Monday, 9 March 2009

The Sounds Of Silence

The third and final trip of our brief stay at Uluru was the Sounds of Silence dinner. We were picked up from our hotel and taken to a little hill about 20 minutes away, affording us a view of Uluru on one side and, turning 180 degrees, Kata Tjuta. Here, aided by champagne, canapes and a digeridoo player, we (and our good friends the flies) watched the sun go down - and very nice it was too.

Once darkness had descended (and the flies disappeared) we made our way to the dinner tables and sat down at what turned out to be the best table by a country mile. On the one side we had a pair of charming Americans with accents straight from the deep south (all the American people we've bumped into on this trip seem really nice - my short=sighted, stereotyped view - based mainly on George W Bush - may need revising). On the other side we had a lovely Scottish couple with very strong Glaswegian accents. I provided a translation service for the Scottish man's anecdotes for the evening - it was an interesting experience.

With the wine flowing, some decent food (Crocodile Caesar Salad anyone?) and great company, we had a night to remember. Part of the evening consisted of a talk about the stars of the southern hemisphere which was fascinating (although due to the cloud cover we were unable to see all of them - on a clear night, so far from major population centres, I suspect that you could see an incredible number). We also got most excited about seeing Saturn's rings through a telescope which they had set up - I took a moment to locate it in the eyepiece, then having done so yelped "wow you can really see it" and insisted immediately that a total stranger standing next to me had a look.

All too soon the bus arrived to take us back to our hotel - we were the last to get on it. The next day, Jus overheard someone talking about a the dinner last night and of a particularly rowdy table which seemed to be having a great time and we're almost reluctant to get on the bus home - that'll be us then!

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