This was a totally amazing experience and quite the most unusual birthday dinner I have ever had. Rich had kept all cards and presents to take with us so we set off with a big brown paper bag!
We started by being taken into the wilderness where the bus stopped and we walked up through the dunes to an elevated plateau to watch the sun go down over the Olgas and to see Ayers rock in the changing colours. We heard didgeridoo music wafting down as we climbed to be greeted with a glass of bubbly. We were also served canapés of smoked salmon and kangaroo meat as we watched the sun go down.
From there we were guided to a dining area literally in the middle of nowhere, marked out by solar lights and seated at tables with lanterns in the centre. I began opening all my cards and presents and have to say a huge thank you to all of you who thought about me so far in advance and sent such a lovely selection of things.
Our meal was fantastic, starting with roast pumpkin soup, suitably decorated, and progressing through an amazing array of salads and meats, including casseroled kangaroo and I tried barramundi fish for the first time. Deserts (in the dessert) were also an array of choices from chocolate brownies and carrot cake to apple crumble and bread and butter pudding with various exotic fruits and sauces. All the while we were being plied with wine and water and finished with a glass of port. Phew!
There were interruptions to exclaim over the wildlife attracted to the lamp and spoon them out of our glasses, then for an astronomy expert to describe the southern hemisphere night sky to us, all lights out, and to tell me and the other guy who was also celebrating his 60th that the light we were seeing from the Gemini constellation began its journey to us, as we were being born!
There were telescopes set up for you to go and get a closer look at various galaxies, stars and planets before the coaches took us home, tired, full and very happy. Photos here.