The hot air slaps you as you leave the plane and walk down onto the sticky tarmac at Alice Springs airport. Actually not as hot as we'd expected but the desert air was definitely dry. Staying at the Heavitree Gap Outback Lodge, we fed the black footed wallabies that hop down the surrounding MacDonnell Ranges for feeding at sunset, some with joeys in their pouches. Libby made friends with one little fella who was determined to hang onto her hand as she fed him, clawing into her fingers! Ouch. It was John Williamson night at the tavern and Dave wooed Libby with his rendition of 'True Blue'.
We hired a car the next day to drive the 460 odd km to Uluru and Kata Tjuta, taking the Stuart Highway south then the Lassiter Highway west to reach Yulara. Along the way we saw plenty of kangaroo roadkill being picked at by huge and strong wedge-tailed eagles, some the size of large dogs! We made a quick stop to get some pictures of Mt Conner, with the red dirt covering our feet in a kind of 'cheezel dust'.
Uluru is truly awe inspiring, much larger than either of us imagined. As drove around it in the afternoon heat, the deep red rock radiated history and carried its scars as carved into its contours by the eons of time. We were lucky enough to be taking advantage of another wonderful wedding present here, this time from Dave's cousin Julie. For this treat, we were picked up for the 'Sounds of Silence' dinner experience which comprised of late afternoon drinks in the middle of the desert as we watched the sunset behind Kata Tjuta and change the colours of light thrown on Uluru, before sitting down to a lovely three course dinner in the middle of nowhere where the darkness throws a deep black backdrop to the magnificent stars as the constellations are pointed out to you and their stories told. A truly magical evening, even if Dave nearly died of hypothermia out there as he didn't pack a jumper! It's cold in the desert at night people!
We rose at 5am for the cold and dark ride out to see the sunrise at Uluru. It was amazing to see the colours change through dark blues and purples to crimson reds and pink hues. It was bloody cold though and we needed an extra snooze before the long drive back to Alice, catching a few more eagles feasting by the roadside. Alice was a ghost town that evening as everyone was in watching the AFL Grand Final and the next day we just lazed by the pool before flying north again for tropical Darwin.
Mr and Mrs T xx