Category Archives: Uluru

Simplicity equals Longevity

I am a firm believer in keeping it simple in just about every aspect of life and living. Simple solutions are my preferred choice and photographic composition is no exception. It’s what you leave out that makes the difference.

Shooting landscapes with a wide angle lens it’s easy to get caught up in the emotion of a big sprawling beautiful landscape and attempt to include everything. I believe it is much better to leave almost everything out. Nature can be quite chaotic and messy and I find it makes for a much better photo if you can isolate just a few elements in a strong composition. You would be forgiven for thinking that simple isolated strong compositions are the easiest to shoot. They’re not. They demand an eye for simple composition, an eye you have to constantly train. It is much easier to point your wide angle lens at everything or shoot a stitched panorama with a huge viewing angle. Much harder to isolate and pick out the best composition from the chaos.

I will present 3 landscapes from my Australia 2007 trip as examples of keeping it simple. These are subtle and simple photos and I didn’t pay them much attention at first among the many thousands of RAW files from the trip. Obvious shots jump at you when sorting the RAW files but obvious quickly becomes boring. Simplicity has staying power. The magic revealed itself later and I now consider these among my very favourite and best shots. For me all 3 of them have a special quality that somehow defies definition.

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Uluru and tree in the desert
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

A few but key elements make up this composition. A dead tree in the hot dry arid red centre of Australia is the main subject, Uluru and a deep blue polarized sky serve as a powerful background and colourful contrast to the monochrome tree. Almost every element is placed on a “golden mean”, a “thirds” position. The sky and Uluru divide the photo and create a balance. Something about the photo feels otherworldly to the viewer.

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Pandanus Palm and Termite Mounds at Hawk Dreaming
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

A few Pandanus Palm trees and Termite Mounds are the subjects and are balanced by the view of wide open space at Hawk Dreaming. The soft light at dusk lends a tranquil quality to the emotional impact. Most people will also feel the exotic subjects of Pandanus and Termite mound creates an otherworldly alien feel.

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Hawk Dreaming Savannah View
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

The cleanest and simplest of compositions, only 3 elements. The sky, the trees, the foreground. To create the dramatic wide angle composition and have the trees line up on the horizontal dividing line, I simply lay down in the grass and almost had the camera on the ground. The clouds create a strong sense of movement balanced by the detailed motionless foreground.

Simplicity demands an effort

I have found that it takes practice and effort to shoot simple. It’s easy to slip and include too much meaning you loose having a simple single focus point in the picture. Next time you compose a photo think about every elements you choose to include. Do they add to the photo? Do they subtract? Study the scene in your viewfinder, try different compositions – and keep it simple!

One desert for me please!

I travelled in Oz years ago with a Swiss woman who always got the words “desert” and “dessert” mixed up. So in a restaurant we would be having “desert” and we would be camping in the Australian “dessert”. I love Swiss people, they’re crazy and they’re funny. I smile at their use of English, they laugh at my German 😀 I know her well (hi Susan if you read this!) so I’m sure she won’t mind me telling the story of how she once couldn’t recall the word “waitress” and instead made up “woman who gives desert around”. Not dessert of the cake or ice-cream variety mind you, no it was “desert” passed around the table! Whenever I visit a desert I smile and shout “dessert” and ignore the “now he’s bloody lost the plot!” look of the others!

Click to see large size on my gallery!

I love the desert and after my Australia 2007 trip I like them even more, it is one of my favourite places to photograph. What most people see as “just a lot of bloody sand” I see as a magical mysterious otherworldly place. No man is an island wrote John Donne so apparently I cannot be an island but I can be a desert! (not dessert). Pictured above (click to see large) is one of my shots from the Pinnacles desert in Western Australia, the Pinnacles is one of the nominees for New 7 Wonders of Nature. (Would have been a better shot later in the day with long shadows but we couldn’t stay.)

“What a desolate place this is” says C-3PO disheartened when they crash land on the desert planet Tatooine in Star Wars, the robot clearly not liking the sight of the huge sand dunes. Me? I would love the desolate sandy deserts of Tatooine! My favourite shot in Star Wars: Luke Skywalker standing outside his uncle’s farm at dusk staring into infinity across the desert at the two (two! no wonder it’s a desert) setting suns of Tatooine. Magic.

So how do you capture this magical feeling in a camera? Not an easy task. Presenting something so large and so desolate on a small photo is difficult indeed, you want to make people “feel” the heat, the remoteness, the bright sunlight and arid sand of the desert in your photo. In Australia I played with different compositions and now I am toying with different post production techniques to try and bring the desert to you and here’s my tips so far for shooting in a desert:

  • Bring water! It’s called a desert for a reason. It’s bloody hot and dry (except at night where it’s really cold…so remember warm stuff if you’re camping out!). Bring sunscreen as well.
  • Use an ultra-wide angle lens to capture the big sweeping sand dunes of the desert…
  • …but remember to have some sort of subject (maybe a lone tree or rock) and have some fore-, middle and background or everything will be so small and far away and flat that interest is lost for everyone but you (we tend to like our own shots, they’re connected with the experience of being there and shooting them…other viewers don’t have this experience).
  • Use a polarizer filter, this is a must!
  • As always – shoot early or late, seek shade in the middle of the day. Deserts may have little in the way of big subjects so the shadows are a very important part – and sand ripples and dunes create magnificent shadows!
  • The sunlight is so bright, the reflections even brighter – that it is a good idea to underexpose by 1/3 or 1/2 of a stop to avoid blown highlights in that lovely sand…
  • …but actually your problem if you use automatic metering will be too much underexposure by your camera due to the very bright scene. It’s a topic for a long and separate article about the matrix metering system but your camera’s light meter doesn’t know it’s sand or snow you’re pointing it at – it’s just trying to find the 18% gray value and since there’s nothing dark in the photo to contrast the brightness it underexposes.
  • Maybe you want to use manual exposure and just use the “sunny-16” rule: f/16 at 1/160, f/11 at 1/250 and f/8 at 1/500 and then just underexpose that by about 1/2 of a stop. Remember when calculating this that the polarizer cuts up to 1 full f-stop!
  • If all you can see is sand and you have no rocks or anything to put in the foreground of your composition – then get down really to the ground and use the grain of the sand and the sand ripples as your foreground.
  • Watch your step. It may look desolate but lot’s of wildlife live in the desert. Don’t step into holes, don’t stick your hand in holes (they’re called Death Adders for a reason these snakes mate!)
  • If you change lenses shield your camera! Desert dust create a lot of specks on your sensor (trust me I know!).

Here’s a few of my photos from desert experiences so far:

Click to see large size on my gallery!

Sand dunes at Lancelin
(technically not in a desert, but an example of using sand with side lighting)

Click to see large size on my gallery!

Uluru and tree in the desert
(Polarizer and max contrast to create the feeling of bright, hot desert)

Click to see large size on my gallery!

Uluru and in the middle of the vast desert
(At sunset and at 24mm the long shadows of Uluru and the sand dunes expresses the remoteness and size of the rock and the desert)

Click to see large size on my gallery!

Gibson Desert, Western Australia
(Driving into the Gibson Desert we are reminded of the dangers of crossing a desert)

My next photo trip is definitely going to include somewhere hot, dry and sandy – one desert for me please! The sand dunes and deserts of Namibia, Death Valley in USA, Morocco, Simpson Desert in Australia and of course Tatooine are at the top of on my list of next destinations.

“What a desolate place this is”. Indeed C-3PO – wouldn’t want it any other way!

Hold on! Photographing from aircrafts!

First tip – don’t fall out! I love photographing landscapes and cities from above in helicopters, planes etc. and if I could have my own helicopter and pilot for a whole trip I would. I’ve done enough flights now that I want to share a few tips with you. Some of the advice are for photographers like me who have to go on scenic flights and can’t afford to just rent my own aircraft to fly me and just me around a whole day – but most of the advice will work for everyone. Scenic flights can be expensive so I’ll try to help you get the most out of them.

I’ll start off with a shot that I really like and that I’ve just processed. It’s the gorgeous and magnificent domes of Kata Tjuta in Australia shot from a helicopter at sunset with my Canon 5D and 24-105mm L f/4.0 lens. Click to see larger size on my gallery.

Click to see large size on my gallery!

The 500 meters tall domes of Kata Tjuta at sunset

PRE-FLIGHT and IN-FLIGHT

  • Reflections. Especially bad in old fixed wing planes with old scratched windows. The curse of the plexiglass can ruin any good photo! A lot of the following tips deal with how to avoid them!
  • If you can get a flight with the doors off then do it – and strap yourself in with a harness or something, it’s very possible to unbuckle your seatbelt with your camera strap! I’m sure you will get some great shots if you fall out but they will be your last!
    If you can’t fly with the doors off then some of the modern helicopters used for scenic flights actually have windows.
  • Talk to and befriend the pilot, tell him you’re a photographer etc. Most of them are happy to help you get shots.
  • If you’re sharing the flight with other passengers try everything you can (beg, bribe etc!) to get the front seat next to the pilot – it’s by far the best. Watch your feet and hands though as you sit in the front, the pilots usually don’t like it when you help fly the plane!
  • Consider when you want to go. Sunrise and sunset has the gorgeous light of course but do pose big problems with reflections since the sun is shining directly into the helicopter or plane meaning everything reflects into the windows. I always go for sunrise and sunset light, but it does mean that half the time you can’t shoot much because you’re pointed straight into the sun.
  • Wear dark clothes with long sleeves, take off your watch etc. This does help A LOT actually. A light coloured T-shirt and your watch etc. will create big intrusive reflections, dark clothes do not reflect as much light.
  • If you can’t get the seat next to the pilot then make sure you sit on the opposite side of the pilot. The pilots always have a tendency to turn the aircraft away from themselves allowing the max number of passengers to see on the other side. Not great though if you’re stuck in the same side as the pilot!
  • Test your headset, make sure it works so you can talk to the pilot during the flight.
  • Have all your gear prepped and ready! You don’t want to change memory cards and lenses etc when flying if you can avoid it. Measure the light just after take-off, select appropriate iso setting etc.
  • Shutter speed. Helicopters are actually very steady and you can get good sharp shots at low shutter speeds like 1/100 or even lower. Planes are much more unsteady and you need at least 1/250 and preferably higher.
  • Aperture. If your lens is sharp wide open then shoot at a wide aperture like f/4.0 or f/2.8. You need it to get a fast shutter speed and this also greatly minimizes the chance of getting sharp well defined reflections in your shot (since everything close to you will be very out of focus).
  • Lens. This is a tough one. You need a good all-round lens for this. I usually shoot with my 24-105mm L f/4.0 lens, it’s a great lens, gives me wide angle and some zoom. I have also used my 17-40mm L f/4.0 lens at times, it depends on what I’m shooting. Don’t fit a mega zoom, you really need a compact lens since there is usually no space in an aircraft to use a big camera with a big zoom.
  • Lens hood. A no brainer but use this! Very handy also for protecting the aircraft. If you scratch the window of a helicopter with your lens then the pilot will likely chuck you out the door. Those things are expensive!
  • Polarizer filter. I’ve only used it for shooting the Great Barrier Reef from above otherwise I won’t bother. You have enough to concentrate and worry about while trying to photograph from the air without fiddling with a polarizer. Can also sometimes enhance window reflections, not really what you want!
  • If you feel comfortable doing it, use manual focus and manual settings of aperture and perhaps shutter speed. Your camera’s light meter and autofocus can get really confused by the changing light conditions and reflections so manual control is better. You do have to be fast on the dials though. I normally go with manual aperture, manual focus and auto shutter speed which I measure manually using exposure lock button on the camera.
  • Motion sickness. Helicopters are very steady, planes much more jumpy and unsteady and some places (see my previous post on Kakadu National Park) provide mega turbulence. It’s easy to feel a bit motion sick staring through a viewfinder even in a steady helicopter, so learn to shoot with both eyes open!
  • Composition. Remember you can always crop later and remember to shoot heaps so you have lots of material to work with. Remember also  that the rotor is hardly visible to the human eye as you sit in the aircraft – however on your photo at 1/500 of a second it’s very visible! So zoom in a bit and try to avoid getting the rotor in the top of your frame.
  • Finally – Shoot!! Shoot away, machine gun your camera! You want to come home with lots of shots that you can edit and crop and work on later. Get heaps of shots, shoot shoot shoot!

AFTER THE FLIGHT

  • Do make a note of what worked and what didn’t so you don’t repeat your mistakes next time.
  • Remember to thank the pilot and get his card and give him yours, you might be back someday and maybe they’ll visit your site and remember you.
  • Sometimes I get back from flights with shots that obviously are hero shots right away. Most of the time however photos shot from high altitudes need  work before the hero shots emerges from the RAW files (you shoot RAW of course!). From high altitudes things get a bit hazy as well. Usually the white balance is off, the exposure is maybe a bit off, the contrast is lacking, the photos are a bit flat and lifeless – and quite often they need some cropping and straightening. So don’t feel disappointed, just get to work, your hero shots are in there in the RAW data but you have to dig it out (like any RAW shot really).

Example

After having read the above, look at my shot from Kata Tjuta again:

Click to see large size on my gallery!

This is during sunset, with little but very gorgeous light so I am using iso 500 (which on the 5D is still very clean). I am sitting next to the pilot in a helicopter with no windows and with doors – I am shooting at f/4.0 with my 24-105mm lens through the glass and fighting reflections. I am using manual focus, manual aperture and auto shutter speed which I have measured off the rock using exposure lock. I am also shooting while our pilot decided to do a sharp turn to the left, throwing off the composition completely and tilting my shot 11 degrees! Even though the exposure and focus is spot on it’s almost a total failure, and I only managed this one shot from this angle because of the steep left turn of the helicopter. This is very much a shot I had to rescue from the RAW file.

To show you the difference , here’s a screenshot from RAWshooter allowing you to see how I rotated this 11 degrees ( a lot!) and cropped to rescue the shot. I then cloned away the bit from the helicopter dash board in the lower right corner and I ended up with my hero shot!

rawshooter-katatjuta

I hope some of this is useful for you the next you’re photographing from an aircraft. Feel free to comment or email me if you have any questions, or want to share some great stories of shooting from above!

If you go to my website and view my Australia gallery I have many more shots of landscapes and cities from planes and helicopters.

Shoot photos high and low

I’ve loaded the 3108 Australia RAW files in Rawshooter Premium on my graphical workstation at home (oh how nice is it to work again on a super fast PC with 24inch widescreen monitor) and very slowly started to go through them all. It is heaps of fun and will take a really long time; every photo triggers many great stories and memories! I like it that way, should keep the trip replaying in my head for a very long time.

I’ve processed and added a few new Australia photos, and there are two good examples of shooting high and low!

Shoot low

When using a wide angle lens (in this case the 17-40mm f/4.0 L) it’s a great idea to lie down on the ground to really create a dramatic view. Here’s me in the dirt (I am a farmer boy and like getting dirty) in Hawk Dreaming area of Kakadu shooting low (and click to see large size):

Click to see large size on my gallery!

Shoot high

If there’s a scenic flight available – sell your left kidney and go for it! It is the only way to capture some of nature’s marvelous mega creations like Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Shooting from a helicopter or small plane is challenging, I will do a separate post on this someday because there are quite a few tips to follow to try and maximise your changes of getting a good shot and I’ve done it enough times to have learned quite a bit.
Here I am shooting the 500 meter tall domes of Kata Tjuta and actually I got Uluru as well – you can just see it in the background far away on the horizon (click for large size as always):

Click to see large size on my gallery!

New Australia galleries on my web

I no longer update my “Australia 2007 photo odyssey” gallery, it will exist for a bit longer but it was a temp gallery for the trip. All the photos from that gallery have been copied to the new Australia galleries.

New Australia photos will be uploaded to my What’s New gallery and at the same time copied to the relevant Australia gallery.

…now, gotta look for that graphical designer, need a logo that looks professional and not like amateur hour!

There and Back Again

Yes I stole the title from Tolkien and Bilbo Baggins – but it’s a great title and I’m just borrowing it for a bit.

As I sit in Perth airport (free wifi yay!) waiting for the first of the three flights that will ultimately bring me home I find that time has somehow been warped. On one hand it seems like yesterday that I left and touched down in Darwin. On the other hand it feels like at least half a year ago that I left; I have seen and experienced so much and traveled tens of thousands of kilometers and it feels like it must be a really long time ago. I tend to remember most things like they were yesterday (memories don’t really fade for me) so that makes it even more confusing! Time or at least the perception of time is a very funny thing.

There and Back Again.

‘There’. The ‘There’ part was fantastic and really was everything I had hoped for. I had an absolutely brilliant 70 days of traveling and photography. I did all the stuff I had planned and much more and was so lucky to get some unique experiences like the Flemming’s Hawk Dreaming Tour. I worked hard as a photog and generally got the photos I planned and feel I got quite a few good ones. I experienced so many things and met so many funny people. I flew in helicopters, I walked the rainforest, I walked the desert, I climbed gorges and mountains, I saw snakes, crocs, lizards, roos, bugs and not to mention mosquitoes up close, I saw spectacular landscape and aboriginal art in Hawk Dreaming very few others have seen, chased the sun, chased thunderstorms, slept in bush camps with kangaroos jumping around, watched Humpback whales…attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion (no wait that wasn’t me). Yes – the ‘There’ part was fantastic!

‘Back again’. On the very first page of my Moleskine trip diary under 21st of August I wrote “A new beginning” – it still is! (It’s still bad writing as well but never mind). Sitting here I feel great, tired, but great, and I am ready for the ‘Back Again’ part and the next “new beginning”. 70 days of full on traveling and photography and I now need a pit-stop. Can’t wait to see family and friends, and get home to lovely Copenhagen and actually have a home again. Can’t wait to get to work on all my photos and see them on print. Can’t wait to ride my bicycle. Can’t wait for some proper coffee! (my favourite drink is Coffee and I’m fairly sick of the freeze-dried instant crap!). I’m ready to go home – but probably ready to go again after a pit-stop and when Winter kicks in! 🙂

As I leave Australia many moments from the trip flicker randomly on my internal plasma screen and I know the memories will last forever and it is just goodbye for a little while. As the sun sets on this trip it’s only fitting I end with a picture of my beloved magical Red Centre desert and the very last sun rays hitting Uluru on a warm peaceful afternoon. I will continue to post about Australia though, still have lot’s of things to show and tell you! So enjoy this for now, see ya soon!

Click to see larger size

Amazing days at Uluru and Kata Tjutu

Sunrise at Uluru:

Click to see larger size
Conversations overheard at the Uluru sunrise viewing area:
A pair of Aussie tourists:
“So what’s it made of?”
“It’s…rock…it’s made of rock”

An English couple:
“You would think there would be aboriginal people everywhere telling us about their culture. I mean they don’t have jobs so should be out here”
“Yes, we saw a few at the Cultural Centre didn’t we but not a word from them!”

As the good old Danish saying goes “you have to hear a lot before your ears fall off”. I reckon though if you hung around the sunrise viewing area for a while your ears might come a bit loose actually! Well yes Uluru is actually made of rock! And yes, it would only be fair to expect a mob from the Anangu people to show up for free everyday at 6.30am with a complimentary hot cuppa and tell us about their culture – just like if you visit London there are of course unemployed Londoners on the streets to tell you all about the British culture! Bugger me, my ears are falling off!

Uluru

It’s so remote and the environment is dry, warm, hostile and alien – and at the same time it’s so touristy! Uluru is actually one of the 3 major tourist spots in Australia (the other 2 being Cairns with the great barrier reef and Sydney) Such a bloody weird feeling to be so far from everything and then going to a cafe and eating Spaghetti Carbonara for lunch. To stay at Uluru means staying at the Voyages resort about 18 kilometers away, the resort is like a small town and it’s a circus 1 hour before sunrise and sunsets when all the tours depart. Despite all of this I had an amazing time. The resort was actually a fine experience and fairly low key and the sunrises and sunsets weren’t crowded at all to my surprise, it was easy to find me a peaceful spot. The walks around Uluru and Kata Tjuta were not crowded either – I had no problem walking away from everyone and getting landscape shots without people in them (many years of being an introvert has honed my now extraordinary how-to-avoid-people skills!)

Me and my dusty shoes looking at UluruAs earlier stated I love the red desert and I can sit and stare at Uluru for hours (which is what I am doing in the pic to the left, this is from one of the lookouts on top a sand dune at the resort) Walking around it is a great and interesting walk but you’re so close it’s hard to appreciate the size. I reckon Uluru is best appreciated from the distance or from the air. Have a look at this picture; I shot it from a helicopter and it really shows you how massive it is and how impressive it looks in this flat red desert:

Click to see larger size
A few facts about “The Rock formerly known as Ayers” although that joke is getting old! It’s made of rock yep, It’s actually made of sandstone rock and it gets its red colour simply because the iron in the sandstone rusts due to weathering! At it’s heighest point Uluru stands 348 metres above the plain. It’s circumference is a mighty 9.4 kilometers and walking around is a great experience and takes a couple of hours. Contrary to popular belief Uluru is not one huge boulder just sitting there like someone dropped it from above. Uluru is actually the top of a mountain extending below the earth for several kilometers (there are different theories on this).

For the Anangu people Uluru is a very important sacred site and the ancestral being Kuniya still lives in Uluru. Uluru has many sacred sites for the Anangu people and the climb is of great spiritual importance to them and they do NOT want you to climb it – so please don’t! I am ashamed to say the first time I was here in 98 I didn’t know much and our guide just told us to climb if we wanted to and not much else – so I climbed it. I didn’t this time of course, it is the equivalent of someone climbing around on Christian churches for example. I reckon they should close the climb completely but I guess people would do it anyway and I guess it may hurt tourism here as well. For me the sunset is the best way to experience Uluru. The changing colour of light and complete tranquility (I walk away from the crowds) as I watch the sun set on Uluru is my favourite experience at Uluru (did it 4 days in a row, one night from a helicopter, I really want my own helicopter!).

Kata Tjuta

At sunset from the air:

Click to see larger size
The Anangu people named it Kata Tjuta which means “many heads”. Where as Uluru is one big monolith Kata Tjuta is many domes and is about 50 kilometers from Uluru. The tallest domes of Kata Tjuta stand more than 500 meters tall! Kata Tjuta is very impressive both from a distance but certainly also up close! The Valley of The Winds walk is 7.4 kilometers up and down rocks and is a phenomenal experience. This must be Mars (with trees) and I shot some fantastic panoramas here that I haven’t had time to stitch yet (takes a while on a laptop!). Here’s a fave shot of mine that shows you Kata Tjuta from Valley of The Winds walk:

Click to see larger size

The sum of my “Mars” visit

I had 4 spectacular days in the red centre, did almost every possible tour with Uluru Express (big recommendation from me if you wanna explore on your own and just need transportation) and got all the photos I hoped for. I couldn’t have wished for a better Uluru Kata Tjuta experience, everything just worked out perfectly and I am now even more in love with the red central desert.

Weather update – and my current location

What can I say, sorry to depress my Danish mates but it’s sunny and warm every day everywhere I go! Uluru has desert climate with hot days and cold nights. Everyday was the same, 30 degrees and a burning sun from a clear sky during the day, 8-9 degrees at sunrise and late at night. I’ve been here in January (summer) as well and it was unbelievable – at least 40 during the day with winds that were superhot and walks like Valley of the Winds gets closed cos it’s way too hot and too dangerous. You can die from dehydration in 1-2 hours in Summer! So this time of the year is recommended, the sunrises are freezing cold but when the sun warms everything up it’s just perfect.

I’m now in Cairns, tropical North Queensland and back to tropical climate – although nowhere near as hot as Darwin. Only about 27 today and 17 at night, sunny with a few clouds. I actually walked around in jeans today, 27 felt cold to me 😀 I’ll be back soon with stories of tropical reef, rainforest, islands and beaches (actually looking forward to relaxing a bit, I seem to be doing so much I almost run out of time to relax).

Uluru, Kata Tjuta – and Mars

The Man Who Fell To Earth

G’day everyone, I am on Mars. I am in the red centre; the red desert and I absolutely love it. I am sure that says something about me that I love a big dry warm red desert with no people (I would be perfect for the first Mars mission, I think I would love it there!). I am shooting so many pictures here on Mars, here’s a few of my takes on Mars:

click to see larger on my siteUluru lit up by the last bit of sunshine

click to see larger on my siteUluru at dusk, 10 minutes after sunset

click to see larger on my siteKata Tjuta sunrise panorama

click to see larger on my siteUluru and the rising sun, almost graphical image

…see more at my gallery incl. me and my shadow at Uluru…

Mars and the resort

Well, no people is not entirely the truth. I am in the middle of the desert and 500 kilometers from the nearest city – but at a big bloody expensive tourist resort at the same time. It is mind boggling. You go to Uluru or Kata Tjuta and walk around in a very hostile, dry, arid and red landscape that makes you think “this is Mars”. You then get on the bus, go 18 kilometers back to the Yulara resort and have lunch at a café next to a group of middle aged American women in full make-up chatting loudly about how the flies are very annoying, the sparkling wine is oh so very lovely and the air condition in the too-small-room should be easier to use. It’s Mars with a resort or a Resort with a Mars. It’s the twilight zone is what it is!

Anyway, more about this later, have to be a quickee again – I have to sit in the lobby of one of the expensive (well they’re all very expensive, but this is more expensive) hotel to get a bit of wireless internet access (not for free, for bloody 25 aussie dollars!) and post this. See ya later mate, I’m off to see the sunset from a helicopter!