The South Australian Pilgrims have been on a unique journey this year, and arrived at Yulara full of anticipation.
Seeing the rock on the horizon was particularly exciting, as it was the first time for many of us. Brodie says that he just thought “Wow, it’s so massive” when seeing it up close.
When the crew arrived at the camp ground in Yulara we were greeted by our neighbours for the weekend; the Western Australian bus. “They’re a much bigger group,” says Brodie. “But they were great and welcomed us in. It didn’t feel long before it felt like we already knew them.” We got to know them even bette rafter dinner when we went over to the evening program at the Basecamp Big Top. That was a time where we heard from Basecamp about what they’ve been doing, received our Pilgrimage bandanas and heard a special performance from some visitors from Mutitjulu, the local Indigenous community.
Then Friday morning was the big one: visiting Uluru. We got up fairly early to breakfast and shower, before going out with the Western Australians to do the Mala Walk. On their bus we got to talk more, but also had to do bus aerobics. That’s apparently normal on some of the other buses, but we’re not quite so sure.
When we arrived at Uluru we got a guided tour around a section of the rock. Brodie’s favourite part was the Tjilpi Cave – a cave that looks like a wave. Brodie says: “One cool thing was seeing the old artworks. Also finding out that there’s sacred sites for women’s business. It’s interesting that guys and girls get their own areas at Uluru”.
Then Saturday we visiting Kata Tjuta, another big cultural site nearby. After that we joined the other buses for a festival at Yulara that the Anangu kids were invited to. Brodie says that the best bit was the water slide, and he enjoyed playing snakes and ladders with some of the Indigenous kids.
When asked what he learnt from the experience, Brodie says ” I actually learnt that they’re thinking of closing the climb, and I have a better idea of why it should be closed; that people actually get hurt. It was also really interesting to hear the stories and learn how Uluru was created”.