Sunset

We flew into the Outback today. The time difference between Sydney and the Outback is 1.5 hrs. How weird is that?
Our room was not ready, even though everybody else was getting their room keys. So we went to have a bite to eat. I must say that food here in Australia is rather sad-looking, totally unappetizing. It is even worse here, in the national park, than in Sydney. We ordered a hamburger and a salad. The salad arrived sans dressing and the hamburger, well, without a hamburger…. We sent them back along with a dirty glass and were offered a free cup of coffee to compensate for our grievances. The coffee arrived in a cup but minus a spoon.
Not a good beginning!
But I really don’t care because this desert is beautiful! I have never been to a desert I didn’t like, but this one is special. The ground is richly red, and since it had been raining nonstop in Australia, the red ground is covered with tall white grass, patches of grayish-blue growth, and green bushes – it looks like a painting!
Because it had been raining so hard, there are a lot of insects, and thus, the hotel warned us that if caterpillars show up in our room, we should not touch them but urgently call maintenance. We figured they must be poisonous.
Our only activity for today was watching the sunset over Uluru. We went on a tour bus first to Kata Tjuta, an awesome red rock formation in the middle of the desert. We walked in the gorge between two massive, smooth, red rock walls forming Kata Tjuta, and felt like dots, dwarfed by their magnitude.
From there, we rode to a spot in the desert where crowds gather to watch the sun setting over Uluru. This is pretty amazing how these two red rock formation, Kata Tjuta and Uluru, are just sitting there in the middle of the flat desert, all by themselves!
So we were hanging out there, drinking wine and watching shadows streaking down the giant rock, its color becoming deeper, richer, redder; the rock was flaming red until the sun was gone and the flame went out. A red rock no more.
Back at the hotel complex, we went to eat. The place was self serve. We barbecued kebabs and sausages made of emu, kangaroo, crocodile, buffalo, and plain old beef. I couldn’t eat much because the raw lamb at the fancy Rockpool did a job on me and I was sick to my stomach all day.

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