Monday, July 4, 2011

Final days at Yulara

We've had a quiet couple of days at the Ayers Rock Resort. We both agree, although it's been a lovely place to stay, three or four days probably would have been enough. If we'd researched a little further, or been able to pick the brains of some people who had already come this way, we might have changed a few things. For instance, we were under the impression that Kings Canyon was a little closer and would be a good day trip. However, it's a good 600 km round trip from Yulara (which is where the Ayers Rock Resort is.) So what we probably should have done is cut our stay at Uluru short by 2 nights, and spent those at Kings Canyon. Never mind, some things can only be learned from experience and at least it will be nice to save something for next time!

Saturday saw us take a little drive - about a 260 km round trip - for beer! No not really. With not much to do after already seeing Uluru and Kata Tjuta we thought we'd go for a little drive and take some photos of things we'd seen on the way in, but didn't want to stop with the caravan on (and Leon had usually just overtaken several caravans and cars and didn't want them to catch him again!) We drove to the crossroad where you can turn off to Kings Canyon and stopped for a packed lunch.
Lunch at Red Centre Way

On the way back we stopped at Curtin Springs, which is a petrol station and roadhouse that also offers free camping spots. Much to Leon's delight, they supplied him with a slab of VB for $70 which was a much more reasonable prospect than the resort prices and saved him from rationing! He also insisted on taking us on a couple of tracks off the highway, which freaked me out no end as I had visions of Wolf Creek type situations happening to us. We arrived back at the resort safe and sound though and celebrated with my first chai latte in weeks at the Red Rock Deli. Then that night, thanks to the wonders of modern technology we were able to watch the very exciting (yet ultimately disappointing) Cats vs. Bombers game.

Sunday was another fairly quiet day. We walked over to the shopping centre, then made the kids day by catching the shuttle bus back to the campsite. We also checked out the other attractions in the town of Yulara, namely the airport, power station, mechanical repairs centre and dump point (I did say it was a quiet day.) Another high point for the kids was the Camel Farm where Immie had her first camel ride ever! (Once again Blogger is being difficult tonight with photos, but there are more on my FB page of course. If you look at Leon's FB page, you'll mainly see photos of all the burnt out, abandoned cars we've discovered along the way - lending credence to my Wolf Creek paranoia, as well as lots of pictures of beer.)

Today (Monday) was an early start and a big day in the car, from Yulara to Alice Springs (approx 445km). We only had the one stop, at Erldunda where we had previously spent a night. Unfortunately their mice plague had not yet ceased so our lunch was slightly marred by the smell and sight of dead mice littering the place. Undeterred, we pressed on and were in Alice Springs by about 2pm, after leaving Yulara at 9am. The kids have been so good in the car, entertaining themselves really well without the dvd player or hand held consoles. They've been playing lots of games, doing some drawing, eating and when all else fails I let them take pictures on the older, small camera. (Immie likes to take photos of herself doing cranky faces and close-ups up her nostrils. It's quite entertaining a the end of the day scrolling though the photos to see what they came up with!)

Alice Springs seems very big after most of the places we've stayed in - they even have a Woolworths, hurrah! We've got quite a bit planned for the next few days, culminating in the Camel Cup on the 9th. Tonight though we had a fantastic meal at Bojangles Saloon. Amazing place, with incredible decor and a great menu. Leon went all out and ordered their Outback Mixed Grill which included the following - A beaut combination of Kangaroo, Territory Camel shaslik, Buffalo medallion, Venison sausage and our own Lemon myrtle infused Crocodile rissole! 

On that delicious note I'll leave you. More to come tomorrow I'm sure!

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