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Desert, desserts, and didgeridoos!

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G’day Mates!

It’s Monday night and we are back to reality in Sydney (which isn’t exactly a bad reality :)  We had the most amazing, phenomenal, spectacularly blessed weekend ever in Uluru (Ayers Rock).  I don’t even know where to start and there is no way I can keep this short.  I will try my best to give you a brief overview of the highlights.  The entire trip was amazing, once in a lifetime, and over the top special.  We knew we were going to be in a special place, but nothing can really explain how amazing this weekend was.  This trip was right up there with Africa – actually the entire time we were there I kept thinking about the amazing trip to Africa and how Longitude 131 reminded me of all the “tent” camps we stayed at on that trip (they actually designed it after camps in Botswana).  I guess it makes sense because Unchartered Outposts works exclusively with Longitude 131.  Longitude 131 is by far the nicest place (all around) that I’ve ever stayed in.  Everything was 5 Star including the location, view, service, accommodation, food, and the tours!  There were only 15 tents – 30 people maximum aloud at the resort and we never had more than 20-25 people on our tours.  The service was amazing… the staff went far above and beyond to make sure that our stay was perfect.  Some examples include Justin, our waiter, came RUNNING about 50 meters from the Dune House (the restaurant/reception area) so that Oscar could get in the picture with me of our tent… he also had the chef type me up the recipe for the brownie that I had that day (which was amazing) and they found me a CD that was in our room that I liked that they no longer sold (it was retired) and gave me one on departure for free!!!  Anything we asked for we got… we were definitely spoiled.  All of the food was incredible and we were so blessed with the weather conditions. 

The first night we were able to see an awesome sunset over Uluru.  Uluru is really special and it was a gorgeous sunset that made it change colors from bright orange, to red, to purple.  After the sunset viewing we then heading to Table 131 to have the dining under the stars.  In the middle of the Outback they set up a beautiful candle lit table and served us the most amazing dinner of pumpkin ginger soup, almond encrusted Barramundi, and a strawberry dessert plate (with 3 different types of desserts – I don’t even know how to describe them – YUM!)  Every course was served with a different wine from Australia or New Zealand – I guess they were very good wines – I’m not exactly a wine person and they all tasted gross to me : ) haha.  Anyway, at first it was super cloudy so we were afraid that we wouldn’t get to see a lot of stars, but about half way through dinner the sky opened up and stars popped out everywhere.  It was so special.  They had an astrologer come and explain all of the constellations and point things out.  Since we are in the Southern Hemisphere we got to see totally different things.  We saw Venus, Mars, Jupiter, the Southern Cross, Scorpio, and we actually got to see an arm of the Milky Way!  Oscar was in heaven and this was the highlight of his trip – I’m not quite sure I have a highlight – everything was amazing!  

The next morning we woke up at 5:15 and went for a sunrise walk around the base of Uluru.  It was beautiful and we got to spend the rest of the day going to the cultural centre and seeing a lot of Uluru including the water hole and many sacred places to the Aborigines.  After that we had a lazy afternoon enjoying a wonderful lunch at the Dune house and enjoying our “tent” and the views from our room.  That afternoon we went back to another section of Uluru and got to see several caves and gorges of Uluru.  The 2nd evening they served another 4-course dinner, this time at the Dune house.  We were joined by a fellow guest and had a wonderful evening.  Everyone at Longitude 131 was really nice and very interesting.  We were by far the youngest people there, and the poorest too (Longitude is $1600 a night) - : ) But everyone was super friendly, and very well traveled and it was very interesting hearing their travels and stories.  One of my favorite couples was probably in their 70’s and they had been all over the world.  The lady told me that she was called a SKI (which means Spending our Kids Inheritance).  I loved that and thought that that’s everyone should be doing! 

Well, that evening it rained kangaroos and koalas!  It poured down rain the entire evening and was still raining when we woke up at 6:00 the next morning (now remember this is the middle of the desert and it almost never rains like that here).  We were afraid that our last trip to Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) would be canceled and we’d have to spend our last day inside, but instead they made the wonderful decision to take us back to Uluru so we could see the very rare site of waterfalls on Uluru.  The great thing about Longitude is that they customized the trips to the people and weather.  We were always the first ones there (since we were the closest) and it made it so much more special with only 20 people and a small bus.  When we were leaving coach buses started arriving and it got really crowded. 

We were told that only 5% of people that visit Uluru get to see the waterfalls and one tour guide had been living and working there for 4 years and this was only the 2nd time he saw this!  It was amazing, and so special to get to see.  We then headed to Kata Tjuta. Unfortunately, because of the rain we couldn’t do the walk inside the gorge, but at least we got to see it and it was pretty spectacular to see the cloud of fog inside the gorge.  We ended the trip with a final wonderful brunch.  Overall, the entire trip was amazing.  If you ever get the chance to go to Uluru, and you have the resources you HAVE to splurge and stay at Longitude 131 – it is worth every penny!  We were spoiled and a bit sad to leave, but we felt that we really made the most of it and got to do everything that we wanted to do there, so we were happy when it was time to say goodbye. 

When we arrived back in Sydney and took a cab to our home in Paddington we headed out to grab some dinner… our first thought as we were walking down Hopewell Street was… “well, this surely isn’t a shabby place to come back to”. 

This was our first adventure of many in Australia and we are so blessed to have had this opportunity.  We think seeing the Outback was a great way to start and we can’t wait to share more adventures with you in the future.  Oscar is now back to school, and I’m working my 9-5.  Next trip on the list is Fiji in December.  I wonder if we will be able to top this weekend?

Bear hugs and butterfly kisses,

Piper and Oscar


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Ayers Rock, Australia

Home Service done the smart way