For as long as I can remember I have looked forward to one day visiting Ayres Rock. I think I had always imagined that I would do it once in my life. And this week that time came.
Strange then that after such a build up I shall always associated Ayres Rock with gastro, pain and disappointment.
It wasn't the rock's fault. It was magnificent. All it is made to be in the postcards and much more.
We set out from Alice Springs on Monday morning. It was a Monday September 1 that we left Sydney. Monday September 7 we were on the gold coast. Monday September 14 on the Sunshine Coast. Monday September 21 in Mount Isa. Monday September 28 arriving at Yulara a few km from Ayres Rock.
I felt dreadful. As we checked in I had to ask to be shown the staff toilets. And it didn't ever really get much better the whole time we were there.
Yulara is a community created for the tourism the rock generates. And amazingly - despite the fact that I was thinking it was isolated awful and nothing - I have since learned that it is the third biggest community in the Northern Territory.
We checked into the caravan park. Which I must say is a disappointing caravan park for such an impressive place. They have clearly put their resources and energies into the five star resort that they also own and operate and not the caravan park.
It was so hot the kids went to the pool and Cathie and I stayed in the air conditioned campervan.