#8 Because Aussies are nothing if not brutally honest about the threat of wild animals even in a spiritual sanctuary like Uluru.
After an almost two week lead up, arriving at Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Australia’s Red Centre I expected to be greeted with a sense of calm, wonderment, awe. Instead, a sign near baggage claim nearly had me in hysterics. Was a sign necessary? Hadn’t everyone seen Meryl Streep in A Cry in the Dark? Thankfully, I wasn’t traveling with a baby—or Juan Pablo, who probably wouldn’t have been able to get over the threat. Although he’d be happy to know how to avoid French, German and Japanese speaking dingoes.
Although, at that point in the trip, I shouldn’t have been surprised. Practically everywhere I turned Down Under there was a sign announcing dangerous encounters with wildlife. So far, I’d avoided the deadly jellyfish in Darwin and the marauding parrots on Hamilton Island. Now I was just hoping I didn’t encounter any rampaging koalas around Uluru.
Like one of my all-time favorite films Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, the ultimate destination on my last trip Down Under was Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the country’s “Red Centre.” Granted, I didn’t take a bus or wear a silver lamé dress (damn), but I did sing lots of disco songs and chose a circuitous route. I found the majesty of Uluru spellbinding—one of those places that more than lives up to expectations. No wonder it’s a finalist to be one of the New7Wonders of Nature, an online poll that will announce winners on 11.11.11. Join me in voting for Uluru/Ayers Rock, by visiting www.n7w.com/uluru. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up adding Uluru to my sleeve.
Jon Paul Buchmeyer for Poptimistic.com