Monday we left The Ghan at Alice Springs. Despite sleep being a little less than satisfactory on the whole I really enjoyed the experience. That was actually lucky cause if I hadn’t I would have been anticipating the trip during this leg of my journey ha ha 🙂
On reflection traveling The Ghan made me realise it’s the journey not the destination in the old conundrum, well….least in this case. In the 25 hours and $$$ we spent on tickets we could have saved a lot of money using a plane to Alice Springs and been there in a few hours or even flown to foreign countries in the same time this epic trip takes but the time we actually spent talking , the scenery we saw, the laughs we had about the train ‘cabin’ , the chats to others about their lives, the wild camels ( well Brian missed those as he chose sleep haha) all contributed to the trip.
We spent the night in Alice Springs. We asked around if there was a cake shop in the area but each time we asked the question was met with the strange quizzical look. We ended up finding a cafe that was serving cakes so we ate in rather than taking it back to the hotel. Oh and this time my ‘it’s our anniversary worked a treat. We had booked a cheap double room but on arrival the lady said she was upgrading us to the deluxe king…luxury.!!
The next morning we arrived to collect our van ready to hit the road Griswold style. We watched the compulsory DVD about the van then after paying our money we went outside .there was the van. It was so much bigger than we expected! We unloaded our gear from our suitcases stashed it safely in the lockers , cupboards then hit the road to go to Woolies for food supplies. We realised the van height meant we had to park outside but what we didn’t realise was we also needed two car parks long wise for the length , and of course there were none. Then we saw it! A space that nosed into another space. It had wire up near it so we knew this was the best place we could park. We were excited by our find. After parking we headed off to buy groceries. This was all non eventful and we returned to our van to unpack it. Our once just for us car park now had a cement truck pouring cement near that wire!! OMG, we walked over quite sheepishly expecting to get told off for parking there…but NO, the cement guys apologized for having sprayed some concrete water on our van and were actually armed with rags about to clean our van off, which they did despite our embarrassed requests for them not to worry. Brian moved the van to a new spot and we loaded it up. It was now close to half past 11, well behind on our schedule. We had lunch cause we hadn’t had breakfast and then hit the road.
Excitement was mounting then we rounded a bend and there on the side horizon it was! Uluru…it looked huge and majestic just perched there with the Olga’s to its left. I was beside myself snapping photos . We stopped in to check in at the campground but all I wanted to do was get to the rock before sunset….which we did! Set up the table and chairs and dips and at he’d the colours deepen as the sun faced behind clouds ( not as I had booked this scene hahaha) . Then. Decided we had enough time to drive a lap around the rock before the park closed so off we headed. People had told me the draw it has, I’d mapped it’s dimensions on a google map of Terrigal but NOTHING could prepare me for this amazing site. It’s colour was changing from a red to a somber purple and it just seemed as if it were sinking down to sleep. It looked as if it were settling in for the night eyes closing with every drop in light.its just something you can not imagine. It felt like you needed to slink away quietly so as not to disturb its slumber now. And so we did. We headed back to our campsite to barbeque on our van’ s BBQ. Brian fiddled with it, no go! I took over and still no go. Watched the DVD and it seemed we had connected it right but nothing. In desperation as starving travelers we microwaved some lamb steaks and sausages… Not bad cause I’m the microwave queen lol. Washed up our dishes after eating ( why was this fun here???) then it was time to put the bed together and get some sleep. It was heading to 11:30 and we were going to be up and on our way at 5:30 to watch that monster under the sun’s rays of a new day.