Back in 1993 I went on a whirlwind three week tour of Bangkok-Sydney-Cairns-Ayer's Rock-Melbourne-Bali and Bangkok again, with 2 work colleagues and one of their sisters! The story I'm going to share with you occurred on the Ayer's rock, Uluru as it's also known, leg of the journey.
To set the scene, we'd been very busy traveling and squeezing in as much sight seeing as we could. We'd had such madcap fun in Bangkok (whole other post needed for that one!!) whizzed around Sydney, did White Water Rafting, snorkeling (I chickened out at the scuba diving) and a trip through the rain forest in Cairns and here we were ready to climb Ayer's Rock. I should also add that, to this day, that I am the world's worst at zipping any bag closed. I get stopped by complete strangers advising me to zip up my bag ....this happened most recently at The Star Wars Convention!
What on earth has that bit of trivial nonsense about me got to do with climbing Ayer's Rock, you may well ask. Read on.....
We arrived the evening before the climb and while the girls were staying another few days before they headed to Perth, I was departing straight after the climb to fly to Melbourne, to spend some time with my Uncle and his family.
I had everything packed (or so I thought) and just had my bum bag on, with the bare essentials. You know: some cash, lip balm, lipstick, camera, bottle of water tied to the side and, as it was that time of the month, a tampon.
One, single, solitary tampon!
We arrived at the base and were given a tour of some caves. We saw some fabulous examples of Aboriginal Art. Not everyone was as enthralled as us as one child was consistently crying and moaning and groaning (we were single and childless!) This prompted the Quote of the Holiday (referring to the Dingo's Got My Baby story) from one of my companions when she said, rather loudly : "Where's a bloody Dingo when you need one"!!
Anyway, I digress. Time to climb. The Aborigines are very possessive of this area, Uluru is very sacred to them and in fact, they'd prefer no-one climbed it at all. Therefore the climb is restricted to a certain part of the Rock and there's a kind of chain-link fence that you follow to get to the top. This climb is not for the faint-hearted. There are numerous signs warning of the dangers and telling you how many have died attempting this climb. Pleasant thoughts then, as we prepared to climb!
So, off we went and got, uneventfully, to the top.
The climb down wasn't so uneventful! I was constantly at my bag throughout the morning, you know...... taking the camera out, putting it back in again, then having some water etc. I forgot to zip it up agian. Well, it was easier not to. I was also anxious to get to a bathroom. I really needed to get to a bathroom.
I can't remember how it happened but I think I bent down, whilst going down the Rock and everything tumbled out of my bag and rolled to the far side of the chain-link fence. The part that no climber is allowed to go.
One by one, I saw my stuff disappear. I saw lip balm roll over, pause at the edge then tumble dangerously to the bottom....... followed by the lipstick....oh wait, the lipstick paused. Will it stay? No..... there it goes.
Then came the one, single solitary tampon.
Uh oh.... I need that tampon..... I really need that tampon.....
Oh God...... will it stay?
There it goes..... it stopped! Uh oh...... rolling again.
Then finally it......... stopped. Not that close to the edge but definitely still in the no-go area.
What to do? This all happened in silence. I was surrounded by fellow climbers, men and women alike.
And there was my much needed single, solitary tampon.......... dangerously in reach.
What to do?
Whaddaya think I did?? I ignored the fact that so many people have tumbled to their death here and I went slip sliding on my ass right over there to get it, is what I did!! To the astonishment of all around me! I could hear my friend saying; "she's not going over there...... oh my God.... I can't believe she's doing that!"
Well I did and I rescued my much needed tampon!!
To this day I can't believe I did that!
But that wasn't all.
After our very eventful climb it was back to the chalet, quick lunch then I got myself, my rucksack and zipped up bum bag onto a bus headed for the Airport! Sitting on the bus, I decided to check I had the essentials: Passport and money. Scatterbrained I may be but I am also well traveled. Besides, I once went on a two week holiday and left my Travelers Cheques at home! I know me very well!!
I didn't have my Passport!! Stop the bus!!
The bus did indeed stop and the door of the Chalet was opened by my bemused friends with that what now? look on their faces!
Of course, I had left the bus in such a panic that I left all my belongings behind. Including my money. Left lying on the seat!
The bus finished it's circuitous route before coming back to collect a highly agitated your's truly!! And the passengers behind me had very kindly minded my belongings!
Oh dear.... I can't believe I'm sending this out into the Blogsphere!
Do you feel brave enough to share your most embarrassing moment?
If so, consider yourself tagged!