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I Still Call Australia Home. A little collection of my travel tales from around Australia.

Good morning, Uluru.

AUSTRALIA | Sunday, 11 May 2014 | Views [1259]

The early morning air was still crisp and the sky an inky black as I awoke to prepare to watch the sunrise over Uluru. The stars above me were unlike any stars that I had seen anywhere else in the world, a dense mass of silver and gold glitter. I realised then just how far we were from the city.

Half-asleep, I wriggled out of my cosy swag and fumbled around for my belongings as my eyes adjusted to the darkness. 

"Ten minutes, folks," our tour guide, Ryan, called from afar. I groggily rolled up my swag, swapped my flannelettes for unwashed jeans, and piled into the tour bus, which was coated in a thick layer of crimson dust. Even the engine sounded drowsy as we rolled along the sunburnt road.

Despite everybody's apparent fatigue, having stayed up until the budding hours of the morning roasting copious amounts of marshmallows and exchanging travel stories, there was an almost tangible sense of excitment and anticipation pulsating through the bus. I had lived in Australia my whole life and had only ever seen Uluru on postcards and television programs. Now, at 19-years-old, I was about to glimpse it through my own eyes. 

After five minutes, we came to a stop in front of a sign which read, "Welcome to Talinguru Nyakunytjaku: place to look from the dune sands.One by one, we lumbered out of the bus and ambled down a wooden pathway towards the viewing platform. The world around me was beginning to wake up, and so was I. 

I perched myself at the front of the viewing platform, letting my legs dangle over the edge. All we had to do now was wait. Another ten minutes passed before the first rays of daylight emerged, casting a dramatic silhouette behind Kata Tjuta.

And several fleeting moments later, Uluru.

I fought back my initial instinct to pick up my camera and take an endless stream of photographs. Instead, I breathed deeply, carefully taking note of the smell of the morning dew, the brisk air. I gazed attentively at the blood orange sun as it climbed higher into the sky. I closed my eyes and listened to the heart-warming song of the grey-headed honeyeaters in the distance, the cool breeze sailing through the long, dry grassland. I wanted to remember this moment in vivd detail. 

Because in that very moment, I fell passionately in love with the country that I am so blessed to call home.




Tags: 2014 travel writing scholarship - euro roadtrip, australia, gap year, sunrise, uluru


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