April 14 – Uluru looking back

Journal notes:  We’re awakened at 5:30am to drive back to Uluru to watch the sun rise.  We huddled around the camp stove making coffee and toast in the chilly morning air.  It wasn’t long before the sun was up and we jumped back into the van to head over to the start of the base walk around Uluru where we saw aboriginal cave paintings and the Mutijulu Waterhole.  Before noon we were dropped off at Yulara Ayers Rock Resort at the Outback Pioneer Hotel to catch the shuttle to Connellan Airport, eliminating a 6+ hour drive back to Alice Springs.  By the end of the day we were back in Sydney washing off the red dust.

I would be remiss if I didn’t comment further about our Uluru tour.  It was three nights and four days of  rough camping and strenuous hiking  in the outback.  It wasn’t easy, much of the time it was unpleasant with rap music blaring and excessive drinking and partying from our fellow passengers.  Travel often takes us beyond our comfort zone to share an experience.  It was the highlight of our land travel despite the discomforts of

almost tipping over when pulled over by the police

off-road driving in the dark with headlights off

doing donuts in the campground  at night with headlights off while gripping our seats

being last to arrive from the hike with no concern if we were okay along the way

Recently we heard that a 23-year-old British woman actually died 2 days later on this same tour with the same company.  Further reports indicate this company was known for their theatrics and outrageous behavior on their tours.  We weren’t aware of their reputation.  I feel our guide did an good job sharing historical/cultural/political, botanical and geological information about this fascinating part of Australia.

We’re glad we went, we had an adventure, but I honestly can’t say I’d recommend it to anyone else.  Just my personal opinion.

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Mutijulu Waterhole

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