Alice Srings, Australia- While I was in Australia I learned a great word, which is Yiribana. It means..."This way". Australia is such a vast country you will be tempted to see the "must sees", but take the time to go a little deeper and what you will find will be more amazing than Bondi Beach. My globetrotting has taken me many places that have taken my breath away, but Uluru Katatjuta National Park is always on my mind when I try to define the sublime.
To have watched this sacred place at sunrise is an experience I almost missed because my stay in Alice Springs in northern Australia did everything possible to yank me out of my comfort zone. I am an urban creature, I detest to wake up early, and I don't feel comfortable eating animals I would love to have as pets. But the Australian desert has its own plans and rituals for you. To begin with, I climbed the sacred Uluru Rock (which in retrospect I shouldn't have out of respect. Just as you should not shout in the middle of mass, for instance). Uluru is a cultural landscape sacred to the Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjatjara people. It is stunning to wake up before dawn and watch it change all imaginable shades of red with the rising sun. I studied the culture and customs of these incredible people and taking the small detour away from tourists, managed to find a great gallery and buy some of their unique art. To this day, in our eclectic home full of art from all over the world, I treasure the genuine music sticks I was lucky to find. Their view of art is so eye opening. Senior artist and elder David Mowaljarlai OAM once stated 'song was the first idea, the principle of sharing which underlies our system'. Each song, like each design or painting is part of a moment in a larger story. Songs make up a song series or a 'songline'. When you go, please book in advance The Sounds of Silence experience where you will have a dinner out in the open, in the middle of the desert while listening to aboriginal music, with the sky full of so many stars you will remember the whole point of discovering earth.
Happy small detours!