Please join me in a special treat from Xanthe, sharing her latest adventures in travel and consciousness with us! Thank you!
Approaching our destination in the last few minutes coming closer to the land, I was enjoying the landscape and the vastness of it, and was struck by the lushness I could see from the air. It was not as barren as I expected. I could see the weaves, patterns, flows, and in the same moment I saw these, I felt an understanding of the aboriginal vision tapped into for paintings, of their way of seeing things. The use of the dots bringing to mind the adamantine particles of which all matter is composed. Whilst at the same time feeling the connection to the stars we are a part of also. My first steps out of the airport I had tears in my eyes, my heart was so happy to be here.
In the first couple of days, I had a strong sense of a portal to galactic energies that stayed with me throughout my time there. What was also interesting was the day after I sensed this, we went to a nearby hotel for a drink and I saw a painting that captured my vision of the portal, so cool! For me it felt like the external landscape here was making me aware of my internal landscapes, because up until now, there was a seamlessness I felt primarily throughout my body—now, this was translating to this landscape.
On one level I was hanging out with my friend Pete, chatting, moving through the day and the experiences and on another level I was aware of and feeling so much more of me. Feeling the space and room to breathe, the joy of being surrounded by so much red, and so much me. I became really aware of how there had been an increasing desire for more space the days leading up to my departure.
After a couple of days at Yulara, the resort town closest to Uluru, unwinding, receiving, leaning into, opening, grounding, we were off on a 4-day adventure to 3 of the main sights, with a final arrival in Alice Springs.
Though I was regularly surrounded by other people, there were 22 of us in total, with 19 of those female, I did not find myself overwhelmed or influenced by their energies. Any agitation I experienced was my own during some point of the walks when I felt pushed or stressed by that particular part of the climb. A couple of good fuck yous to no one in particular climbing heartbreak hill at the start of the Kings Canyon walk let me tell you!
Throughout the entire trip the edges felt blurred there didn’t seem to be anything between me and external, it all felt a part of me - the outside and inside this dance of experience, action, feeling all blending, melting into each other. As the 3 days were so full with walking and activity I had little time to think and yet at the same time I had heaps of time, like sitting in the van from one destination to another. Yet I seemed to be in the seamless stream there, for I get car sick reading, and aside from listening to some relaxing music for a short stint mostly I simply drifted, happy to not think, just be.
Although aware of my friend Pete, who would often comment his distress at the fact there was no wifi service or alcohol on a couple of occasions, I was quite happy and not impacted by him. I was very aware of how differently I moved about in this dream of a trip, not having usual desires to chat with others, happy to be bringing up the rear on many of the walks, so that I could enjoy the landscape and its gifts. Always getting help in the exact moment i needed it.
I loved being cocooned in the swag and sleeping bag on the two nights we camped out under the stars, finding myself falling quickly to sleep from the tiredness of the day’s activities, managing to sleep most of the night, enjoying the moonlight when I would wake and go to the toilet and the huge amount of stars when they were visible. When I did get to see the milky way, a night when the moonlight wasn’t as bright, it was such a wow, and my immediate thought was it was looking at me. Funny how these thoughts would pop in and feel so true in the moment.
When I first looked out at Kata Tjuta from the lookout at our lodge, on the left I saw a male face and the right a female, and in the middle was what looked like her pregnant belly. I felt quite drawn to it and was looking forward to our walk there. When we got there our guide told us the meaning of the aboriginal name was ‘Man’s cave’. I was surprised because of what I had seen from the distance and I was even more curious. After she told us its meaning, she said as a result she could not share any cultural stories of the area, she would only be telling us about the flora and fauna.
At some point I asked her where the white fella’s name ‘The Olgas’ came from. She said it was after a Russian Princess. Interesting, I thought, seeing it initially as a lack of conversation between the aboriginal and white people, but I held that lightly and then let it go... kind of sitting with it without realising I was. And then we walked around them, those beautiful rocks, sentinels (that just popped into my head as I was typing). As the day and the walking progressed, I found myself coming to a natural aha where it felt like there was a nice clean space here, his presence meant no stories, and she could birth anew.
I have to say I found it interesting we had 22 people for the trip, a master number that represents embodying, bringing those energies into the physical, the 3 males being married or gay - all more sensitively oriented men. I enjoyed observing the young girls when I did and their connections with each other were delightful and easy, there being a couple of little groups of them who had chosen to do this trip together.
There was no bitchiness or rivalries and a real camaraderie with everyone that wasn’t overdone or overstated, simply there and available to each other if needed. The guide said more than a couple of times it was one of the most cohesive groups she had in a while, lol. Whether they were aware of it or not, I could feel each of them were perfectly placed to be on the trip. Each receiving what was for them and unique in their expression. I was also comforted by the fact that many of them found the same parts of the terrain as difficult as I did lol!
Near the end of Kata Tjuta, there was a particularly steep small section, like a slide except it was rocks. For a moment I was tired, and a little nervous because of this, having almost tripped a couple of times. A young Japanese girl part of four travelling in our group, offers me her hand at that moment, and I said thank you so much. She immediately responded: ‘we are helping each other’, and indeed we were.
The walk of Kata Tjuta took all my concentration and being present, as much of the path was rocks of differing sizes and so I had to pay attention to wear I was walking. The couple of times I got distracted I almost tripped, once in spectacular fashion lol!
Kings Canyon starts off with a super steep climb which I took one look at at 6 am in the morning and was like, wtf! Regardless I knew I would do it. I felt a bit like Frodo and Samwise on the huge flight of stairs into Mordor, except these didn’t go on for as long. They call it heartbreak hill and it sure got the heart beat up! And there was one point where I was like, what have I got myself into, are there going to be more of these climbs??? Thankfully not!
The beauty of the canyon was grand like all the other locations – Uluru, Kata Tjuta, though it seemed more difficult to get a great photo because of the vastness of it. We travelled close to the edge quite a bit, though not closer than 2 metres. During the various walks, the guide told us some facts that felt to me like they were nudging me to remember, like the fact that underneath the red of Uluru is a milky blue stone that has been covered by the red due to the high iron oxidisation. And underneath the red at Kings Canyon was a pure white stone. Nudging me to remember.....and in the process and course of the adventure I did.
And when we arrived at Alice Springs on the third night my body felt so achy and tired. I had sore knees from descending so many stairs at the end of the Kings Canyon walk and I felt relieved that this night I would be sleeping in a cosy, comfortable, warm bed. Throughout my time on the trip I had many dreams with males, which due to the light and unwillingness to stick my head out of the sleeping bag, swag, I didn’t record, but felt there was an energy movement.
Doing the camel ride as the last part of this leg of the adventure was a great laugh, one that I initially felt nervous about undertaking, but still went to the toilets and put my bra on to do it. I am so glad I did as its quite different to riding a horse and was a most entertaining experience for me.
It was at this spot our guide discovered we had a flat tyre and so we got to hang out with some joeys a little longer, and also I ended up having a conversation with one of the ladies regarding the books she was reading titled the 12 rules of life, I think. Anyway, part way through this discussion Pete came over and joined in as did this English lady, and before I knew it somehow he was taking something I had said in a personal way, and I could feel the energy between us intensify. I knew it wasn’t mine so i cruised along from there as we drove into Alice with our crew for dinner.
The place we had dinner that night had a Samoan band playing and in their introduction they acknowledged the aboriginal people as the original custodians of the land (something that happens more frequently these days than it did prior to me moving to NZ). She expressed how she was glad for Samoa finding independence from England 50 or so years ago and the desire for American Samoa to find its independence, and then her wish for the aboriginal people to experience that also. I felt a response emerge from inside of me, that this would not happen in the way she thought, and the movement forward would be different, honouring the uniqueness of all. Being in Alice Springs, I really felt and became aware of the galactic story behind the experience of the aboriginal people and the white settlers.
Aboriginal people more visible here, so that they felt like the majority and I felt like they looked more at home here in a way. My first morning in Alice I went to get myself a coffee having woken up earlier than Pete and ended up getting drawn into a conversation with the owner of the cafe regarding the aboriginal situation, him telling me much of what goes on with white people coming to help, all looking to save them, bringing lots of gifts, money etc. and nothing happens. We agreed on the fact that throwing money at something doesn’t solve the problem. There are no attempts to learn the language or culture to gain an understanding.
As I wandered around town on the day we were there looking at the aboriginal people, feeling into, wondering. I didn’t have answers, but they seemed at once visible to me and yet in some I saw furtiveness, and desire to be invisible in some way. One man said sorry when he wasn’t even that close to bumping into me. There certainly seemed to be wariness. One beautiful aboriginal woman came and sat at our table after her white friend asked us if it was ok and I said yes off course. We had a long table. It’s funny because I had noticed her when she walked in and commented to my friend Pete how beautiful she was. She thanked us as we left and I wished her an enjoyable day, feeling like something more had transpired in this small exchange. I really felt here in the presence of so many more aboriginal people, how somehow my experience of physical abuse served them in some way. Weird eh.
It was at this cafe also that the tension between Pete and I surfaced again, I could feel his judgement, and something else, and I felt so fragile, like I was going to shatter. So I chose to have some space from him and do some journaling and talk to sister Jo (lol) who promptly told me she had been feeling the same that day, as had others. In addition that it would likely serve me to step back from this one, which echoed my own feeling, in addition to me feeling that things would soon reveal themselves. I had a sense there was something hidden and more going on than was presently visible.
After some time apart we went to dinner and things flowed easier between us and did reveal themselves. The next morning we were back on the bus heading to Yulara. I was happy to be heading back there for a couple of nights to relax, chill and consolidate before flying back to Sydney. In the meantime integration was happening with the presentation of a full blown cold!! Which reminds me this manifested not long after we arrived in Alice, but the experience I had that precipitated it was quite potent and unexpected and occurred the minute we left Kings Canyon, with me feeling like I had a cold shaft running the length of my spine for 2.5 hours until we arrived at the exact centre of Australia, Erldunda, where we had lunch. All of a sudden the cold shaft was gone and I am awake, alert and more animated than I’d been in days chatting away to some of the girls and sharing foodie favourite places of Sydney, as some of them were heading there.
So, with my cold in tow I ended up having a very gentle, nurturing, dreamy time in Yulara, with lots of time in the sun the first day and last 24 hours to myself with Pete leaving early. It was my first morning back there I ended up having an awesome conversation via written messages with Jo, which involved looking at a dream she had. It was the effortless ease of the conversation that just felt different in some way which for me, crystallised or helped me in some way to feel into the changes in myself. The funny thing a day later or even less time than that, I kept thinking we had had the conversation as verbal talking.
My last morning in Yulara, I was sitting having breakfast and then saw the message from Lauren on Ryver saying she wants to publish the story of my trip and after an initial thought of, oh shitte, I don’t know if that’s going to be interesting.......without thinking I simply started to write this story and 12 handwritten pages later I was done.