I stepped out from the Hop On Hop Off bus into the late morning sun ready to explore the 2 km return Mala walk located close to the base of Uluru (you may recall I had walked along the road bypassing this part of the track yesterday). The word ‘mala’ is the rufous hare-wallaby in the Pitjantjara language.As usual, I found the powerful shapes of the rock very attractive.
At intervals, side paths left the wide main track and led to panels interpreting aboriginal stories associated with the rock, to labels identifying plants, to local animals that call Uluru home, and to caves with wall paintings in colourful ochres created by local aboriginals in times past.
Then I was back in bushland which provided some relief from the penetrating sun. This was the perfect place to stop and chat. When a women near me asked ‘are you a Roller’, I smiled. We talked for ages recalling our Stuck in the Middle With You’s experiences and now the new wonders of Uluru and more. We took photos of each other.And we meandered together for a while, exclaiming at this and that as we noted new sites and sights.
I returned back to the Mala carpark, seeing Kata Tjuta on the horizon, and wondered whether my next goal was achievable.The sun was very hot, the land was dry and mostly without shade, and my feet were not made for any more walking. Yet I was keen to get to the Cultural Centre. Would I? Could I? Should I?