Noi6 means "the 6 of us" in Romanian.

We are five, you are the sixth one.

We thank you for joining us in our trip around the world...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Uluru is everything. It is a "big rock in the middle of nowhere" to most everybody that only heard about it. It is also the oldest cathedral ever built, the oldest still in service, the place of all past, present and future creation of the universe and any living being. It is a story book written in stone and every little indentation has an explanation, but only very few people know it. It is a maternity ward, a nursery and a school, a place for countless religious functions, a spa resort for families, the orchard of the desert, the refuge for trees and animals and the ultimate source of water in times of drought. It is everything.

Sunrise on April 24
Now, I got this part and I am willing to accept it. It is a leap of faith, it is a challenge, but I gave it my best shot and I believe it. The aboriginal people of Australia represent the oldest continuous human culture. They have been here for at least 60,000 years, it dwarfs even the Chinese. It is an oral culture, transmitted through countless generations. You have to be born into it to be allowed to learn some of it. The body of knowledge is fragmented and apparently very rich and only after many years somebody can get a glimpse at some of it. We spent two days here and did our best to open our hearts and our minds, to learn everything that we could. We didn't see any locals, but we had a very good tour with a ranger on the Mala walk. She explained a lot of things to us and it made it a little bit easier to stomach all the restrictions. We visited on the ANZAC day, a national holiday. The park doesn't want to pay rangers 2.5 times normal rate to work on holidays, so Martha volunteered her time. Apparently, they seldom let her do tours anymore because she talks too much. Listening to her soft, whispered voice in the shadow of Uluru, we shared a bit of the magic of the place. I loved it and it felt to me as the most amazing place I have ever seen.

A very good guide and some fascinated children

It is not easy, though. The idea is that without questioning you accept some limitations and some meaningless explanations. They want us to learn, but they give us very simplistic information. What is available for a white person to learn is a first grade level introduction to their religion and their culture. Even a ranger that has been there for 16 years cannot understand a three circle drawing in the sand.

We didn't climb Uluru. This is an ongoing controversy, I thought the locals do not want it and would rather have that banished. The government, afraid that it might loose the income from the park, still allows it. On Mala walk, what I understood was that the rangers would prefer to just close the climb, but the locals prefer to have it as an option, with every tourist deciding not to do it as a show of respect for their culture. Upside down. When we visited the climb was closed because of powerful winds at the top. At the bottom of Uluru, it was easy, we were glad we didn't have to take a decision, but most likely we would have decided not to climb. I didn't even look at some of the women sites and I wouldn't have taken a picture or a grain of sand. There was something there. Even if I don't really understand anything about it, I am now much richer and smarter than I was last week. Not only did I see Uluru but I got a little share of everything. And it still is the most amazing thing I have ever seen.

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