Journal of the far side: 5 – Longitude 131

Sun in Gemini

Longitude 131 is the place where Uluru lives. Right in the middle of nowhere…

It’s 06:10 in the morning and the mercury is rising past twenty-eight degrees centigrade outside our air conditioned and life-saving room.


Most of yesterday afternoon, it was over forty degrees. When they bus you in from the local airport, they tell you you’ll need a litre of water for every hour you spend ‘our there’. Out there is Uluru, the largest monolith on Earth; a single rock, deeply sacred to the Aboriginal people, most of whose mass, like an iceberg, is beneath the surface of the rocky desert that forms the Red Centre of Australia.

It is ‘just a rock’ but that doesn’t really describe it. Its presence on the near horizon – if you can get high enough within the small town of ‘Ayers Rock Resort’ to actually see it, is formidable. It changes colour…

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