Another early start, with 5am being wake-up time. We were camped very close to Kings Canyon so it was only a short journey after breakfast to this enormous natural feature, where we engaged in a 3 1/2 hour long walk. A lot of it was little stops here and there as our guide pointed things out and explained the Aboriginal take on a lot of it.
There are over 600 species of plant in the area around Kings Canyon. It is also the meeting place of three regions: the Western Desert, Simpson Desert and a Range of mountains that I didn’t catch the name of.
Anyone who’s seen the film Priscilla Queen of the Desert will recognise one of the spots in Kings Canyon from the “cock in a frock on a rock” scene, or so I’m told. I’ve not seen the film, but I had my photo taken at that spot. Apparently, they were going to film it at Uluru, but the Aboriginals didn’t take too kindly to it.
We saw lichen on the rocks which is pretty much one of the oldest forms of life, around 3.5 billion years old (or a couple of thousand if you’re one of those nutty creationists), and “ghost gums”: pale trees covered in a white dust which almost glow in the dark. Aboriginals make the dust into a paste which works as a mild sunscreen.
At the bottom of the Canyon, down some stairs, is an area known as the Garden of Eden. It’s home to a lot of vegitation and wildlife, and a nice big pool where you can swim. I opted to just collapse in the shade, out of the fierce sun.
Exhausted, I arranged dinner with a couple of people from the tour (all German!) and headed for my room at Melanka’s. A shower was the first requirement, so off I toddled and came back to my room feeling awake for the first time in days.
Only to find I couldn’t get into my room.
The key just span uselessly round in the lock, barely even catching the lock mechanism. So there I stood, dripping water on the floor with nothing on but a towel and a rather pissed-off expression. I plodded over to reception which meant going outside and back in, and caught them just as they were closing up for the night. Another five minutes and I don’t know what I’d have done.
They swapped my key for another one. I walked back. It span in the lock. I kicked the door. My towel fell down and I flashed a rather scared-looking Asian girl. I regained my composure (and towel) and walked back to reception. There, they offered me another room and swapped my key. “Erm… problem,” says I. The chap hadn’t seen that I was wearing a towel. He assumed I was just walking around without my shirt on! I needed to get my things out of the room, so he came over with the key to my new room (a double – whoop) and the master key.
Which span round and round in the broken lock.
Until finally it just “clicked” and we got the door open. I retrieved my stuff, ran to the new room, got dressed and just made it in time for dinner with Michaela and her friends. I had a rather nice camel burger (tastes very much like steak) and we stayed out till around 3am. Which was a bit silly as I had to get up at 5:00…