Sunderise...come in de morning

Trip Start Nov 18, 2009
Trip End Jul 08, 2010

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Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Saturday, May 8, 2010


Well that's the most red wine Tony has drunk for 5 months and not the best quality, as his slight headache proves. Hels feeling a bit better but very tired AND it’s 5.15am and we are about to eat breakfast.

We set off as first light filtered through but before the sun broke the horizon. We had to cover 17 kilometres to get to the best area to view the sunrise at Uluru but also to see Kata Tjuta with the sun shining off her or it. It was at this point where you could see both of these rock formations that you appreciated that Kata or The Olgas was so much bigger and a more interesting rock formation with 36 domed heads of rock, although nobody seems to agree on the number.

The temperature is quite low, about 3 degrees C at 5.45am and everyone is wearing layers of T-shirts, fleeces, coats and hats all except Tony who only has a T shirt with a short sleeved rugby shirt over the top and a pair of shorts on!!! The guide can’t get over this and keeps passing comments. The only lady apart from Helen who understands about Hot Latin Blood was Franca our Italian lady (she was in her 60’s).

After the sun had risen we had a ride of 50 kilometres to get to our mornings walk at Kata Tjuta whose meaning is Many Heads. We walked in the "Valley of the Winds" to a first lookout point. The walk is steep, rocky and difficult in places. It is always closed if the temperature at 11am is 36 degrees C or above. The full walk is about 8 kilometres and we did about 5 which was enough as everyone was having to take the layers of clothing off as the sun got higher. The path was so uneven that a lot of the time you were looking at your feet but when you stopped, frequently, the views were tremendous, especially the view from the lookout point.

After the exertion we drove back to “The Sails in the Desert” hotel complex. This is a rather expensive permanent campsite or permanent en-suite bedroom complex that has some shops and art galleries. We stopped because Terry our guide and driver had some jobs to do and needed to fill up with fuel (nod, nod, wink, wink). We think he just needed twenty minutes to himself!!

Back for lunch and then for us it was goodbye to everyone, although we left quite quickly and two of our party were not there to say goodbye too, which was sad. Franca came with us as she was staying at a hotel close by….lovely lady with a wonderful accent when speaking English. We were taken to catch an APT Tour bus back to Alice Springs. We had to change half way to another bus, but on both occasions we had we had good drivers who at times gave us a commentary on the landscape, farm owners, family feuds etc etc. The second driver, Tina took us all for a tea stop but where Dinky the piano playing and singing Dingo would perform.

Dinky’s owner had had Dinky since a small pup and he would always step on the piano keys and sing whenever any of the children started to play. He has press cuttings from all over the world and does his tricks with no force to raise money for The Flying Doctor Service. Tony checked his notice board for thank you letters before parting with any money. Pleasing to see a letter thanking Dinky for 4,700 $A this year from coin collections at his shows. We might put a video on to let you share the experience. If you then feel like donating, just send money to our house and we will see it reaches Dinky!!!!!

Back to Annie’s Place. Narrowly avoided a room near to the pool where they were having a celebration dance and booze up for a local football club. Last drinks served at 1 am and all asked to go home by 2am…..we got a room at the back of the property and a 10 $A refund.

We had however promised to have dinner with Jake and Wendy, so called them and Jake and Molly came to collect us for a pizza night. A very relaxed evening and we were entertained by Molly’s 92 excuses and reasons why she should not go to bed and should keep us company. Isn’t it great fun when the children are not yours and you can see all the fun and humour in the situation, but parents have to get up early, especially as it is Australian Mothers Day tomorrow and Wendy is expecting a lie in… hope. We have really enjoyed our visits to their home and have been made so welcome. Tomorrow Jake and Molly are coming to take us to the station so Molly can see the train, The Ghan..

Party just starting at the hostel but desperate for bed and sleep.

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Clare on

Was that the same piano playing dingo who was on that Martin Clunes Documentry about dogs!! Can you remember watching that!?
Was good to speak to you last night
lots of love xx

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