The weather gods were not in our favour. Since yesternight they had the clouds roll in, rage storms and the occasional downpour on our heads.
Accordingly, we had to shift our plans and instead of hiking around Uluru, we focused on Kata Tjuta instead.
This post came to be by being on this tour free of charge to cover it. I wasn’t paid.
Over flat surfaces and down rocky slopes, through narrow paths and bushes, we explored the Valley of the Winds on our trip with Groovy Grape Tours. It definitely lived up to its name with the winds blowing in our faces, fiercely ripping off our hats and rustling through the canopy.
It was rather uncomfortable walking around in soggy clothes and slippery rocks, but the view was even better than in pure sunshine, in my opinion. I mean, just look at the pictures and believe me when I say that it was so much more intensely coloured and stunning than any photos can portray.
Surprisingly for an arid temperature zone, the area around the Olgas was rich in green vegetation with low shrubs, prickly bushes and the obligatory gumtrees. No sign of the cliché Australian dry landscapes; there was vegetation galore.
The highlighted green of the trees and bushes by the thousands of water droplets made for a stark contrast with the rock mounds that were leached of their colour in front of our very eyes. Every so often, the clouds held on to their particles and led us to believe that the worst was over, but that was not the case.
On the last three km, the clouds gave their very best to squeeze out every drop and shed them on our droopy heads, which nearly missed the spectacle of gloomy colours that unfolded on the landscape. With each drop the reds were deepened and took on a near black colour with the rain shimmering in a silver light.
I have already covered the makeup of Kata Tjuta in an earlier blog post, but another fun geo fact concerns how the holes in the rock face formed. Since the different components of the rocks have lots of silica and minerals in it, they will leach out in the rain through osmosis.
Over a long period of time, this causes the various holes and if you look closely you can even see where the rains have run off, creating small waterfalls in the process!
We did not have to use that much imagination today since the rain was that strong at the end of our hike that actual waterfalls were rushing down. They were not big or imposing but many in number and caused an impressive sound that caused me to look up in the first place.
I really did not want to leave and stood, completely soaked by now, in the rain, admiring the scene. All I can say is, why would you insist on seeing this sight on a perfectly sunny day and take pictures of red rocks contrasting with blue sky and green flora when you can have this unique and captivating view all to yourself?
For days with clearer skies, we might have participated in the sunset camel walk or sky diving but as it was, we chose (or rather had no other choice)
It is your choice of preference ultimately and I would really like to know. Would you like dry and sunny with bright colours or wet and dim with shimmering grey overtones?
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