What You See Is What You Get. This is a journal blog, an explore-blog, a bit of this and that blog. Sharing where the mood takes me. Perhaps it will take you too.

Menolistal [men-oh-list-all]; the state of leaning out of the box a bit. (cont'd)

The final 'basket' in the 'to do' list is shown as BTDTTMTS.. Been there done that too many tee shirts.

Climb Uluru
Scuba diving

As mentioned right at the beginning of this little blog-chapter, attempting to list things kept jamming up because have really had quite a full life - for which I am most grateful.  Most folk have, if they stop to try and do this exercise.  Honestly, you will be surprised how much you've done and that whatever is left is probably achievable, if you just put your mind to it. 

Of course every one can go into fantasy land and we'd all have 'bucket lists' of maybe even 100 items.  That's not for YAM though.

Anyhow.  The last two items come out of the 'already done', but are present to demonstrate that adventures are to be had everywhere.  I was a bit torn with how to tell these stories.  Just sketch both together and make a promise to fill them out later?  Give each a page and spread it over two days?  Or just bite the bullet and tell the "how I got to OZ" story from the beginning?  It is highly entertaining.  For me anyway.  Aitch too; 'cos it was all her fault…

Hmmmm - kya karo?

No, that last one is a tangent.  Much too 'meno' and am trying not to be too much 'meno' these days. Had you noticed?  Not that it's working, but still, efforts must be made.  YAM! Kya? BTDTTMTS.  Oh yes.

So am going with option two (because each is a good tale and because that's one less post I have to think of something new…)  To put things in context though, you need to know that Aitch and myself had landed ourselves on a round-Australia-by-bus-(regular service where trains don't go - not a tour as such)-trip.

Those paying attention will note I reversed the items from the original posting.  This is because the trip began at Perth (West OZ) and snaked around and up to the Red Centre before curving round to the Queensland coast.  You will surmise that the scuba diving took place on the coast and not in the middle of the enormous red island continent.

Uluru, for the uninitiated, is the traditional land owners' name for what the white fella called Ayers Rock.  Any white fella worth his witchetty grub now knows better.  At the time we were there, the move to discourage the climbing of The Rock had only been going for  a short while so there was still a bit of ambivalence about the matter.  It is a sacred site; the clambering all over it by thousands of non-indigenous feet is really akin to trampling all over your grandmother's grave.

At first I was inclined NOT to climb.  I would like to say it was entirely for ethical reasons, but to be frank it was also to do with the vertigo.  I can get the 'woozies' looking up at tall buildings.  I can get it sitting on a chair at home watching movies with all the wrong scenery in them.  It's rather disturbing. 

I was firm in my resolve until a couple we had befriended at the campsite had a bit of an argument.  They were very senior folks (late 60s) for such activity.  The lady was not having a bar of it but Ol' George with the heart bypass and still dicky ticker was determined he was heading up there.  YAM, as regulars will be aware, has a soft spot for the elders and cares a bit about what they get up to.  So before she knew it she had volunteered to keep Ol' George company and to make him back down if any sign of trouble showed up.  The lady was well pleased. 
"800 metres of potential suicide ahead..."

Aitch just stared at me.

Before dawn we gathered at the foot of the one and only path.  The shallowest angle of the climb is about 30' and a fair bit of it is 45' or more.  A small chain is anchored on the parts beyond the 50' angle.  The width of the 'path' is never more than 4 feet before it begins curving away.  Often narrower.  It's a ridge you see.  At the bottom, the leader gave us the pep talk about dos and donts and pointed out the metal plaques which had been put up by families of climbers who had fallen to their ends.  An encouraging start.  The fit and keen raced off first. Then the 'we are here so we better do it' crowd took off. Finally, the half dozen of us who were battling our inner elements set off.

Aitch just stared after me.

Ol' George was enthusiastic it has to be said.  Also surprisingly fit.  I honestly had not expected him to get past the 50 feet marker, based on his being a smoker and showing signs of emphysema as well as CHD.  The sun was well up the horizon by the time we reached the half way point.  Not quite half way exactly, but close enough and here there is a flattening out - almost a ledge you would say - where breath might be taken.  Ol' George would have pressed on, but I was watching him closely.

The heat by this time was reaching over 40'C and our water diminishing.  We had been climbing for the best part of 2 hours already.  Slow and steady.  We had met all the fit and keen heading back down again.  I looked over at Ol' George and noticed that the otherwise rather grey and pallid face was now resembling a plum.  The Victoria sort - not the Green Gager.  I was not at that time, of the medical persuasion, but I was a first class First Aider, so I knew this was not a good look on a senior man of questionable health.  He was a proud old duffer though and the only way I was going to get him to stop was to feign my own trouble.

This whipped back on me because, as soon as he agreed to rest, we turned round…  and faced the very wide, very open, very deep space that is the central Australian desert.  Not another height in sight.

Ol' George became the rescuer.  As the spins hit me and I began to tumble, he grabbed my wrist and thumped me onto the rock, face down.  "Why didn't you say you have vertigo gal?  The lady has it too that's why she didn't want to come!!"  He 'tsked and tutted' and grabbing the back of my pants, guided me all the way back down the way we'd come.  He would never admit that this gave him the best excuse possible to give in on the climb himself!

Thus a mid-20s maniac and a late 60's mule saved each other from sudden death on a lump of red rock.

At the bottom, Aitch just stared at me.


  1. Well Auntie Yam, my mum has just read this latest adventure to me, it took a while as she kept laughing and oooing!!! I wanted to hear the adventure as I have had my tea, evening inspection of the garden and am ready for a snooze. Well the first thing she said or rather exclaimed ‘my fault’ huh.
    She told she remembered that day well and had no desire to go up Uluru and could not believe it when you said you were going. Then spent the next couple of hours, if you didn’t come down in one piece, wondering how she was going to explain to your parents the reason.
    Love and wags Lady Vicki xxooxx

  2. Aarrgghh.
    I always wanted to go there, but had no intention of climbing. Same reason...wooziness even when sitting down.
    Good on ya, mate, giving the old duffer a good excuse to go down the hill.
    Having said I had no intention of climbing, I just realized I might have been able to get up there, but wouldn't have been able to get down, and would be there to this day, sunburnt to the bone.

  3. I've heard the story a few times, but still brings fits of laughter. I am thinking of the bus story too. You two gals are a pair to reckon with.

    As for my list, maybe few years ago might have had. 100 on it. Bu these days only one , and , that is moksha.

    If at some point things have to be done, it will be, because you create your destiny. Like my trip in sep to your parts.

    Thank you for your writings. They are enjoyed even at th expense of someone else.

  4. Hari OM
    LV - Oh yes - your mum took a great piccie of YAM-aunty sitting at the bottom again looking a bit green around the gills. And she's never let me forget how she dreaded the "well it was like this.." opener she'd lined up for my oldies!!! Poor dear. She's had to face a few of those moments with me as a mate. You'd have thunk she'd've made better choices at school, wouldn't ya? :-))

    Kay - and it would not have taken long - that's the place you can fry an egg in quarter the time it does in a frying pan!! Watch out for more of the adventure - starting tomorrow.

    Mahal - Maybe I should be writing the Lonely Planet "How NOT TO TRAVEL ROUND OZ" edition!! Expense? No expense. Cheap as chips, especially when it comes right back at me!!!

    OH dear, ladies, it was an incredible time and I can hardly type from the laughter of recalling it. It was Aitch's fault - I swore blind I'd never go the '''e end of the world until she invited me... More on that in due course!

  5. Lady vicky, you better tell your mum we are waiting to see HER LIST. And more funnies, about Aunty yam and her. Licks to you and hugs to mum.

  6. Hello me again, mum says she has enjoyed all the adventures you have had - well mostly, hehe. And hopefully there will be many more. Mahal, her list in nothing like as grand as Yam's. Lots she has already do, some to be repeated and some new ones too. I will get her to work on it. xxooxx

  7. I just LOVER this story, Yam. :-) I too can't cope with heights, so I'm filled with admiration for the way you tackled the climb anyway, for the sake of someone else.

    The lovely thing is that each of you achieved something despite your own weakness and each of you helped the other from your own strength.

  8. Hari OM
    LV - you keep at her li'l dawg!

    Perpetua - these were days that will NEVER be forgotten - whether in menosoupal or senosoupal state!!

  9. Hari Om, Yam! Well, I'm glad it's not just me that feels woozy looking UP at tall things; I visited Ely Cathedral again recently, and still was inclined to fall over if I walked too close to it. Sad you didn't make it, but hats off to you for escorting George! Indigo x

  10. Hari OM
    Indigo, dear fellow, Alistair's photo taken from the lying position was fantastic, but even that had me going a bit cross-eyed! Funny big of equipment, the vestibular canal. I console myself in the 'not making it' by thinking that I avoided stepping on an 'elders' toenail...

  11. Crikey Aunty ..... I sure would have liked to be there to see you and George when you got down. Mum killed herself laughing at this tale. She loves the Rock and everywhere around it. She's climbed to the top many times but way before she knew it wasn't the right thing to do. She still calls it Ayers rock too. I know ..... I know ..... but its what it was called when she was at school and old habits die hard, aye?? Too many tourists there now for her. She has wonderful memories and wouldn't spoil them by returning.


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