Uluru to Alice Springs.

Another very early morning, so early that it’s still dark out, we’re going to watch the sun rise over Uluru, from the same spot we saw it set the day before. Sunset turns out to be more interesting as the sun is shining on the face, creating that red glow so familiar from the countless photos I’ve seen at sunrise it is a silhouette. We breakfast while watching the Rock grow more luminous and once the sun is shining in full we pile back into the bus for the quick drive to the drop off point for the base walk around Uluru.

It’s a 10.6 km walk, over mostly flat ground but my knee is not up for it. Fitzy is terrific and, after dropping off the others, takes me to a point where I will only have to walk about 2-3 kms. I do this easily, taking my time, listening to my ipod and enjoying the solitude very much. It really is an endlessly fascinating pile of rocks. The most interestingly featured areas are typically the most revered so photography is prohibited there but there is so much else to see and photograph that it doesn’t really matter. It really is of epic size, the photos cannot do it justice, and it’s consistently astounding.

I meet up with Fitzy and help him prepare some snacks for when the others return and they soon start to trickle in. Once we’re all there we load up the bus again and head off for the long return trip to Alice Springs. On the way we make a pit stop at a salt lake for a photo opp and bathroom break. Also we stop at a place where we can ride a camel if we so choose. I choose to try and let me tell you it’s a very bouncy experience.

Once back in Alice Springs we are all dropped off and given a chance to get cleaned up. We meet up later at a bar for dinner and drinks, which turns into more drinks and then more. From waking up at sunrise I don’t get to bed until almost 4am. Long day but a great finish to one of the best tours I’ve ever been on. As I told Fitzy, it wasn’t like a tour, it was like going on a road/camping trip with 25 of my newest friends.

meshhat

TIP: If you are headed into the outback invest in a mesh hat, something like this. It will save you much aggravation from the THOUSANDS of flies that want to land on your face and climb up your nose, into your ears and down your throat. You will look silly but at least you won’t end up swallowing a fly like I did. Gah.