As I was awake before dawn, I wallked up to a sand dune to watch the sun rise over Uluru. The colours of the sky changed over the hour that I was there, from dark blue tinged with orange at the skyline, through orangey pink and violet eventually blue, with the sun turning Uluru orange. It was easy to understand why the Aboriginals consider it such a spiritual place.
I went on a Bush Tucker Tour this morning to learn about Aboriginal food. Three miles away from the hotel, mand it fel like we were in the middle of the desert, flat and nothingness around. It is incorrect to think that deserts are barren, it was teeming with life and vegetation. I saw a bulldog ant that was an inch long. Women suck nectar ants' abdomens for the sweetness within. Me, I prefer a Worther.
The previous week's rain, had brought quite a bot of greenness to the landscape. With it come the flies, damn flies. They buzz around your head incessantly, and no amount of waving them away frightens them, Insect repellent doesn't work. How Aussies manage to stay sane I don't know.
In the afternoon I walked the Olgas. These are not one piece of rock like Uluru, but a conglomerate. Burton is built on Bunter conglomerate - small gravel held together by clay/sandstone, but this conglomerate contains huge boulders. Its less of a tourist attraction than Uluru. IT is a sacred place where Aboriginal men go for rights of passage, away from women, so there is a conflict with modern society, where women, who should be banned are allowed to walk them.
On the way back, remember I am here for the rugby, news broke that O Driscoll had been dropped for the final test. With Warburton out, I had expected him to captain the side, although, I thought his form had been poor pre-tour and he was lucky to be there. It would have been his last international game, but sport is about winning, and Gatland had gambled everything on the core of Welsh players he had taken, so he had to put his money where his mouth was. The side was possibly too Welsh, Youngs (hooker) unlucky, and I'd have had a back row of Croft, OBrien, Heaslip. Lydiate hasn't done a lot wrong, but there's no X Factor. He tackles players, that's it. Phillips owed the fans a big game so has to deliver. Gatlands Strategy is easy to see - smash 'em in the scrum and then smash em again. But all the same - Go Lions!!
I ate in the hotel restaurant - the best in town. Price £70ish (Kerching), and no wine.....
Starter: Smoked Kangaroo Wattleseed Crepe, ith Thyme scented mushrooms and Kolkadi Plums.
Mains: Fillet of Kingfish with Pak Choi, ginger and carrot emulsion and reduced orange glaze with rocket, pine nut and parmesan salad.
Dessert: Drambuie chocolate mousse with wild rosella flower dacquiose (biscuit), almond curd, and pistachio fondue.
Pepeermint tea to finish, made with actual leaves, and a diffuser.
Blimey what are Sydney prices going to be like - I'll find out tomorrow.