Sunday, February 13, 2011

Kings Canyon

We woke up nice and early, which was easy as our motel was full of beetles, grasshoppers and hopping mice that we barely even slept. We got picked up at 6 am and started our 5 hour journey down to Watarrka National Park.

The desert was very lush and covered in plants due to the recent flood/cyclones aftermath, which is totally rare and strange to picture the desert as after years of drought.
I drew on the window.. haha

Look how high we climbed! And that was only like the first part!

Our first destination was Kings Canyon where we had to do a 4 hour hike in 40 degrees heat, it was hectic. I'm talking steep climbs and inclines. Even the declines were tough as you had to balance on loose rocks. The greatest thing about the hike was that there was a waterhole half way to cool off our toes. That water made my swimming stuff smell disgusting though.

Rabbit rock, can you see it?

But the waterhole felt and seemed like a picture out of a travel brochure, surrounded by cliff, sandstone rocks and drenched in cool, clear water that was shared with tadpoles and dragonflies (as well as spiders and mosquitoes..) - it really was refreshing and beautiful.
Jellyfish fossils

After the hectic hike, we went to go collect dead mulga wood in the desert for firewood. It started to rain and thunder by then so we rushed to get enough which meant splintered arms and fingers and scratched legs (the plants you brush past and mulga wood are quite sharp, it is the wood Aboriginals use for their spears).

I saw heaps of birds nests!

We hurried to the camp ground where we started a huge fire after Alina and I collected spinifex to start it up (who would've thought desert grass has splinters too!) We were the fire marshals! Dinner was delicious but the fact we couldn't shower and peed in bushes all day made me feel gross. I felt so disgusting lying in my sleeping bag and swag (we pretty much all slept on the ground without a tent) without having showered even though I sweated hardcore all day.

One of the girls got bitten by a scorpion! How crazy is that! She accidentally stepped on it and the crazy thing flipped its tail and stabbed her through her flip flops! But she embraced it tough and didn't complain! The scorpion was about a middle finger long! And Sam just stormed in and crushed it with his hiking boots, ew!

We were scared that it would rain as the clouds looked nasty but when I woke up at 2am, I knew the winds had pushed it aside because, like curtains, I was revealed the clearest sky I had ever seen, speckled by a billion stars. I thought to myself that they looked like freckles of the sky. I saw 5 shooting stars that night!
Rolled up swags

For a night sleeping on desert ground, I slept pretty well due to exhaustion.