Yulara, Uluru (Ayers Rock)
35 days away
472 km / 293 miles since last post
7,162 km / 4,450 miles total
It was a bit of a weird New Years for us. In a foreign land, in the heat, in the middle of nowhere, in a motorhome, with the flickering screen of the TV relaying images of fireworks over Sydney Harbour Bridge, then Melbourne, then Brisbane. It all seemed a bit far removed from our situation. It was very different experience for us both and one we will surely not forget.
The alcohol laws over here are sharp. I bought 6 x 330ml tins of VB and had to supply my passport, name and campsite details. This was all diligently written down into the alcohol register. On speaking with the lady behind the counter this is because of the problems with mixing aborigines and alcohol. Apparently it's a bad combination. Opening times are really narrow, you cannot drink in public, you cannot drink within 2kn of somewhere that sells alcohol, you cannot buy more than 6 cans of beer or a bottle of wine per day per person and if you are drunk you go directly to jail - without passing Go and collecting $200. You kind of get the feeling that the whole of the Northern Territory is in rehab.
We managed an early night (considering) and woke up bright and breezy to make our way to Uluru. This was a fair 4.5 hour drive away, so we packed up and hit the road. There was some lovely scenery on the way, various mounts and light scrub that'd been recently burned in a bush fire. I'll be capturing more pics on the return journey to Alice Springs. We saw some mini tornadoes in the distance; they looked like thin rulers of dust spiralling up to the clouds. Sarah said that we drove through one and she felt a judder on the van.
We arrived at the campsite in the late afternoon and it had really heated up by this point. I checked in the camp site reception and it was apparently just shy of 40 degrees celcius outside. We shut all of the curtains in our van and switched the mains air conditioning on but it was no match for this sun! With that in mind I took a brief dip in the pool to cool down. My shorts dried out in the time it took for me to leave the pool and walk back to the van!
We headed out to Uluru for sunset at 8pm. It was quite exciting driving out and watching the rock grow larger and larger through the windscreen. It's like most wonders of the world, the photos never do it justice, and you have to really be there to appreciate it. The sunset was spectacular and I managed to capture a complete time lapse in pictures. I'm thinking that it'll be really nice to put a photographic triptych together for the wall.