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Published: June 22nd 2017
Geo: -25.3393, 130.889
"Sails in the Desert" is one of the best hotels in Ayers Rock Resort and has even been refurbished further since our last visit. We had flown overnight from Singapore to Sydney and had no sleep thanks to watching movies, dining etc. The transfer to Domestic for the flight to Ayers Rock was thankfully swiftly done as was the transfer by coach to the hotel. It had been raining in Sydney but here in the red centre of Australia it was hot and sunny. After the inevitable beer by the pool on arrival, we crashed out in our room and slept for 3 hours to catch up. The rooms are lovely and large as is the bathroom, much better than the hotel in Singapore. We had prebooked the “Sounds of Silence” dinner as I wanted to dine outside and see some stars. First we were taken by coach to an area where we had a good view of Uluru and watched the sun setting and the moon rising as we sipped champagne and ate the odd canapé, whilst listening to a man, who it turned out was half aboriginal, blowing on his Didgeridoo. As he said it is the
most purchased instrument which is never played. Once the sun had set we were led to our tables of 10. By this time we had met a few people so we sat with an american couple, 2 australian couples and another english couple. Fortunately we all got on famously and had very good conversation on all sorts of topics, probably helped by the liberal portions of white and red wine poured throughout the evening.We were given pumpkin soup to start with and then helped ourselves to the buffet which comprised various salads, various meats including kangaroo steaks, barramundi, lamb chops and sausages, rice, potatoes etc. all basic but good. Desserts after. We were then treated to a talk on the various stars and constellations which could be seen. Unfortunately it was a full moon, which was beautiful in itself but of course obscured many of the less brilliant stars. They had set up a telescope through which first we saw the full moon and later they trained it on Jupiter. It was most exciting to actually see the bands of cloud around the planet as well as two of its moons. I can imagine how excited Galileo was when he
first saw it through the telescope. All too soon the wine had run out and it was time to reboard our coach for home but all agreed it had been an excellent evening's entertainment. We slept well in our very comfortable bed and rose next morning to a lovely clear blue sky , about 26 degees but with a lovely cooling breeze. The last time we came I remembered there were lots of insects around but this time there are none so it must be the right time of year. We have twice been to Uluru so we didnt bother going again. If you haven't been I would recommend you walk around the front third where all the interesting features and carvings are. We have walked all around the base and there is very little to see around the back 2/3rds. This time we strolled into the small town centre, which has some lovely gift shops and bought a few memorabilia of our trip including an Aboriginal painting. There were two artists working away but they didnt want their photo taken and I respect that so took the lady who sold us the painting instead! After that we took a
walk through the gardens trying to spot the various types of eucalypts. The "ghost gums" with totatly white trunks and long swaying leaves are my favourites. Must confess that even with the pocket guide we were not very successfull at identifying the others although there are plenty of varieties to see. Such extreme brain activity required that we spend the next few hours by the pool with the odd cool beer!
The plan for the evening is to have dinner in the Desert Gardens hotel as the posh restaurant in ours is only open on Fridays and Saturdays. We had had fish and chips for lunch at ours so needed a change of scenery. I feel really guilty at having come all this way and not gone hiking round rocks but I must confess just enjoying the heat and the nearby scenery has been most relaxing·!
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