|Had a 4.40am start this morning. Ugh. Only good thing is that the stars are lovely at that time! Got the coach over to the (very busy) Uluru sunrise viewing point. It was nice but there were a lot of people and it wasn't as pretty as yesterday evening - I think we were a bit spoiled.|
Went around the base of the rock on a coach, with the driver commentating, then we got off for a short walk to a very pretty water hole with lots of trees around it. The centre isn't nearly as barren as we'd expected it to be. Then we went into a little cave to look at some cave paintings. You're not usually allowed to take photos of the paintings, but this place was ok because it is a teaching cave - the local tribes used it to teach painting, so the pictures have been removed and repainted many times (although not recently) and aren't especially spiritual.
We then popped over to the cultural centre - this was quite interesting as it had aboriginal pictures, some films, and information about their beliefs and lifestyle but - surprisingly - no aboriginal people. After doing that we came back to the hotel and were shocked to see people having breakfast in the restaurant until we realised that it was only about 9.15am - felt like tea time!
We had a long nap to make up for the early start and today was when we did all our Internet updates which you should have seen a few days ago. We had a relaxing afternoon and sat down for a beer and lunch in the bar.
This evening we returned to Uluru for sunset. There were a lot of people there too! Sadly some of them were trying to feed the local birds peanuts by throwing them on to the floor. This was bad because it made a mess on the floor (which also had cigarette butts all over the place) and is not good for the birds - it's not their natural diet and salt's probably not good for them either. We were a bit sad that the viewing area wasn't being looked after properly. Sunset was a bit disappointing after our great success the other day, but it was still pretty and we have about a million shots of Uluru now.
Whilst having dinner in the bar an *enormous* insect landed on Alice's shoulder but she remained calm and flicked it off. It must have been about 15cm long! We found out later it was only a grasshopper, but were convinced it was some deadly night creature that would suck all the blood out of your body or something equally horrible.