Uluru (Ayers Rock)

KIM – After the last posting the internet went down – again!
I’m in the Sails in the Desert Hotel and I have to say this is indeed a tough life! About 37c sunny and a light breeze and we are all hanging around the bar being silly! EVERYONE seems to have been hit with an excess of energy this morning and we all headed off for tours of the desert/Uluru/the Olgas at an hour before sunrise.
Back to before – Charleville. The Dilby is a smallish marsupial sort of like a cross between a rabbit and a rat – much cuter tho’. They are endngered as a result of the feral cats and conservationists have established a breeding program to reintroduce them into the wild. NEEDLESS TO SAY we all contributed to the fund – a worthy cause no doubt.
we left Charlevill and headed to Birdsville – pop. 100 +/-. We had a pit stop stop at Williams creek where the bathrooms came complete with large green frogs in the sink and small brown (original colour?) ones in the toilets. Graham assured us they weren’t poisonous!
Birdsville is very much the outback, the fuel guy – John – is also the baggage handler, bartender in the hotel, waiter at dinner and 4 wheel truck driver when we drove out to the dunes! A nicer chap you couldn’t find and I have no idea when he got to sleep. Friday and Saturday nights the pub is the (only) happening place! All the stockmen and drovers come in from the stations and the place fills up with very large men with larger hats. Great food at the hotel – I can recommend the kangaroo and claret pies! I had thought Birdsville would be a quiet stop but it was a busy fun time. The drive out to see Big Red – the worlds largest sand dune – was interrupted several times because of flooding. We are seeing a side of the interior few others do – green and standing water all over the place!
I bought a lovely painting from the local artist in residence which is being shipped home – I hope! We were all rather sad to leave Birdsville – it kinda gets under your skin in a very short time!
On to Coober Pedy – Pop. 3000 ( we are getting bigger again) which if you look it up on Google Earth is exactly as bizarre looking as advertised. We were picked up by Guenther – German ex-pat who has lived in Coober Pedy for the last 35+ years. he has been a miner, opal polisher, entrepreneur, tour guide and like John of Birdsvill fame seems to do a bit of everything. Our hotel is underground – most everything is but they did have a pool – instant rehydration! The weather hasn’t been unbearably hot but the wind blows constantly and the air is very dry so you are always working on a bottle of water. The pool felt divine! Dinner on arrival was completely surreal – Shabu Shabu.
The next day was devoted to some serious opal shopping. Bob turns out to be the master negotiator! I DID require his assistance a couple of times!
We toured around with Guenther, saw the two underground churches and the Dingo fence. perhaps it is just me but it seems weird to build a fence 3000+ km. long to keep a bunch of wild dogs?
I’m running out of battery sitting in the bar and the pool is beckening – I know – tough life!

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