Where are we now?

Where are we now?
Where are we now? Tahmoor, NSW. Updated 7th December 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

Day 190. Alice Springs to Ayres Rock

The rock that took my breath away

We had a plan to be on the road by 7am today to start our 460km journey to Ayres Rock. We nearly made it, pulling out at 7:25am; not bad for us anyway. Along the way Scarlett watched 3 x movies, while I had a sleep and read all the tourist pamphlets.
Jim and 'Dinky'
First stop was the Stuart Well Roadhouse, about 90km's south of Alice and home to the worlds only (and very famous) Dinky the singing Dingo. Jim Cotterill saved Dinky from a baiting program when he was just a pup, and now he is a part of the family. Dinky first started singing whenever Jim's daughter played the piano, and now he gets up and paws the keys to his own tune.

We were a little early, arriving at 8:20am, but Jim was up and in the dining room sipping a coffee and trying to wake up. Scarlett and I approached him and asked what is the best time to see Dinky sing? Jim replied "Let me just finish my coffee, and I will pop out the back and ask him if he wants to come in and belt out a tune". A little while later Jim disappeared and walked back in with Dinky on a lead, and let us know he had agreed to sing for Scarlett.

'Dinky' the singing Dingo - giving Bec and Scarlett a personal rendition

I have seen many things in my time on the road, but this was astounding! Dinky climbed up and onto the piano and proceeded to paw at the keys, and in some sort of strange order howled out a tune. Scarlett and I were dumbfounded. We started clapping after about 5 min; just to have Dinky start straight back up again. This was a very memorable moment, and one none of us will soon forget.

A wild camel on the side of the road - on the way to Ayers Rock
There was a quick stop for fuel down at the Lasseter Hwy turn off, then lunch was at the 'Mt Conner' look out. Mount Conner, also known as Artilla, is 100km's out of Ayres Rock on the border of the vast Curtin Springs cattle station. It reaches up to 859 metres (2,818 ft) above sea level and to 300 metres (984 ft) above ground level. It's a horseshoe-shaped inselberg, and part of the same vast rocky substrate thought to be beneath Uluru and the Olgas. It's often confused with Uluru, since it can be seen from the road when heading west towards Uluru and the Olga's. But this monster is more than three times the size of Uluru. Scarlett's best mate's name is Connor, and she was very impressed there was a mountain named after him!

Our lunch stop - with Mt Conner in the background

We got into Ayres Rock Resort at about 2pm after a long 6 hours on the road. We got a site right next to 'The Nixon's', who arrived here yesterday.
We had made prior arrangements to meet up at 5pm for sunset overlooking the rock, and right on time they arrived back after a huge day out. We drove to the sunset viewing area, and along with a million other people we found a spot; cracked some wine, pulled out the nibblies and sat back and watched the magic happen.

I remember visiting the rock once before when I was much younger, but nothing prepared me for the size, colour and shape of this magnificent behemoth of a monument. Today when we pulled up it literally took my breath away, and now I can't wait for tomorrow; when we get a much closer look (and maybe even a litle climb of it).

Enjoying a beautiful sunset with a rock star - Uluru (Ayers Rock)

I love Ayres Rock!

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