Valley of the Winds, what a beautiful name and what an overpoweringly remarkable place as well. Just seeing from afar the huge round mountain range you can have no clue of what lies in store. Coming closer you get a sense of its enormity and suddenly you feel much smaller.
**** This post came to be through a sponsored trip. ****
No hiking for the Feable
Our clever tour guide decided to go the round walk in the opposite direction for a change and what a good idea it was. The temperatures were already in the higher twenties and the sun was relentless. Climbing along the mountains and sparse vegetation did not really allow for much shade with the sun standing directly overhead. Hats became a necessity as were sun lotion and high water consumption.
Over dried out riverbeds, alongside low bushes and spiky grass, called spinifex, we walked rocky paths, climbed over mountain edges and out of the valley of the winds. Sandwiched between rising red walls we stood on layers of boulders and the view just took our breaths away. In the distance we saw another part of the Kata Tjuta and to our back was an enormous wall of stones. It was spectacular.
The mountain range is, however, not made of one large stone, like the Uluru is just sandstone, but is a conglomerate of many different types of stone.
Millions of years ago, back when the whole area was buried deep under the sea, the valley of the winds was an underwater stream, washing all kinds of rock around. Through the lowering of the sea level and erosion, the stones were squeezed together. Its layers are clearly visible.
Life Trapped in Stone
Within the layers you will not find the normal fossils since back when the layers were formed everything was microbes, crustaceans and seaweed, for instance. If you also wonder why there are holy bits in the rocks that are the bits that were eroded and became sand. There are no pebbles to be found.
After being illuminated on the source of Australian life, we made our descend down from the boulder platform into the valleys again and found ourselves surrounded by greenery. Granted, there were still a heck load of red boulders lying around but trees were growing, tall yellow grass was poking out and bushes stretched out their branches onto our path.
The scenery around the conglomerate that is Kata Tjuta is ever changing and full life. Birds nesting in the nooks and bits of green in the rock, grasshoppers warming themselves on hot rocks and insects whizzing about, this place brings life and tells a long history throughout time. Magical doesn’t cut it.
You have heard about Kata Tjuta before, haven’t you? How did you imagine these huge stone boulders to be like?