We were awoken the next day at 5:30am so we could see the sunrise over Uluru. It had been a slightly disappointing night as it was so cloudy you couldn’t see any stars. However it didn’t get anywhere near as cold as I thought it would, and the snoring didn’t disturb me, so I’d had a good nights sleep even if Barry didn’t. All we had time to do was to roll up our swags, have a quick trip to the toilet and then it was back on the bus to make our way to the viewing point. When we arrived it was still dark. Whilst we waited for the sun to start rising, we made ourselves some breakfast. This consisted of toast – which you cooked on some kind of cheese grater. Tommy told us it would toast the bread in about 15-20 seconds. After the first couple of toast makers ended up having black toast, we quickly learnt that actually it was the 5-second toaster! We also boiled water for tea and coffee and had cereal. What more could you ask for?
As the sun rose, out came the flies, but the red skies made up for it. It didn’t quite light up the rock as it did at sunset, but it was still an amazing thing to witness.
Having completed our tour of Uluru, we made our way to the next stop – Kata Tjuta. Here we would be doing a walk through the Valley of Winds. We all jumped off the bus and followed Tommy along the path and through the rocks that were towering over us. This walk was a lot more strenuous than the walk around Uluru. We were walking up and down hills and hopping over rocks. Coupled with the early starts and the long walks the day before, it was exhausting, but the scenery more than made up for it.
After a while of walking, we all stopped so that Tommy could tell us his ‘Geology Rocks’ story about how Kata Tjuta and Uluru were created. It was a welcomed rest stop but as soon as the story was finished, we were on the move again. After more hills, more rocks and more great views, we made it to our next rest stop where we were treated to biscuits. It’s amazing how good plain biscuits can taste when you’ve just burnt off all your energy during a hike! We sat and rested and just took in our surroundings, before it was time for a group shot. Now, for those of you that have been following our blogs up until this point, you will have come to notice that we brought a friend with us on our travels – the horse’s head. And just like the rest of our journey so far, we had brought him along with us on The Rock Tour. Naturally, he had to be included in the group shot. Tommy was particularly taken with it, and all too happily mounted Barry for the photo. The rest of our tour group probably won’t remember our names, but they will always remember us as the couple with the horse’s head.
Here Tommy left us and we continued our walk through the Valley of Winds. As we walked round, it started to get hot and my feet were really starting to ache. I also found myself looking at the floor way too much – to make sure I didn’t trip over a rock and end up down some ditch somewhere! I’m not sure Barry would’ve noticed if I had, as he kept stopping to take photos so I just continued walking. Every now and then I had to stop and remember to take a look around me. After what seemed like an eternity, we eventually made it back to the van.
By this point we were all starving as it had been hours since we’d gotten up and had breakfast. We headed back to where we’d camped the night before and were treated to some wraps for lunch with a huge choice of fillings. We washed it down with a nice cold beer. It wasn’t long before we were back on the bus and on the road again. This time we were driving to our last stop – Kings Canyon, where we would spend the night, before our longest hike yet the next day. It was a long journey, about 3 hours I think and it was used to get some well-needed sleep.
Once we arrived at our new campsite, it was time to start preparing dinner. First we had to get the fire started. We’d stopped off along the way to collect some firewood again. We were told this was going to be a lot bigger of a fire than the night before, so we needed some huge logs and once again the group did well in bringing back what looked like small trees. There was no doubt that we were going to have a beast of a fire tonight. Everyone had to do their part in helping to cook the dinner, so I opted to cut some veg. Barry decided to stand and watch me and do the washing up instead. It was a great opportunity to talk to some of the other tour goers about their travels and share stories of ours. Once all the veg was cut, it was thrown into a pot and put on the fire to cook, whilst a chilli con carne was being made over the gas stove in the back of the trailer. The dinner was delicious.
Barry and I spent the rest of the evening finishing our beers and teaching Sebastian (a guy from Germany) cockney rhyming slang. Apples and pairs, doesn’t quite have the same ring to it when it’s said in a German accent.
That night it was my turn to have a severe lack of sleep. I was kept awake by another Asian guy snoring. It was so much louder than the guy the night before and every time I thought he’d stopped, he’d start up again a few minutes later. Still, it wasn’t his fault, so I just tried to faze him out. Which was tough. And didn’t really work. Along side this, the fire was roaring still, due to our fantastic firewood finds and the heat was intense. As a result it was lovely and warm but I just couldn’t get comfortable in my swag. I also heard some dingo’s howling and started to have visions of being attacked by them. On the plus side, the clouds did clear up at some point and I really did get to sleep under the stars!