After our Kata Tjuta walk, we climbed back in the van heading for a prime viewing spot to see the sun set at Uluru. We were one of many tour groups but it was a big viewing site with plenty of space. Our group was set up with wine and cheese and crackers and our first tastes of emu and kangaroo.
The colors changing before our eyes was close to indescribable. It is no mystery why ancient people coming upon this very odd, huge stone, jutting out of the middle of bush and Turing colors as the sun rose and set considered this a holy place. It was hard to believe my eyes as the color changed from one moment to the next. Turn away and you miss something. The familiar reds turn fiery and then are oranged and browned. We chatter and are silenced. I want to see it again, like a child at the end of fireworks. More, more. I want to make sure I will remember what I saw, I want to capture it in my mind and store it well for further contemplation.
We went back to our first camp, were assigned tent (with cots and bedding) and ate bar-b-q at a long table set with wine glasses and white plates. Dinner under the stars. After the sun set, it turned cold quickly. Julia complained about her short socks and we donned additional layers of clothes. It was cold every night of our stay, a few degrees above freezing. I hadn’t brought gloves or hats. We made due and I had a jacket borrowed from Steph, Julia a puffy coat from Maryanne. We needed it all. During the nights, I put out coats/jackets between blankets to keep them warming and put out jeans under out covers with us.
I didn’t sleep well that first night. I was sufficiently blanketed and tucked in but sleeping in the cold seemed to jar my equallibrium. Later, I found out that many of our group had the same experience. Julia slept well until our alarm went off at 5:30 for a quick breakfast and a short van ride back to Uluru for a sunrise walk around half the base.
No question or doubt, the walk was worth the cold night and uncomfortable early morning rising. We would see many tourists later in the morning but the number out for the sunrise walk was small by comparison. Sometimes we had the walking to ourselves and were able to experience the silent majesty of first light.