After a four hour bus ride the first day we went to Watarrka National Park to do the Kings Canyon Rim Walk for our first hike of the trip.
Uluru is in a National Park so to give the land back to its rightful owners the Australian government leased it to the Pitjantjatjara with their people having the majority position on the board and after the lease is up they can do what they want with the land. As of now they work hand in hand with the non-Aboriginal rangers helping protect the land. Because Uluru is sacred to their people they don't want people to climb Uluru, but have yet to be able to make it illegal to do so. Their park rangers even have it in their contract that if someone gets hurt climbing Uluru they don't have to take part in the rescue. Sadly, so many people still climb, even though there's a huge sign at the bottom, in several languages, asking people not to climb.
We headed to the sunset viewing area to have dinner and snap some photos of the color changes. It was pretty neat, although it happens so subtly that you almost don't notice. It was awesome though because the full moon was just off to the left, and I love a full moon.
Our second night we were at a campground so we were able to get some nice hot showers and use real toilets - it really is the little things in life you have to appreciate. We sat around the fire for quite awhile, none of us wanted to go to bed because we knew we'd just be freezing cold. Between Milla and Inga (a very funny, and adorable German girl) we had plenty to chat about. It was fun to hear more about everyone's travels and adventures in Australia so far. Plus Killian had tons of stories from all the past tour groups he's had. I just wonder if he'll have any stories about our group to tell the next group. I don't remember anything all that memorable happening, but who knows. This time when he told us we had to get up at 5:30am none of us moaned about it because we knew we'd all be more than ready to get up and moving.
Day three had us watching the sun rise next to Uluru while eating our breakfast. It was terribly cold and windy, but well worth the effort. Plus, when it's that cold out there's never any trouble finding someone to wash the dishes because it's a sure-fire way to keep your hands warm.