Sunday, April 12, 2015
The rusty red road cut through the sage brush and an orange cloud rose up behind our rental as we drove to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to Ayers Rock. The plan was to wait for sunset when the golden hour would light up the rock a deep crimson. It was a cloudy day however and that crimson flash never appeared. Next to the road side parking lot people lined up along the barbed wire fence with their cameras poised in anticipation. Children played in the red dust. I noticed that tiny red stones would stick to the magnetic clasp on my art bag. I'm not sure if the photographer with the tripod ever got his picture.
Flies came out in swarms. Tourists flicked them away from their ears and face, but the flies would simply circle around and dive bomb into peoples ear canals. I wore a fine green mesh over my hat. The flies would crawl in front of my face, but they couldn't get to me. I also put two erasers in my ears which kept the high pitched drone from pinching my nerves. Terry hiked down the line of tourists hoping to get a better view. Colors slowly faded to grey as night set in.
When my sketch was done I waited at the car for Terry to return from her hike. It began to rain very lightly. I stashed my art bag under the rental to keep it dry. Next to me several tourists were cooking their dinner over a camping stove. Their VW Bus was converted into a makeshift camper. They were roughing it through the outback. I started to get concerned that Terry might have gotten lost. She eventually did show up in the darkness. We were one of the last cars to leave the lot.
When Terry and I got back to Sails in the Desert Resort, we relaxed over a fine meal at Ilkari Restaurant. We were told that the desert bar was complimentary, but we sampled the ice creams so often that a charge was added to our bill. All the food has to be driven hundreds of miles across the desert to this isolated resort so ice cream is a real luxury. Just having air conditioning is a luxury.