Wednesday 21st December 2016
After retracing our steps along Walpa Gorge and back to the coach, it was time to head off to Uluru in time for sunset. Our first sighting of the rock as we drove along brought a huge smile to our faces. Having seen so many photos, it was a sight both familiar and yet new. It was, in the real sense of the word, awesome. And very red.
We went first to the newly built sunset viewing area. A huge car and coach park with a viewing platform that would never accommodate all the people brought by all the vehicles. Today it was empty. Indeed, according to our guide, it is always empty, even in the height of the season. Why? Because it’s in the wrong place. It is possible to get a good view of the rock, yes. That is undeniable. However, it is not the side of the rock that is lit up by the setting sun. Look at the difference in the lighting and colours between these two photos taken with the same camera half an hour apart, and from different viewpoints.
First, taken from the new, expensive and largely redundant viewpoint. Second, taken from the traditional and popular viewing point.
When we arrived at the traditional viewing point, we were served sparkling wine and nibbles and we watched the rock gradually change colour as the sun set behind us. It was indeed very special, and a memory to treasure.
Definitely a moment for bubbles!
As the light finally faded away we drove back to the campsite for a late supper under the moon and stars before turning in for the night. No wild parties for us, we had to be up at 0345 and on the road an hour later to catch the sunrise back at Uluru. Couldn’t wait.