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Blue Snoopy is a 2018 Adria Altea 402PH Sports Caravan pulled by a 2012 Nissan Navara ST Dual Cab Ute.

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14 July 2013 – Erldunda to Yulara NT

In the Northern Territory, sunrise does not occur until well after 7:00am.

We were up at 6:00am in pitch black getting ready for a departure just before 8:00am.  Getting ready today was fairly easy as we had left the caravan hitched to the car so it was only a matter of stowing water hoses, winding up the stabilisers, setting the sway bars and doing general checks.  All was good except we didn’t have parking lights working on the caravan.  After a few minutes with a penknife, “He” had spread a couple of the connecting pins in the caravan electrical connecting plug and we had lights again.

We left just before 8:00am with the GPS indicating our arrival time at the Ayers Rock Resort at 10:38am.  In still conditions we travelled west.  There was a lot of traffic coming from Yulara.

We stopped for several minutes at the Mt Connor viewing area to take some pictures (Mt Connor is often mistaken for Uluru) before continuing our journey.  The GPS readjusted to 10:46am and that was the precise time we arrived.  We had travelled at a steady pace of about 88kph.

We had no problems with an early check in at the Ayers Rock Campground and were soon set up on a reasonable sized site and very close to an amenities block.  We were also given our invitation to attend the Tali Wiru Experience later in the day.

We checked the arrival time of our friend’s flight only to see that it was an hour later than expected due to a late departure from Sydney.  This gave us heaps of time to have lunch and time to travel to the shopping area at the resort.

Our friends arrived an hour late and after they collected their hire car, we travelled back with them to their hotel and saw them settled.

We were back at our caravan at 4:00pm with a little under one hour to prepare for our evening meal (Tali Wiru) which we had booked several months ago to celebrate the four of us turning 60 during the past year. This is definitely a “once in a lifetime”.

We were collected at 5:00pm for our trip to a sand dune in the desert where we were to dine.  There were four couples on the bus. ‘Tali Wiru’ meaning is a beautiful dune in local Anangu language.  The experience is said to  encapsulate the magic of fine dining under the Southern Desert sky. Instead of walls, this open-air restaurant has magnificent views of Uluru and the distant domes of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), and for unique ambiance there’s the stillness of the desert at night.

We started the experience with Chardonnay, sparking water and canapés as the sun sets with one of the locals entertaining us with a didgeridoo.   We then moved to the top of the dune for a table d’hote four-course dinner, matched with premium Australian wine. The menu includes Native Thyme and Garlic Grilled Darling Downs Wagyu Fillet, Wattleseed Rubbed Kangaroo Carpaccio, Macadamia and Lemon Myrtle crusted Barramundi Fillet and Glazed Quandongs with Caramelised Kangaroo Island Honey Cream.  We both had the Barramundi whilst our friends had the Wagyu beef.  We had Quandongs for desert.

At one stage all of the lights were turned off so we could look at the dark sky and listen to an explanation of the components of the sky.  Several shooting stars were observed in the darkness.

After dinner and in front of a warm fire, an Indigenous storyteller told us about his culture.

Whilst the evening had been expensive, we all agreed that it was money well spent and the food was excellent, the wine was delightful and the location perfect.  We really had been looked after like Kings and Queens.

We were away for five hours and will treasure the memories (heaps of photographs) for ever.

 

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