Leaving Sydney and going to Uluru and Katja Tjuta also known as Ayers Rock and the Olgas. It was almost sad to leave my home away from home, but I knew new adventures were awaiting me. What I didn’t know was how quickly, When I got to the airport I informed security that I have an artificial knee and that the alarms would go off. This got greeted by let’s give this woman the third degree. My innocent folding plastic shoehorn that I acquired long ago on some airline was handed from hand to hand, the blunt scissors were ¼ inch to long, but they were going to let it pass, and so it went until I was finally cleared.
Once I got on the Virgin Australia aircraft it just continued in the same vein, Fortunately I had brought my own lunch, because once the flight attendants had finished handing out lunch to regular fare passengers they decided to retire to the galley and hang out. It had me questioning the wisdom of purchasing an Australia pass, not because I was flying at discounted prices and had to buy my food but I was also not able to get a cup of coffee even though the drink cart was next to me. Fortunately subsequent flights totally allayed any concerns I may have had.
As the plane approached Uluru airport, one could feel the palabable excitement on the plane. The rock was clearly seen in the middle of the desert. There is this large monolith with nothing but shrubs around it. An impressive sight indeed, and one begins to understand how the aboriginals has made this into one of the holy sites in the area which has now become a National Park and a World Heritage Site.
The bus taking me to, Yulara Resort which has many different hotels, was waiting and very soon I arrived at Outback Pioneer Hotel & Lodge which is the backpacker part . My room was a mixed sex 4 bedded room but it wasn’t quite ready. I knew that I had to share bathroom but didn’t expect the whole place to be long cabins and the showers and bathrooms a distance away. As it turned out it was fine. There was also a communal kitchen with its own dining area, laundry facilities, a bar, restaurant, and a casual take out place as well as a swimming pool.
At night you could order a cook your own Barbecue meal with a salad buffet, there is a selection of different meats including Kangaroo and Crocodile skewers that you cooked on very hot griddles. The food prices were very reasonable which could not be said for the excursions.
For my first night I had booked a dinner under the stars. This included a sunset view of Uluru, buffet dinner, an astronomer explaining the stars as well as unlimited wine, beer and sodas. All for the bargain price of $ 177. Since there was a full moon the stars were not really visible, but the sunset was gorgeous. I had a great time sitting at a table with a couple from Canada and another from Manhattan.
The next morning I had booked what I thought was a sunrise guided tour to Kata Tjuta. It was a bus that took you there and would pick you up in 3 hours for the cost of $80 plus the park pass of $25. I could not have managed a complete guided walking, but it would have been nice to have some explanations. The sunrise was very lovely with the rocks taking on many different hues. As awe inspiring as Uluru is, I found I preferred Kata Tjuta or the Olgas as it is also called. There were several rocks and the stone is different from Uluru which is only one rock. One could walk around but I only managed to get to the first outlook, then I called it quits. The walking was just too difficult for me to manage.
By the time we returned to the hotel it was very hot and I decided to go and lay by the pool which was a nice break, but after a while that got too hot as well so I returned to my room.
The first night I had shared the room with an English girl and it was just the two of us, because it was late in the day we assumed that we were going to be alone the second night as well.
I am glad that I have been here but it is time to move on to Brisbane.