Sunrise Uluru base walk (1)
Saturday 17th December 2016
Bit of a shock waking to the alarm at 0345 – rather like getting up for a night watch, but haven’t done one of those for so long I’d forgotten what it was like! We had slept very well in our upgrade tent with actual beds and actual bed linen and pillows and – most luxurious, a plug socket! Just the one though (Mrs Wembley!), so we could either plug in the light, or even more luxurious yet, the fan!! Being the intrepid travellers we are, we came prepared with an extension lead with four outlets, so we rather greedily had it all – light, fan, AND charge the cameras and phones. Luxury indeed. Fortunately we were both so dehydrated after the heat and exertion of the previous day that neither of us had to brave the snakes, dingoes or spiders to go to the loo block in the middle of the night. Result all round!
Our tent for the night, the one in the middle. Inside – luxury – real beds and lino floor!
Super luxury – bedding, towels and even a fan! Glamping! Looking over to the al fresco dining table, bbq area and kitchen/diner.
We had upgraded to a two-berth tent as the standard arrangement was a four-person tent and we didn’t think it fair to impose Steve’s snoring on unsuspecting strangers, particularly as we would be spending the next 48 hours in close proximity to said sleep-deprived strangers...
We had a peek in a ‘standard tent’ on our way through the camp and were glad of Steve’s snoring. The beds were wooden planking with an inch thick foam mattress on which you had to supply a sleeping bag and pillow. Provide your own torch if you want to find your bed in the pitch black where the only light is from the stars and moon and it’s not penetrating the heavy-duty tent canvas. Ok, so we are becoming soft in our old age, but it seemed to us our extra $30 each a night was money well spent!
Anyway, there was no time to waste this morning – ablutions, pack bags and vacate tent, load bags on coach, breakfast – and on the road by 0445 ready to be on the base walk by the time the sun peeked over the horizon. Our guide, Chief (not his real name he admitted but gave no further details) was very good at chivvying along the slackers and we made it to the rock as the sky was lightening but the sun still hadn’t got his hat on. We were let off at a point where Chief said we would get the best of the sunrise on the rock if we just ambled along the path.
And he knew his stuff. As we walked along and light began to fill the sky, the colour of the rock began to glow. Magic.
Steve’s shadow is very long in the early morning light. He remarked to Maryse, our French neighbour,
how tall he looked in his shadow. She added “ and slim too!”. We still became friends though.