Last Monday I announced I was going on holiday and asked you to guess the location based on a few pointers that I gave you. Without too much hesitation, most people plumped for Uluru.
Now, if you go to Google maps and ask for directions from Brisbane to Alice Springs you will see that big G will tell you that it’s exactly 2,535 kms, that was one of the clues, by road. So the correct answer is Alice Springs. That’s where we went first and stayed for 3 days. But we only went there so we could see Uluru so you were, of course, right.
This is what most people see when they look at Uluru….
It’s certainly what Leilund saw and I thank him for the photo. But this is what we saw……
So we saw a different side to Uluru, a side not many get to see according to the local rangers. And one of the resort barmaids said she’d been working there 9 years and only seen this sort of weather 6 times. Boy, were we privileged!
But we were there for four days in all, having arrived at around 4pm on the Wednesday and staying until midday on Saturday. The sun was bound to break through at some point. After all, this was the middle of Australia!
So we enjoyed the waterfalls….
….confident we’d see the red rock in all its redness at some point. As I explained to my sister and her husband, who had travelled over 11,000 miles to see this thing, 4 days of total blanket cloud-coverage in a row just doesn’t happen in this country.
But of course, it did! This was about as red as we saw the rock…..
Uluru is about 466 kms from Alice Springs. Between the two, there’s nothing much, just lots of road…..
….and 3 or 4 petrol and snack stops. Then you arrive at Ayers Rock Resort, owned by a company called Voyages. It’s a huge complex with shops, a supermarket, petrol station, hotels, apartments, 9 restaurants, four bars and a monopoly! And don’t they know it. They charge like a wounded bull.
I won’t bore you with all the details, but I will tell you about their bottle shop which charges $54.60 for 6 small bottles of Stella Artois. Locally, I can get 24 bottles for $39.90.
I’d also like to mention the $27 pizza with a human hair embedded that showed us price doesn’t always reflect quality. There was also the $17 burger made with a rock hard and dried up roll that made a 99 cent Macca’s look like gourmet food. Both these meals were returned, with compliments, to the chef.
The furniture in our apartment looked like it had been bought 10 years ago, second hand, off of my Nan. The back of one chair was held together only by the material covering it, making it into a rather dangerous recliner.
I could go on about this place, but remember, I’m NOT a grumpy old man. Yet! But if you are preparing to stay at this place, and you have no other realistic choice if you want to see Uluru, be prepared to meet Dick Turpin.
Despite that, we still felt Uluru was pretty awesome, we were just a little disappointed not to see the sun on its back. We did walk all around the rock, it’s about 10 kms. Uluru is also 348 metres high, but did we climb it?
I’ll tell you on Wednesday.