It was 4am, and we dragged ourselves, bleary eyed, out of bed for the coach, which was collecting us at 4:50. Before leaving, we had to pack everything and check out, leaving our luggage in reception.
On arrival at our allocated place, we were given a cup of tea or coffee (when I returned home, I read in the brochure that we got champagne!!), then disbanded each to find their own view of the rock. This is the highlight of any Red Centre Tour.
There is a proper viewing area, but most people just stayed at the side of the road. I couldn't believe how many people there were, some were on the roof of a jeep, some sat on car fronts for warmth - it wasn't cold, but a wool jacket was nice.
After the sunset, we were taken to the rock climb, where one or two energetic people alighted to climb (the aboriginals consider Ayers Rock an ancient site and do not like people to climb it), the rest went on to walk AROUND the rock and look at aboriginal drawings and different rock formations.
We opted for the latter and were shown the waterhole at Mutitjulu which never dries up, ancient cave paintings, and told of aboriginal legends of Kuniya Tjukurpa, which is python dreaming and also learnt story of the Mala people who once lived at Uluru.
The next stop was Kantju Gorge - a sacred water hole and to find sand lizzards, which our driver said frequented the area and although we looked very hard, we never saw any.
The Aboriginal Interpretive Centre was the next port of call. Here we could have coffee and refreshments and wander round, looking at the aboriginal way of life. No photos were not allowed, as the aboriginals are very private people, although there were photos on the walls in the centre. There was also a shop with aboriginal crafts for sale, as well as books, postcards, and clothes.
Back at the hotel, we managed to buy a burger and a beer and relax at the poolside before the next leg of our journey.