The Hop On Hop Off bus driver advised me to start my 10-11 km walk around the base of Uluru from the Mala carpark but I wanted to get going as soon as possible. I also wanted to test myself on a shorter section to see whether I was physically able to complete the walk. The longest section is between Mala and Kuniya Piti and so I wanted to try something simpler first. As it turned out, Mutitjulu/Kuniya was the best starting place early in the morning. The Mutitjulu start is about half way along the southern long side of the rock so, as I walked, I was facing directly into the sun, then I turned the corner for a long walk on a shorter eastern side of Uluru with the sun on my right side. At the turn towards the Mala carpark, located about 2/3rds of the way along the northern side of the rock, I had the sun behind me. If I have waited and got off the shuttle bus at Mala then for most of the walk the sun would have been in my eyes. I tried to explain this to the bus driver later (same one who had previously advised me) but he didn’t seem to understand.
The track heading east from Kuniya carpark near the Mutitjulu Waterhole to the Kuniya Piti carpark is titled the Kuniya Walk.
Initially it was very cold even though I was rugged up with beanie and warm jacket. As I walked from the carpark to start on the circular track, the sun struck the rock hard creating strong contrasts (while some edges remained totally in shadow). This was the start of an hour or so of squinting to minimise the glare.
One lower section presented as a worn unbroken wave. At every turn the rock presented dramatic vistas. My heart wanted to burst with the joy of the privilege of being here, the gratitude that I could walk, and the pleasure of seeing new ways to understand the look of Uluru.