, that is not a big problem. There is a professional photographer taking pictures for us.

The camara he uses is Canon EOS 7D, a nice DSLR camara!

(Copyright (C) Damien, Uluru Photography; Please Don't Use Without Permission)

Walking for a while, I see Uluru again at sunset.

The weather is better than yesterday. Without clouds, Uluru looks like a shining red rock.

I'm quite satisfied with the trips today. Everything is wonderful and perfect.

About seven o'clock,  two hours passed soon just like I only ride for two minutes.

As I get off the camel, I do something funny: I turn my body too quickly and fall down from my camel to the sand.

It's so embarrassing but I didn't get hurt.

The staff treats us with cookies and breads in the office. The bread is special with two kinds of sauces.

During the time, we could watch the photos took by the professional photographer. 

You could choose to buy the printed photos or the digital files.

If you want all the good photos, it's recommeded to prepare an empty SD memory card. 

The price for storing images into SD is 30 AUD but I think it's worth. After all, these photos are better than mine.

However, you have to notice that if you want to use the photos or videos in commercial or research purposes, you have to apply the Perimit in advance.

Before returning to the hostel, the staff shows us the milk-feeding for the baby camel.

Back to the hostel in the night, the outdoor pub is very busy and crowded with tourists.

I go to the silent Uluru Lookout watching the stars. The night view is much beautiful than what I saw in the car park of King's Canyon.

Besides, I finally understand how to switch the manual focusing of my wide-angle lens.

Under the same condition, this lens performs better than another one.

The photos of stars are the best ones I've taken.

It's really a perfect ending of my journey in central Australia.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Serpent

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Aboriginal_mythology#Rainbow_Serpent

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Didgeridoo

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_feral_camel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diprotodon

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