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Kim’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 02 Feb 2008

Location: Sydney - Uluru, Australia

MapFirst things first - I became a Granny again yesterday, another little boy so far un-named but everyone is well and although he was a couple of weeks early, all is fine. I am so pleased and looking forward to meeting him on my return to England.

The taxi arrived at silly o'clock and another trip to the airport - I am beginning to suffer withdrawl symptons now if I don't get on a plane at least once a month. This is just a short flight up country to Uluru as it is now known or Ayers Rocks as it used to be. Packing for this trip has been interesting - hottest part of the coutry and then to Tassie which is much cooler but managed it. The flight is interesting as it goes directly across the middle of Australia and you can make out the changes in the countryside going from cities to deserts and mountains all in the space of an hour or so, there is even a time change just to confuse things even more.

The hotel I am staying at is called the Outback Pioneer and it lives up to its name, middle of no-where and rooms are in blocks with a central theme of cowboys and almost a feeling of the wild west about it. The first thing you notice here is the flies - in your face, mouth, ears - anywhere that is moist and they can settle to drink from and then the heat. It is like walking into a kitchen that someone has left the oven on for weeks and all doors and windows shut. It comes up directly from the ground and within seconds, you are totally enveloped. A dry heat that warms your bones first and then you realise, the sweat is pouring off you, not in dainty drops but by the bucket. After finding my room, scaring myself silly with a very large monitor lizard that came for a visit, the pool is the only place to be and that is in it, not sitting on the side.

Tonight is the trip to see Uluru at sunset as my other trip to Kings Canyon has been cancelled. The rock is just impressive - this large slab of stone set in the middle of nothing and I mean nothing and everywhere, red sand. This place has become a commercial setting now bringing in vast sums of money each day to the area and by the nature of this, prehaps some of the sense of being has gone. There are hundreds of people sat watching and waiting for the sun to set, cars, coaches, bike all parked up and so we wait and wait and wait - nothing!!!! no colour change - the cloud base is too low and it prevents any of the suns rays from hitting the rock but in its self, the setting of the sun is amazing and something to do with the clarity of air, the colours are from a paint box. I could get really wordy here but I think I will try and let the pictures do the speaking for me. It did not matter that the rock stayed the same, the experience in its self of being there was probably enough. Tomorrow is a really early start to see sunrise - 5.00am, so quick dinner and head for the pillow