Today (Monday) had a cold start, 3°C inside the van, thank heaven for the diesel heater. I slip out of bed, turn it on hop back to bed and wait until the temp is up to 7 or 8 °C, by the time I am ready for a shower it is up to 10-11 °C. I open the shower door during this time so it warms up a bit. On my bed I have a doona, a light cotton blanket, a wool blanket double and a thick cotton blanket folded in 4. It’s heavy but really snug, I think you can just see the top of my head as I am snuggled right under. During the night I got a bit hot so folded the heavy cotton blanket to 2 thicknesses, it was 7 °C at the time. Kata Tjuta are about 50 Km away and a really spectacular group of rocks.
This panorama was shot from the sunrise dune viewing area, but not at sunrise obviously, too cold for me. Then I went on the Valley of the Winds walk, an easy 2.2 round walk to a view over the other side of Kata Tjuta. There were lots of Mulgas growing alongside the track. The trees make a delightful sound when the wind blows.
The view at the top is toward the back of The Olgas, different to the view that you see from the road. By the way, I did find out why the Desert Oaks grow the way they do. When young they need all the rainwater they can get so they grow little branches close to the trunk with needles pointing down. This directs the rain to the roots and maximises the amount collected. After time the roots reach the water table and the tree can then spread out as it is not longer as dependant on the collection of rain. Mallees do it differently, their needle-like leaves point up so rain hitting them runs down the twig onto the branch and down to the ground. Both strategies seem to work because there are lots of both trees in Central Australia.
On the way back to Yularu I took another couple of panoramas. The first was looking at Watji Gorge.
They have signs on the road advising you not to stop, but I did and took a photo of the south east view.
Wonderful scenery for sure and on your way back home you see many views of Uluru that are all delightful, it changes colour all day. I went shopping today, grocery prices were reasonable but wine and beer real extortion. Six packs of stubbies of any brand are $60 and a bottle of “cheap” wine is $30, clearly they discourage drinking. Tomorrow I will be off to Kings Canyon Station for a few nights and the Glen Helen Gorge for a few more and then Alice Springs, nor sure if I will have 3G so I may be off air for a while.