For Christmas, I got a page-a-day calendar, where everyday has a different place in the world featured. Life has been so good to me that I have been to 3 places on the calendar so far, even though it's only January 14th.
Well, not exactly 3. I was thinking of this short story, so I figured it'd be nice to write it down.
When Matt & I were hitchhiking across Australia, we took a detour from the main road to go to Uluru - one of Australia's most famous landmarks. The rock formation is an anomaly in the center of the outback, where 3 deserts meet. We walked the track around the behemoth. From afar, it seems like the embodiment of a red heart, risen from the chest of the nation. Up close, it carries weathered scars, reminding me of the inherent hardiness that endears me to my good Australian friends.
We were unfamiliar with Kata Tjuta, but as we approached the national park it shares with Uluru we became familiar with its own legends. So we decided to give it a visit while we were in the area. The man at the gate calmly told us, "I'm not sure if the road is open yet, because of the fires. Let me check."
On the radio he asked:
"Is the road open yet?"
The response came back:
The smoke from a local bushfire made the sky hazy for most of our visit, and had closed the roads to Kata Tjuta. This is why, although we were within 20km & inside the park, we did not make it to see them.
During the night, while I was sleeping in the tent, Matt woke up to stare at the sky. He said the flickering shades of fire on the clouds were mesmerizing.