Red Center, Australia

Australia's Broken Heart

in the shadow of the cliff
Guide Chief over a small headland in Kings Canyon.
Uluru-Ayers Rock
Sacred to the Anangu Aboriginals of the Red Centre, the Uluru Archery Rock is 873 meters high and has a circumference of 9.4 km.
walk under threat
Group walks on a path in Kata Tjuta, protected from infernal flies by nets.
Shade and sun at the Outback
Red Center rock outlines drawn against a trail of setting sun.
stone hill
Another strange rocky outcrop of Kata Tjuta.
leader in persimmon
Guide Chief leads a group of visitors to Kata Tjuta National Park.
Greenery and dryness
A dead tree juts out from the inhospitable scenery of Kata Tjuta.
aboriginal melody
Native plays didjeridu.
australian queue
Group travels the heated, arduous surface of Kings Canyon.
Finally, rest
Friends rest by the Garden of Eden lagoon in an inner canyon of Kings Canyon.
the olgas
The rocks of Kata Tjuta lit up at sunset.
Camel Outback Safaris
Airy camel shelter in a roadside bar in Erdlunda.
Two visitors peer over the reddish cliffs of Kata Djuta.
Uncertain course
Isolated or lost couple walk through an ocher platform in Kings Canyon.
Outback Desert
Chief surveys the landscape over roadside dunes in the vicinity of Erdlunda.
Kata Tjuta or The Olgas
The imposing cliffs of Kata Tjuta from a shaded canyon.
aussie accident
Travelers examine what might have been the result of a phenomenal road accident.
halo and silhouette
The monumental shadow of the Uluru/Ayers Rock.
Chief in Erdlunda
Guide Chief comes out of a roadside bar in Erldunda.
Royal Canyon
One of Kings Canyon's reddish canyons.
The Red Center is home to some of Australia's must-see natural landmarks. We are impressed by the grandeur of the scenarios but also by the renewed incompatibility of its two civilizations.

Chief arrives on time.

He is quick to safeguard the integrity of his image: “I was told that two journalists were coming. That I had to present myself and behave properly! Let's see what can be done”.

Although originally from New Zealand, your figure couldn't be more ozzie. He laughs uncomplexedly at the top of his ninety-something meter.

He wears a tight shirt and mini-shorts, both in khaki, worn by the kilometers traveled in the desert, dirty with stains that it is time to wash. The tall, dusty, yellowish fur boots and an old hat Akubra they are the last notes of a costume created and retouched by Outback.

Kings Canyon, Chief, Headland, Red Centre, Heart, Australia.

Guide Chief over a small headland in Kings Canyon.

Had he arrived at the right time, Chief could have been one of the fearless pioneers who blazed through Australia's interior and built the city from which we were to set out to discover the Northern Territory.

It was no accident that Alice Springs emerged in the geometric center of Australia.

The Arduous Colonization of the Australian Red Center

In the second half of the XNUMXth century, much of the south was colonized. The center and part of the North were still unknown domains, occupied exclusively by the aboriginal ancestral guardians.

In 1861-62, John McDouall Stuart led an expedition into the heart of the desert. He would eventually become the first European to cross Australia from south to north. And he established the route that would make way for the telegraph line programmed to link Adelaide to Darwin and Darwin to Great Britain.

Later, the discovery of river gold in large quantities, about 100 km away, gave rise to a fixed population around Stuart, as the colony would be named. The end of the gold meant that the village moved to close to the cable car station.

Erdlunda camel shelter, bar, road, Red centre, heart, Australia.

Airy camel shelter in a roadside bar in Erdlunda.

This village, in turn, was named Alice Springs, in honor of the wife of the postmaster and the springs that irrigated the vast surrounding oasis.

These were rough times, dominated by uncertainty and in which the prevailing dryness of the landscape called for creative solutions. Accordingly, the pioneering authorities resolved import camels from northwestern former British India – Pakistan today. They were led in long caravans by immigrants from the Pathan tribes, incorrectly called Afghan camel drivers.

These caravans solved the problem of lack of water for some time. Over the years, they became unnecessary. Camels were abandoned or lost.

They multiplied and spread across the desert, in such a way that they exist today in greater numbers in Australia than in many Arab countries.

Alice Springs: The Urban Core of the Red Center

Alice – as she is affectionately treated – spreads along the often dry bed of the Todd River. It's made up of low-rise buildings, warehouses, and ground-floor commercial complexes that block out little or nothing against the blue sky. Other dominant businesses are bars, tourist agencies and art galleries.

At first glance, everything seems normal, but the apparently dysfunctional presence of the aboriginal community causes, in this tourist center, more discomfort than in other places in the Northern Territory.

native, aborigine, didjeridu, red centre, heart, australia

Native plays didjeridu.

It proves difficult for newly arrived visitors to understand why they spend their time sitting on the grass in the gardens or in front of shops and service stations.

They are hard to accept the primitive ways and their inability to deal with the marginalization to which they were voted by the Western civilization that uprooted them with no return.

Aboriginal Misfit on Their Own Land

Here, as elsewhere in Australia, the Australian government has apologized and is trying to redeem itself. It pays for the sins committed in Australian dollars and with the return of land that it appropriated during the period in which it maintained a law that equated the aborigines with the fauna and flora.

Here, as across Australia, the measures are far from solving anything.

During the initial leg of the trip, Chief confesses: “… I don't always do this. I work with the Alice Springs Aboriginal prison community. I am one of the few who knows and accepts them”.

He also confesses that, even so, he has difficulty answering the questions and prejudiced remarks of Australian and foreign tourists.

It tries to make them aware of the value of the aborigines, explaining to outsiders, in the most emblematic places, the fascinating mythological culture of the indigenous people.

Uluru – Ayers Rock. The Ever Controversial Question of Ascension

“I can't believe this!” Kevin repeats one last time, after uttering a series of curses.

As soon as you wake up and leave your swag (Australian sleeping bag), the little Korean is faced with the greatest frustration. After a year of working on Sydney like an automaton, he dreamed of the highlight of the trip: contemplating the Red Center from the top of Uluru.

Uluru, Ayers Rock, Red Centre, Heart, Australia

Sacred to the Anangu Aboriginals of the Red Centre, the Uluru Archery Rock is 873 meters high and has a circumference of 9.4 km.

This morning, the shrill hiss of the bush Australian sounded like bad news.

The afternoon before, Chief, it had been pretty clear. On behalf of the Anangu aborigines, he asked everyone not to go upstairs. He also clarified that he would only prevent anyone who wanted to do so if weather conditions determined it.

Contrary to predictions, instead of calming down, the wind picked up during the night. At dawn, park authorities closed access to the trail and made life easier for the guide.

At first glance simple, the theme of the ascents to Ayers Rock – as the colonists of British origin called it after the Chief Secretary of South Australia of 1873 – is, in fact, quite complex.

It reflects the sensitive relationship that the descendants of Australian settlers have with the Indians.

bar road, erdlunda, red centre, heart, australia.

Guide Chief comes out of a roadside bar in Erldunda.

Uluru – Ayers Rock: A Rock in Australia's Broken Heart

In 1983, Prime Minister Bob Hawke promised to return that particular land to its traditional owners. It agreed to a ten-point plan that included a ban on climbing Uluru.

In good political fashion, the promise was quickly forgotten. Before official restitution, ninety-nine years of concession were imposed instead of the fifty agreed upon with the aborigines.

Access to the top of Uluru was eventually allowed, so as not to go against the wishes of thousands of younger visitors or simply in good physical shape.

The Spiritual Meaning of Uluru for Anangu Aboriginals

The Anangu aborigines, the ancestral protectors of the cliff and surrounding space, do not climb it.

They avoid doing this because of the great spiritual significance of Uluru. According to your beliefs, pass at the top, a trail of your Dreamtime (the mythological past). They also banned their climbing for reasons of responsibility for the safety of those they host.

Over the years, against the will of the aborigines, the climbs have already claimed 35 victims. In each of the fatalities, the aborigines expressed sadness. Despite the grief of the indigenous, the Australians are a people used to living with adventure and risk. Accordingly, at the time, no total and absolute prohibition was foreseen for the park rangers to put into practice.

Situated in the southwestern corner of the vast Northern Territory, in the heart of the Outback, this strange island of Arcose, as emblematic as it is homogeneous and compact, has survived millions of years of erosion that erased from the map a gigantic but much more vulnerable surrounding massif. to wear.

With a maximum height of 348m and a circumference of 9.4km, the formation is even more intriguing as it changes color throughout the day and seasons of the year, as different light spectra hit it.

Uluru, Ayers Rock, silhouette, Red centre, Heart, Australia.

The monumental shadow of the Uluru/Ayers Rock.

Denial of Superstition around Uluru and Repentance

Too many of its nearly 400.000 annual visitors cannot resist the cliff's visual and mythological fascination.

Even warned by the guides about the curse that haunts the life of those who remove stones from Uluru, they prefer to take risks and commit the crime.

Chief develops one of his favorite themes for us, with unsurpassed sarcasm: “… even funnier is that, out of conscience or mere precaution, many people regret it.

Then, back in their homes, they spend worlds and funds trying to return them to the rock. They send them by mail to the agencies they traveled with and ask them to replace them…”

The obstacles raised by aboriginal beliefs tjukurpa it does not stop there, however.

Around the rock mount there are springs, caves, small natural water deposits and cave paintings. But despite the abundance of motifs, photography is restricted in several sections where the Anangu perform gender-related rituals and where they do not admit people of the opposite sex.

Erdlunda chief road, Red centre, heart, Australia.

Chief surveys the landscape over roadside dunes in the vicinity of Erdlunda.

The aim is to prevent millenary taboos from being broken, as indigenous peoples will inevitably come to find images of their sacred places in what they call the outside world.

Kata Djuta: The Other Sacred Colossus of the Red Center

Just 25km to the west, accessible via the same Lasseter Highway that leads to Uluru/Ayers Rock and then along Luritja Road, another whim of the Red Center imposes itself on the ever-blue sky of the Red Centre. Terra australis.

It is Kata Tjuta (Aboriginal pittjantjajara dialect for “many heads”), a sequence of huge thirty-six red rocks covering an area of ​​almost 27 km² and having as their highest point 1066m above sea level of Monte Olga. 

This elevation, in particular, gave rise to “The Olgas”, the western name given to the setting.

At the height of the Australian summer, in the middle of the afternoon, the sun also beats down mercilessly here.

kata tjuta, the olgas, sunset, red centre, heart, australia

The rocks of Kata Tjuta lit up at sunset.

Against all common sense, it revitalizes the infernal Outback flies that plague visitors during their walks through the rocks.

The fame of the insects is such that many arrive armed with nets with which they cover their heads and thus reinforce the Martian exoticism of the place.

kata tjuta, flies, protection, net, group, red centre, heart, australia.

Group walks on a path in Kata Tjuta, protected from infernal flies by nets.

We devote the entire morning to exploring Kings Canyon, a rugged, visual territory Western situated in the George Gill Range, still southwest of Alice Springs.

The new walk begins with the conquest of Heart Attack Hill, named for its inclination, unsuitable for cardiac patients.

It continues for 5km along the gorges, the labyrinthine plateaus of the “city” and the slopes and stairways carved into the rock of the Amphitheater.

kings canyon, red centre, heart, australia

One of Kings Canyon's reddish canyons.

We only interrupt it, to rest, at the edge of the Garden of Eden, a lake surrounded by dense vegetation that breaks the ocher domain of the landscape.

From there, finally, we return to the starting point of the circuit and Alice Springs.

In the capital of the Red Centre, another long but fascinating one awaits us road stage: the northern half of the Stuart Highway.

road accident, visitors, Red centre, heart, Australia

Travelers examine what might have been the result of a phenomenal road accident.

Sydney, Australia

From the Exile of Criminals to an Exemplary City

The first of the Australian colonies was built by exiled inmates. Today, Sydney's Aussies boast former convicts of their family tree and pride themselves on the cosmopolitan prosperity of the megalopolis they inhabit.
Melbourne, Australia

An "Asienated" Australia

Cultural capital aussie, Melbourne is also frequently voted the best quality of life city in the world. Nearly a million eastern emigrants took advantage of this immaculate welcome.
Discovering tassie, Part 1 - Hobart, Australia

Australia's Backdoor

Hobart, the capital of Tasmania and the southernmost of Australia, was colonized by thousands of convicts from England. Unsurprisingly, its population maintains a strong admiration for marginal ways of life.
Alice Springs to Darwin, Australia

Stuart Road, on its way to Australia's Top End

Do Red Center to the tropical Top End, the Stuart Highway road travels more than 1.500km lonely through Australia. Along this route, the Northern Territory radically changes its look but remains faithful to its rugged soul.
Perth, Australia

Australia Day: In Honor of the Foundation, Mourning for Invasion

26/1 is a controversial date in Australia. While British settlers celebrate it with barbecues and lots of beer, Aborigines celebrate the fact that they haven't been completely wiped out.
Wycliffe Wells, Australia

Wycliffe Wells' Unsecret Files

Locals, UFO experts and visitors have been witnessing sightings around Wycliffe Wells for decades. Here, Roswell has never been an example and every new phenomenon is communicated to the world.
Amboseli National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Normatior Hill
Amboseli National Park, Kenya

A Gift from the Kilimanjaro

The first European to venture into these Masai haunts was stunned by what he found. And even today, large herds of elephants and other herbivores roam the pastures irrigated by the snow of Africa's biggest mountain.
Thorong Pedi to High Camp, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Lone Walker
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 12th: Thorong Phedi to high camp

The Prelude to the Supreme Crossing

This section of the Annapurna Circuit is only 1km away, but in less than two hours it takes you from 4450m to 4850m and to the entrance to the great canyon. Sleeping in High Camp is a test of resistance to Mountain Evil that not everyone passes.
Sculptural Garden, Edward James, Xilitla, Huasteca Potosina, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Cobra dos Pecados
Architecture & Design
Xilitla, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

Edward James' Mexican Delirium

In the rainforest of Xilitla, the restless mind of poet Edward James has twinned an eccentric home garden. Today, Xilitla is lauded as an Eden of the Surreal.
The small lighthouse at Kallur, highlighted in the capricious northern relief of the island of Kalsoy.
Kalsoy, Faroe Islands

A Lighthouse at the End of the Faroese World

Kalsoy is one of the most isolated islands in the Faroe archipelago. Also known as “the flute” due to its long shape and the many tunnels that serve it, a mere 75 inhabitants inhabit it. Much less than the outsiders who visit it every year, attracted by the boreal wonder of its Kallur lighthouse.
Moa on a beach in Rapa Nui/Easter Island
Ceremonies and Festivities
Easter Island, Chile

The Take-off and Fall of the Bird-Man Cult

Until the XNUMXth century, the natives of Easter Island they carved and worshiped great stone gods. All of a sudden, they started to drop their moai. The veneration of tanatu manu, a half-human, half-sacred leader, decreed after a dramatic competition for an egg.
Palace of Knossos, Crete, Greece
Iraklio, CreteGreece

From Minos to Minus

We arrived in Iraklio and, as far as big cities are concerned, Greece stops there. As for history and mythology, the capital of Crete branches without end. Minos, son of Europa, had both his palace and the labyrinth in which the minotaur closed. The Arabs, the Byzantines, the Venetians and the Ottomans passed through Iraklio. The Greeks who inhabit it fail to appreciate it.
Margilan, Uzbekistan

An Uzbekistan's Breadwinner

In one of the many bakeries in Margilan, worn out by the intense heat of the tandyr oven, the baker Maruf'Jon works half-baked like the distinctive traditional breads sold throughout Uzbekistan
capillary helmet
Viti levu, Fiji

Cannibalism and Hair, Fiji Islands' Old Pastimes

For 2500 years, anthropophagy has been part of everyday life in Fiji. In more recent centuries, the practice has been adorned by a fascinating hair cult. Luckily, only vestiges of the latest fashion remain.
Swimming, Western Australia, Aussie Style, Sun rising in the eyes
Busselton, Australia

2000 meters in Aussie Style

In 1853, Busselton was equipped with one of the longest pontoons in the world. World. When the structure collapsed, the residents decided to turn the problem around. Since 1996 they have been doing it every year. Swimming.
Creel, Chihuahua, Carlos Venzor, collector, museum
Chihuahua a Creel, Chihuahua, Mexico

On Creel's Way

With Chihuahua behind, we point to the southwest and to even higher lands in the north of Mexico. Next to Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, we visited a Mennonite elder. Around Creel, we lived for the first time with the Rarámuri indigenous community of the Serra de Tarahumara.
Coin return
Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside


Defenders of Their Homelands

Even in times of peace, we detect military personnel everywhere. On duty, in cities, they fulfill routine missions that require rigor and patience.
Bonaire, island, Netherlands Antilles, ABC, Caribbean, Rincon
Rincon, Bonaire

The Pioneering Corner of the Netherlands Antilles

Shortly after Columbus' arrival in the Americas, the Castilians discovered a Caribbean island they called Brazil. Afraid of the pirate threat, they hid their first village in a valley. One century after, the Dutch took over this island and renamed it Bonaire. They didn't erase the unpretentious name of the trailblazer colony: Rincon.
Northern Lights, Laponia, Rovaniemi, Finland, Fire Fox
Winter White
Lapland, Finland

In Search of the Fire Fox

Unique to the heights of the Earth are the northern or southern auroras, light phenomena generated by solar explosions. You Sami natives from Lapland they believed it to be a fiery fox that spread sparkles in the sky. Whatever they are, not even the nearly 30 degrees below zero that were felt in the far north of Finland could deter us from admiring them.
Lake Manyara, National Park, Ernest Hemingway, Giraffes
Lake Manyara NP, Tanzania

Hemingway's Favorite Africa

Situated on the western edge of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park is one of the smallest but charming and richest in Europe. wild life of Tanzania. In 1933, between hunting and literary discussions, Ernest Hemingway dedicated a month of his troubled life to him. He narrated those adventurous safari days in “The Green Hills of Africa".
Miniature houses, Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo Volcano, Cape Verde
Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo Island Cape Verde

A "French" Clan at the Mercy of Fogo

In 1870, a Count born in Grenoble on his way to Brazilian exile, made a stopover in Cape Verde where native beauties tied him to the island of Fogo. Two of his children settled in the middle of the volcano's crater and continued to raise offspring there. Not even the destruction caused by the recent eruptions deters the prolific Montrond from the “county” they founded in Chã das Caldeiras.    
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
hitchhiking at the sea
Natural Parks
Maui, Hawaii

divine hawaii

Maui is a former chief and hero of Hawaiian religious and traditional imagery. In the mythology of this archipelago, the demigod lassos the sun, raises the sky and performs a series of other feats on behalf of humans. Its namesake island, which the natives believe they created in the North Pacific, is itself prodigious.
church, our lady, virgin, guadalupe, mexico
UNESCO World Heritage
San Cristóbal de las Casas a Campeche, Mexico

A Relay of Faith

The Catholic equivalent of Our Lady of Fátima, Our Lady of Guadalupe moves and moves Mexico. Its faithful cross the country's roads, determined to bring the proof of their faith to the patroness of the Americas.
Couple visiting Mikhaylovskoe, village where writer Alexander Pushkin had a home
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia

The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot

Alexander Pushkin is hailed by many as the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. But Pushkin also dictated an almost tragicomic epilogue to his prolific life.
View of Casa Iguana, Corn islands, pure caribbean, nicaragua
Corn Islands - Islas del Maíz , Nicaragua

pure caribbean

Perfect tropical settings and genuine local life are the only luxuries available in the so-called Corn Islands or Corn Islands, an archipelago lost in the Central American confines of the Caribbean Sea.
Ulugh Beg, Astronomer, Samarkand, Uzbekistan, A Space Marriage
Samarkand, Uzbekistan

The Astronomer Sultan

The grandson of one of the great conquerors of Central Asia, Ulugh Beg, preferred the sciences. In 1428, he built a space observatory in Samarkand. His studies of the stars led him to name a crater on the Moon.
Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
On Rails
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

Built out of Cairns to save miners isolated in the rainforest from starvation by flooding, the Kuranda Railway eventually became the livelihood of hundreds of alternative Aussies.
Ditching, Alaska Fashion Life, Talkeetna
Talkeetna, Alaska

Talkeetna's Alaska-Style Life

Once a mere mining outpost, Talkeetna rejuvenated in 1950 to serve Mt. McKinley climbers. The town is by far the most alternative and most captivating town between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Casario, uptown, Fianarantsoa, ​​Madagascar
Daily life
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
Fishing, Cano Negro, Costa Rica
Caño Negro, Costa Rica

A Life of Angling among the Wildlife

One of the most important wetlands in Costa Rica and the world, Caño Negro dazzles for its exuberant ecosystem. Not only. Remote, isolated by rivers, swamps and poor roads, its inhabitants have found in fishing a means on board to strengthen the bonds of their community.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.