Kata Tjuta

On the 18th I headed out to Kata Tjuta, what is called the Olgas by the white tribe. I was told that these are much less visited and I would be able to wander free and unobstructed with few people around. In fact the exact opposite was true, there were coach loads of noisy young people and chattering couples. You had to keep strictly to the path – a 7 K loop and most of the time I had to stop and wait to avoid becoming entangled in noise and distraction. So bad was it that in the end I went off trail and hid in a quiet corner until most of the rush had moved on, then I rejoined the trail. Even so the place was still extraordinary and powerful in a different way.

The Aboriginis’ say this is a mens site and the path again keeps you well away from anything interesting. At the end of the trail there was a party of university students who were being given a geology lesson under the shade of a shelter. So I too was able to learn of something of the geological origins of the place – by eavesdropping! Kata Tjuta, Uluru and Mount Conner are all on a line of an ancient glacier which during a warming period dropped the detritus collected by the ice. The Olgas are made up of conglomerate rock – big lumps glued by compressed clay. This is the heaviest stuff so gets deposited first, The light sands drop later forming Uluru and Mount Conner, which are later compressed with silica to form sand stone. Uluru is like an iceberg – only the top 1/3 is above the surface. Eventually as the Earths crust squeezes together – forming the ripples of the MacDonnel ranges, so these large compressed deposits are forced to the surface, where they begin to erode with water and wind.

Later in the evening I watch the domes turn flaming red in the dying sunlight.

Kata Tjuta | 2012 | Uncategorized