Tuesday, Nov 10, 2009 at 21:15

Member - Warrie (NSW)

Departing from a free camp at Mt Ebenezer, it’s only 190 km to go on a good road. Mt Connor’s flat top advances at 100kmh as our convoy eats up the tar – thank you Mr MacAdam. Morning tea at Curtin Springs and we’re into the dunefields. It’s the Simpson in 2WD!! And what a deep, rich colour they are. This is the real Red Centre now. Anticipation builds 50 km out from the Rock. Who will be first to see its glowing colours against todays pastel desert sky? And there it is as we crest a dune and then it’s gone for a few more minutes. Now it rears up again to disappear behind some spinifex. Just before Yulara there are some good views south to the now 15 km distant monolith. At first cloud shadows produce a muted display but then the full sun shines strongly and the Rock positively glows along with the also imposing Olgas westwards.
Our unpowered sites are selected and we go for trees shading sand rather than soft green grass out in the blazing sun. A late afternoon sunshower sends down huge glistening raindrops. They drum on the BBQ shelter roof before reaching us a few seconds later and then pass to the east to disperse a rainbow. Residual clouds colour the sunset and entertain the crowd gathered on a nearby dune to observe days end. Much more interesting than a bare blue sky.
First morning and it’s beanie on and then off to the dunetop lookout at sunrise. Kids in pj’s, sleepy parents, photographers from many nations – the Rock and Olgas are snapped, digitised and later downloaded. We head out to the mighty Uluru but alas there’s more than a zephyr and the walk up to the top is closed. At 10 a.m. the ranger does another wind check 30 m beyond the locked gate. His anemometer whirls and registers too high again ; it’s closed for another two hours so we hit the Cultural Centre and the Malu walk among others.
Late afternoon and the throngs converge on the drive-in sunset viewing area. Deckchairs, nibbles and cheese enhance the experience.
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