We woke before dawn, the sounds of the nocturnal desert coming to a slow end as prepared ourselves for the Kings Canyon Rim Walk. I’m not going to lie, it was hard, but like most things it was worth it in the end. The six kilometer, four hour hike up and over the epic canyon in the middle of Central Australia took us past some stunning sights, but it was a grueling trek.
No time for rest, immediately after the epic climb we hopped into our friend the Britz campervan and pointed it towards the Red Centre Way and Ayers Rock. I was thrilled that the dirt road of the previous day had been replaced by paved roads; it felt like luxury driving. I sped along past the endless miles of desert oaks and spinifex until we finally reached the end of the Red Centre Way at the Lasseter Highway. The big arrow pointed to the right towards Ayers Rock, and that’s where we followed.
Within an hour or so traveling down unending and unchanging roads, the great geological phenomenon popped into view, Uluru or Ayers Rock. We wouldn’t be visiting it until the next day, but it was incredible to finally have the natural wonder within sight. It also amazed me that people drove that long in such an unforgiving country just to visit The Rock. I was excited to experience for myself what the hype was all about.
We checked in to our gorgeous hotel at the Ayers Rock Resort, the Desert Gardens Hotel, and sat on our balcony with full views of Uluru sipping champagne and counting our blessings. Even though we didn’t go near Uluru that day, we did participate in a remarkable dining experience, the Sounds of Silence.
I’ll write about the dinner in much greater detail, but it was a lot of fun. About 30 or 40 of us enjoyed an evening of conversation, star gazing and great food under the massive sky of the Northern Territory. On either side of us were the twin spectacles, Uluru and Kata Tjuta, known as the Olgas.
While I got a taste of Uluru, it wouldn’t be until the next day when I got to experience it up close and personal.