Day 8, Tuesday, 1/14/03
We got up this morning, packed our suitcases, had breakfast and jumped on the bus ready for another long bus trip. Even though the drive was eventually going to take us about 8 hours, there were only two turns. We all held our breath and cheered when Scotty successfully maneuvered them both.

Because the bus ride was so long, we sang karaoke to keep us entertained. Sam had a great song about a Redneck mother, which was appropriate seeing as how he is from Texas and all.

Our first comfort stop had the amazing singing dingo. He was hilarious. He stood on the piano keys and howled along with any not played, just like Ty. (Jims Place)

We just kept driving in a straight line until about 30 minutes outside of Ayers Rock Resort. There, on the side of the road was a broken down coach and twenty stranded passengers. They were all trying to cower in the shade of the bus, so as not to melt in the desert. It probably didnt help that they were round about 30-40 years older than most of us. We pulled over to see what was wrong and their driver asked if we could radio for help and take his passengers on to the hotel. We only had room for 14, so the men let the women climb aboard and Scotty radioed for help for the rest of them. Once aboard, Paul charmed them all and the whole bus sang the song about the home among the gum trees with hand motions. By the time we got to the hotel, all the women were ready to abandon their stranded husbands, abscond with their credit cards and join our tour.

This hotel is definitely stretching its definition of resort just like the last one. Its probably an 8 by 8 cinder block square with tile floors and four bunk beds. And everything is hospital white and creme.

We then hopped back on the bus, after dropping off our bags in our cell, and headed out for a bit of a hike at Kata Tjuta. The hike took about 2 hours and was great. It felt so good to get some movement after being on a bus for so long. There are 34 rocks in this range and the contrast in the red of the rocks, the green of the trees and blue of the sky was amazing and beautiful.

We ended up hiking up to the valley of the winds, which was very appropriately named. The breeze felt awesome when we finally got to the top. We took lots of pictures and then headed back down. Well, not all of us.

We didnt get home till almost 9:00. We went to a bistro to get a hamburger, because we all were starved. We had all had pretty small lunches 8 hours before and had participated in strenuous exercise in between. I dont know when a hamburger has tasted so good.

We all are going to bed early, so after dinner, I jumped in the shower and attempted to wash off all the red dirt attempted to wash off all the red dirt and dust from the hike. My so-called tan also went down the drain, but it felt so good.

Teaching our "old" friends the gum tree song on the way to Yulara

Cory and Amy at Kata Tjuta

The Olgas (Kata Tjuta)

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