Stories from a Red Rock

I gasped again, the thud of the kangaroos hitting the coach didn’t stop. I winced.

Thud thud thud thud. It was absolutely awful. I can still hear it now.

As we drove through the black starlit night, all I could do we was close my eyes and try to sleep. What an amazing day and what a weird way to end it.

We travelled to Alice Springs on the incredible Ghan train. Starting in Adelaide we boarded this beautiful train in search of adventure. The first time I’d travelled to Australia I hadn’t seen Uluru and it just felt wrong to go back again and not see this cultural centre.

The views from the train were epic. Miles of beautiful green vineyards changing to raw dry desserts. Stopping at cattle ranches in the middle of the night and roaring through fields and fields of empty space. The train was spacious and peaceful.  Train travel is one of my favourite ways to travel (unless you’re in the UK, hun don’t even start me on that one).

When we arrived in Alice Springs, our hostel pickup from the station was a nightmare but we knew our champagne sunset day trip to Uluru would be worth it.

Some many people snub a day trip when travelling but I think it gives you so many stress-free opportunities to explore when you are short on time. Like the time we popped to Jerusalem for the day – I’ll tell you about our day trip to Israel sometime. Or the casual day we spent in Gibraltar.

Our pick up was around 5 am it was brutal. The 6-hour coach trip was what you would expect and every large rock on the horizon looked like it could be the “one”! We looked around the museum and cultural centre, I think we ate lunch? And then we made our way, with 100s of others to the perfect viewpoint.

There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, it was beautifully warm and as the sunshine started to dim the bbq was lit, the chairs were set out and that satisfying sound of a cork pop was bouncing around the desert. To top it off we were given a real glass champagne flute with our uninterrupted view.

It was then, that I couldn’t help but get a little blurry eyed, not from the champagne, but because of this incredible view and surrounding. It felt like a long journey to get there and I don’t mean from the hostel. After months and months of being ill, weeks of struggling through Asia and days and days of recovery. I was working again. I was living again and I was completely humble and grateful. This was it. I’d made it. If didn’t make it another year, I know I’d done alright. That view. That moment, it’s imprinted on my heart. The photo shows how happy we were. How completely content. With our train pot noodles, charity shop shoes and empty bank accounts. We were so happy. Well apart from the sobering kangaroo road kill on the way home. That was grim. But I think that was life just reminding me not to take it all for granted.

Have you got any stories from Ayers Rock? I’d love to know how it made you feel? What did it teach you? How do you remember it?

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** I've put a link to the tour we did because it was amazing, it's not an ad, it was just great.
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