For our final day on The Rock Tour, we were up even earlier – 4:30!! It felt like I’d had no sleep at all, but I was beyond the point of tiredness and so got straight up, packed up my swag and made my way to the cheese grater toaster to make some brekky. Barry had slept like a baby – probably due to being so tired from the lack of sleep the night before.
Once we were all fed, we jumped back on the bus and made our way to Kings Canyon. It was still dark when we arrived, so we couldn’t see what we were about to climb, but that was all part of the fun. Tommy warned us that it was going to be a tough trek to begin with, with some steep climbs including one called “Heart Attack Hill”! It was a bit nerve-wracking to be climbing a rocky steep pathway in the dark, but I was grateful that the sun wasn’t out, as I knew as soon as it did, it was going to get hot and that would make it even harder. After a few minutes and a lot of lost breath, we made it to the first rest point. You could just seen the sun starting to come out, but we had a way to go yet before we made it to the point where we wanted to be when the sun rose. So our up hill journey continued. It was tough, but the higher we climbed, the more the sun started to rise and the more we could see of what we were actually climbing and it looked amazing.
We eventually reached the spot where we wanted to see the sun rise, after we’d crossed a little bridge. We sat down to take it all in and it was beautiful! We sat there for quiet some time just resting and chatting. But then it was time to move again and head down to the Garden of Eden. We continued to walk up and over more rocks, across more ledges and then made our way down some stairs into a gauge. There was a little stream of water down below. It does say you can swim in it, but it didn’t look very clear and no doubt it would be freezing!
There was a ‘Lion King Ledge’ in the Garden of Eden, so it was a perfect photo opportunity for the horse’s head. I was brave and went straight up – Barry was shocked. I think I’ve overcome my fear of heights since we’ve been exploring all these high mountains and going on glass bottomed cable cars. The horse had become a bit of a celeb with many of the other tour goers wanting to have their pics taken with him.
Once all the photos had been taken, and we’d recovered from nearly losing Tommy over the edge after he slipped wearing the horse’s head (I did warn him you couldn’t see properly out of it!) we continued our walk. We had a few stops along the way where we were told about some of the different plants that the Aborigines used in the canyon to help with injuries or to make people who do wrong go blind! Scary stuff!
After about 4-5 hours, we could finally see the tour bus in the distance. That last part of the climb down felt the longest. To know the end is in sight and yet still feels so far away. Plus I was dying for a pee – there were no toilets along the way and it had been hours since we left! Once we reached the bottom, I ran for the loo – I wasn’t the only one!
Once we all made it back to the bus, the long journey back to Alice Springs began. We stopped for lunch along the way at Mount Ebenezer. It felt like ages ago since we were last here on our very first toilet break into the tour. We all sat down and started to prepare the food ready to feel our wraps again. Only this time, we were outside and were inundated with flies. We had to cover all the food with spare plates. As you were eating you had to keep batting them off and I’m sure at least one person must have rolled a fly into their wrap and I’m certain we all ate at least one as they landed on our food without us noticing!
After we’d had enough of all the flies, we quickly packed up and jumped back on the bus. There was only one more stop to be had and that was at the camel farm. The camel rides were optional and after Barry and I had ridden them in Egypt, he swore blind he would never do it again. Everyone always comments on how riding a camel is not good for a man – it’s very bouncy! But it’s really not great for women either; a bra gives no support when you’re bobbing up and down on a camel! A few people took up the offer of a ride, but many declined. One guy on our trip – Peter, told us how he had once booked a camel ride to take him across the desert to a border somewhere, he would be on this camel for three days. Needless to say after one and a half days, he ended up walking the camel! I’m surprised he lasted the day and a half!
Shortly after, it was back on the bus for the last leg of our journey. It was quiet, most people slept and once we all reached Alice Springs it was time for a much needed shower and a lay down on a comfy bed.
That night we meet all our fellow tour goers at The Rock Pub. Where we had dinner and drank jugs of beer. It was the perfect end to a great three days. So thank you Emu Tours for cancelling on us with no reason – it meant we got to spend our last three days in Australia with some amazing people on the truly fantastic Rock Tour!