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Uluru cave painting, originally uploaded by espeedy123.

(Texas Mike)
I read a traveler tale prior to visiting the famous Australian icon, Uluru (A.K.A. Ayer’s Rock), and the author ridiculously compared the extensive offering of tourist activities around such a simple rock to that of preparing meal options out of something as simple as an egg. How many ways can one possibly dress it up? Well, there are countless ways travel agents have created for dressing up the Rock and filling itneraries, from the basic hike around the Uluru (like hard-bioling an egg) to an extravagant helicopter or Harley ride for enthusiasts (perhaps eggs benedict?).

In keeping with the spirit of the analogy, here are a few ways we served up our Uluru experience.

Hard boiled: Drove around the rock from the comfort of our rockin’ Toyota Corolla. For two rounds of the simple 10k drive, we had the rock to ourselves as no one wanted to brave the 100+ degree heat. Simple as it gets, and very enjoyable.

Scrambled: A massive rain storm had the tour operators scrambling to find an alternate place to cook us up an outback sand dune breakfast near the rock. After this initial early morning disaster, we toured the base of the rock on a couple of trails as Ranger Rick introduced us to our first ancient Aborginal tales and some cave painting.

Sunny-side up: Joined the masses for the 6am sunrise viewing. Yeah, you have to wake up around 4am. But it’s amazing to watch the rock come alive with the rapidly changing light as the sun climbs over the horizon. And the people watching ain’t bad either.

Local flavor: Enjoyed an afternoon of paints as local Aborigines explained the origins of dot painting and meanings behind their ancient symbols. We could even recognize elements of the 3,000 yr. old painting pictured above – pretty cool. Ended the day by trying our hand at our own colorful masterpiece. My technique needs some refinement – contemplating a week in the bush for practice.

Gormet: Took an evening bus ride out to a secluded look-out point for a little outback dining in style. Toasted over a sunset among distant lightning storms. Enjoyed a buffet of local game including croc and kangaroo. Ended the evening with some spectacular star-gazing – no light pollution here. Saturn says hello.

Not bad for a simple rock in the middle of nowhere.