When friends back here in Sydney ask how Uluru was and I hesitate before answering, they usually nod with an understanding smile. I follow my hesitation with, "Uluru is beautiful. But.....weird."
I'm so happy I've seen Uluru. It's been on my life bucket list for some years now, and it really is an incredible sight.
But it's also very strange.
Maybe it's the energy of the land, the plight of the aboriginal people, the sorrow embedded in the dirt.....I'm not sure. But it is certainly a weird place.
Rachel and I kept commenting that maybe everyone there had spent too much time in the sun. No one was very friendly. Most of the staff seemed like they didn't want to be there. (Which I understood.)
My experience of the desert back home in the US was lovely — because there were things around. You could drive an hour or two and reach another town. In Uluru.....there's just nothing. You're in the Red Centre and that's all there is. Red earth. No towns. Not much to do. With it also being low season, we just found that the area was completely desolate and rather depressing.
Rachel stayed for one night and then had to make her way back to Sydney, but I stayed on for another two nights. (Note to future Uluru travelers: two nights max is enough.) As soon as Rachel left, I proceeded to get the worst migraine of my life that involved puking my guts out in the communal bathroom and wishing she had never left. It was awful, and definitely tainted my impression of the place.
All that aside, Uluru and Kata Tjuta (the other nearby rock formation) are incredibly beautiful places that I'm happy I got to see in my lifetime. I can't say I'd visit again, but it sure is beautiful.