Surprisingly, the 20 room dorm wasn't too bad. Despite having a top bunk.
I'm up early to do the base walk. Pack up and check out. I've finally got this cup of tea business sorted. And it's taken a while but I finally have a workable camera, lens, tripod, backpack combo that works.
National Park entry is $25 for a three day pass. You can get an annual pass for $32.50. I asked for an annual pass and when I explained that I would be here for 3 days then away in Kings Canyon for a day and then back for one more day, (I didn't want to have to pay an extra $25 for one morning if I could avoid it!) the helpful guy explained I could get the pass extended to 5 days without paying extra, I just had to ask on my way back in. So I took him at his work and sure enough he was right. It was good info to know.
I arrive at Uluru just as the sun crests the horizon and off I go. I didn't get far though. I was completely blown away by the wildflowers. So many! If I had my time over again, I'd skip Kings Canyon and spend the time wandering around the base of Uluru morning and afternoont. I never made it the whole way round ( I did a few sections) because I kept stopping to take photos. I had a plane to catch at midday so I couldn't risk getting half way around the rock and not making it back in time. So I took my time and went as far as I dared before turning back. The light shifts so much that the way back presented just as many photo opportunities and so I was rushing to return the hire car and get the bus to the airport.
I could have easily spent several days just exploring the terrain. I was absolutely in awe. The landscape. The light. The flora. I didn't do it justice with the short time I had, and with being sick. And I really need to do something about getting new knees that work! OK. that's my list of excuses. I got a few good shots but oh, I could have spent so much more time here. Who needs a Field of Lights when you have Fields of Wildflowers!
Looking back on the trip now that I'm done blogging, it all seems a bit surreal. Firstly, it feels like months ago, not just 6 weeks. Secondly, I'm so glad I have all the photo memories. When I look at the photos I remember the place, the smell, the feel of it, the beauty of it. I don't remember how sick I felt. And only because I took notes at the time do I recall how hard it was to push through that sickness to get out and see and do as much as possible. I just remember the spirit of the place.