Sunday, October 31, 2010

my time at Kata Tjuta [many, many photos]

with my climb of Kata Tjuta - I have decided to mostly let the pictures speak for themselves.. unless of course, I need to point something out. The pictures are mostly un-edited - the photos are in walking sequence.. words in italic are from my journal.
[you will see 'orbs' in many of the photos - yes, they were taken with the sun shining but i have my doubts that they are only sun spots. this place was one of the most spiritual places I have ever visited] - please click on photos to enlarge them.. many orbs will be seen
at Kata Tjuta, I asked the ancestors to help me with my belonging and spiritual journey.

ENJOY MY TIME AT KATA TJUTA - you will see that in comparison to the lushness of what England is like - this land that I have been born to this time is barren, hard & soul feels it.. and this is why I struggle.. but this land is oh, so, so ancient and wise. that is what i must tap into

the beginning of the 8 kilometer Valley of the Winds walk

many desert Mulgas dotted the pathways.. when the wind whistled through the branches it sounded like an Aboriginal corroboree and the beating of their music sticks... very ancient sound, stirring my soul. [orbs?]

the first stopping point - it was cold and very windy.. I cannot even tell how I felt when I first saw the view from this lookout

Joe, once again walked ahead of me, allowing me to absorb the energies without chatter

DOME AFTER DOME... Kata Tjuta means 'many heads'

I came upon many waterholes, that were crystal clear. as I crossed a creek, a red dragonfly greeted me & hovered for a moment before darting off...

pure enough to drink

a place where I sat for awhile, once again anointing myself with the Holy water of this ancient land "I dipped my hand into the stream water, expecting it to be cold, but it was warm. Budgerigars flew across at the moment I anointed myself - my brow and my crown chakras - with water from the heart of Australia."

a little finch [nyii-nyii] made itself known to me.. sat with me for a very short time..energies blending.

i walked up this stoney creek

and climbed through this tree.

arriving at a hill, which to me looked more like a mountain.. at the top was Joe, cheering me on.. you can do it!

and there was my very own rock.. at the second lookout of the Valley of the winds -

I believe that this is where the area gets its name.. it was very windy and so cold.. even though the sun beat down.. the wind whistled eerily, like the ancestors were talking to me.

down this cliff

to the valley floor

at the valley floor, I came across a pile of stones.. this is where i sat to meditate for quite awhile [will tell of my experience in another post].. of course, I had to add my stone to this. a sign that I had been here.

GAIA & the heart of Earth.. a very ancient land

FROM MY JOURNAL: I felt very welcomed here at Kata Tjuta, enveloped in a warm energy even though it was cold and windy. protected somehow. I heard many voices.. the Elders: "acceptance of where you are"..... as I was walking, thinking of how I was actually in the desert - physically and also creatively: "look around you, there is beauty always'...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

my thoughts of Uluru

when I decided not to climb Uluru, a peace came over me.. like I was doing my bit to honour our connectedness to one another.. I mean, we don't climb Stonehenge or the Pyramids and I would hate that someone would even think or want to climb over my ancestors graves..

Thursday morning. woke to rain, quite heavy - felt disappointed that it looked like i wouldn't get to walk the base of Uluru. But then I thought that this rain is for a reason. do I allow rain to stop me on part of this spiritual pilgrimage? or do I walk the base of Uluru, a little wary of the severe electrical storms that were predicted
the sky is dark but I am determined to walk the base of the rock. I don't care if I get wet. not at all. I am a little afraid of the lightning

as we drove up towards the rock, the scene was eerily familiar. rain came down..

driving on the way, I realized I had forgotten to bring my camera - was this the Elders way of telling me to go bare, to be simple, to absorb the energies? to me it seemed as if everything was against me walking the base

arriving at the start of the walk, I took my shoes off. the path was muddy & pools of water dotted along in front of me.

Joe walked on, ahead of me, to allow me time to myself. [these photos are from his iPhone - he took them as he walked along.. so pleased that he did, because i can share them here]

the paths meander along the base - sometimes close, sometimes a little way away.. you can see the water coming down from the rock.. they were gushing down

and some of the waterfalls poured into the waterholes.

waterholes are plenty at the base of the rock. now they are full. the water is pure. I dipped my hand into this one - blessing myself with Holy water from Uluru.

along the base of the rock there are many caves ~ the ancestors used them to shelter or for sacred ceremony. some you are not allowed to take photos of.. this one we could actually walk into

as I walked along alone, the puddles got deeper and deeper. I got a little frightened, I will admit.. scared of water snakes and other things in the water, which was up above my ankles by this stage... I was about a third of the way round, alone.. when Joe came back. he said that the water was up to his knees and you could not see where the path went. so we decided to walk on a little more so he could take a photo of me to show...

did I feel a connection? not sure. but I was in awe of being at the Heart of this ancient land Australia. my home. as I was walking along, I asked for belonging. I did hear a voice deep within tell me that I do belong. I hope that I can begin to believe that voice . sometimes I feel like a gypsy - with no place that I feel that I belong.

the clouds hid the top of Uluru. coming right down near the base. mist surrounded Her, eerily. the scene was breath-taking. it was here that I realized the reason for the rain. How many people get to see Her like this? I felt privileged.
[this photo was taken from the road that goes right around the base of Uluru]
as I walked along the flooded path, 3 crows flew overhead.. native crows calling to me.. later that day I saw a pure yellow butterfly and two desert lizards.
[I learned later from the aboriginal people, that the crow is connected to creation time]

Monday, October 25, 2010

Kuniya Sunset

Wednesday afternoon, we had spare time so we decided to book in for a walk with the Indigenous people - the Anangu - traditional aboriginal people who have lived their entire lives around Uluru {my dot painting workshop was cancelled - not enough interest to run it.. I was disappointed to say the least}

our tour began at the Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Uluru, where we had free time to explore the dream time stories [and of course buy trinkets].. then we were off to visit caves .. [some of which I could not take photos, due to them being Sacred sites for women's business - I did learn that this is where the women went to give birth and teach other women about health and such]... wise women sitting around sharing wisdom.. how I wish it were like that for us..

our very own Standing Stones - created by Mother Earth herself - part of the Uluru walk.

we visited the beautiful Mutitjulu Waterhole [the water was pristine - clear and unpolluted]
and then to caves where the ancestors had taught the children to paint..

these circles are found the world over.. to the aboriginal people they mean many things depending on what symbols they are put with.. here we have a chain of circles connected by two lines - our guide, Happy, told us that this meant that her ancestors walked from waterhole to waterhole..

Happy wandered around barefoot, not flinching at all when she stepped on rocks and rubble.. she is carrying a herb - much like tobacco - that they chew and place between the lip and teeth when they are walking.. it helps to prevent thirst while they are walking long distance.. numbs the mouth & produces alot of saliva.

we then sat in circle while Happy and the interpreter taught us of bush foods.. many little bowls [piti] were passed round.. full of quandong, wattle and grass seeds.. all used in traditional aboriginal food

our Anangu guide, Happy, sat with her partner and told stories through an interpreter about bush tucker.
from my journal: I felt as if I were in the presence of a Goddess - tears came to my eyes. I felt honoured to be there. How I wish I could feel a connection like these people did. so wise, so connected

the aboriginal people really do not like having their photos taken - Happy was very obliging.. she told us that if she allowed us to take her photo, then we must give something in return.. she wants us to send photos of her back to Uluru so that she can show her grandchildren

before I went to Uluru, I was determined to climb the rock. to the summit. Until I met the aboriginal people and listened to their story. And once I saw the climb, I realized that I couldn't do it physically or mentally... so I walked around it [story to come soon] ~ the aboriginal women would climb the rock after rain for water. it was their work to collect it and bring it down in bowls [pita]
as well as the sacredness of Uluru, the aboriginal people get very sad when someone dies attempting to climb. they believe that a person must die in their own country [and to aboriginal people, country is the place where you were born..] The name they gave these people who climb the rock is 'MINGA' meaning little ants, not worth worrying about, insignificant. ~ that is what we were told on the tour.

[all photos are taken at the base of Uluru.. click on them to enlarge]

NEXT ~ walking Uluru

Palya ~ Thankyou

Saturday, October 23, 2010

desert awakening

a tree at Uluru

thankyou for all your supportive comments about my camel ride.. I thought I was being a 'baby' with my fear.. but it seems a few of you felt the same.. we are all brave girls !]

Wednesday, our day started at 5am - to see the desert awaken.. sunrise was around 6.15am.

a short four wheel drive to the desert,to our own private sand-dune. away from the multitude of tourists..a small group of 10

a short walk to our camp & a cup of tea when we arrived, with various pastries.. cooking in a pit alongside was a damper for after sunrise.

Kata Tjuta drew my soul towards it. this to me is a spiritual place. a place of belonging.

star gazing as the sun rose behind Uluru and the domes of Kata Tjuta. then a bacon and egg roll and more tea if we wished.

damper and cocky's joy [otherwise known as golden syrup] - this took me back to my childhood .. it was a favourite of mine.

wandering silently in the desert. In total awe of the quietness and just being able to only the birds and insects was like pure heaven. no traffic, no modern day noise. even our fellow tourists were quiet. a stillness had come over us all.. we talked in hushed voices. not wanting to disturb the purity of it all.

the Red Centre is lush right now ~ they have had rain every month & and according to the local botanist who has been living in the area for over 15yrs. there are flowers that are blooming that he had never seen..

I wanted to drown in the honey perfume of the desert heath myrtle

from my journal:
as I stood looking out over the early morning desert, two native bees did a dance around the native desert mulga flowers.. their buzzing piercing the stillness & quietness. the air was so cool and still. standing on top of the red sand dune looking at the sunrise over Kata Tjuta, the bird and insect sounds on the silence of early morning in the desert, silence which has been like this forever, untouched by the progress of humanity. this is what life should be like.

if you click on the photos, you can see them in a bigger scale

NEXT: our walk with the Indigenous people...
"She seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if she had surprised a butterfly in the Winter woods"
(edith wharton)