Monday, 29 July 2013

Well I couldn't help myself. More Broome.  The sharp peppery smells and thick frangipani scents fill the evening and morning air. The calls of the birds and lizards barking, whistling kites and curlews cooing an ongoing lament not to mention the richness of the sights. The camels calmly walking down my street and out onto Cable Beach, their stirrups ringing as the mooch along.

And so onto the beach.

This is Broomes old Courthouse. Typical of the early settler buildings.
Then fish and chips on the grass above Cable Beach as the sun sets on the Indian Ocean.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Driving out onto the vast plains of the East Kimberley along roads as straight as they are unrelenting in their approach to the old curve of the horizon. The vegetation is stunted once more but prolific and the shoulders of the road are peppered with the fallen pollen of the wattle trees which hedge the way all along.  The tallest trees are the Boabs which have been with me since Victoria River. This country is like home to me. I know it so well from Fitzroy to Broome because of my time with the Ag Department in 96. It feels very close to me. And so onto Broome. Tourist mecca of the west!  It displays the beauty and the ugly of this industry.  The natural wonders that is Broome and the unholy mess of an unregulated tourist destination.

Sunbaking Cable Beach side.

 These appealing patterns on the beach are made by little sand crabs at low tide.
These rectangular flat rocks are typical of Cable Beach.

The beautiful and strange rock formations at Gantheaume Point.
The only house at Gantheaume Point owned by the Fong family who had the first and for many years only general store in Broome. Now millionaires with 180 degrees views of the Indian Ocean.
Port of Broome.
The mess that is Minyirr Beach.
Bus stops Broome style.

Roebuck Bay with mangroves at high tide.

Where Pindan meets beach sand.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Left Kununurra once more on Thursday. Gave me a chance to really appreciate the majestic landscape here in the west Kimberleys.The road winds through the mighty escarpments, bombies and drop offs, known around here as jump ups, while the road hugs the ancient ocean floor.  It is impossible to not think of the sea as you drive through this country. Then just before Fitzroy Crossing, you erupt out and onto the giant plains of the East Kimberley. But I am ahead of myself, as I stopped for lunch at a free campsite, Mary River Crossing which was so peaceful that I stayed there for the night.

The corellas fussed and flew off several times before the sunset forced their settling in these huge ghost gums on the river bank.
And this beautiful old gum tree sheltered my tent for the night.

There was lots of wild life in this campsite. During the night, I was visited by two tiny quolls.  These little animals are under threat from the cane toad as their diet consists of frogs and tadpoles and the cane toad is poisonous at all stages of development.The lands department also think that the Johnson River Crocodile will also be affected by the progress west of the Cane Toad.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Decided on a day in Wyndam although it has failed to impress before.  Wyndam was developed as a deep sea port by the Durack family to export cattle to their markets. It is very strange to see ocean going ships sitting in the West Arm of the Cambridge Gulf surrounded by the estuaries of five rivers, mangrove and many little creeks. These days the port is still operating, but not as busy as before.and many buildings, including the meatworks lay rotting in the heat. In the Old Town, called Wyndam Port, there are also many shops abandoned and businesses just left to the environment.

Views from Five River Lookout of the five rivers bleeding into the West Arm, the Pentecost, the Ord, The Durack, The King and the Forest Rivers.

The Grotto Is just out of Wyndam.
This is a sad and lonely place. The staircase down is a trip of terror for those of us afraid of sheer drops.

I am back in Kununurra because the couple I was travelling with could not buy gas to get to Broome. I followed them back to Kununurra and they will head east as I continue west. This gives me an opportunity to explore Kununurra which I did today.  This is Ivanhoe Crossing which is the old crossing of the Ord River before they built the current bridge. Add crocodiles and I would be staying on one side of the Ord.

Flowers on a tree at the crossing.
View of Kununurra from Kellys Knob.

Flowers on a tree at the Knob.
Lake Kununurra.

Valentines Pool.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Yesterday, the 20th, I went on a four wheel tour of the Purnululu NP. It was called the Bungle Bungles after the name of the station is was located on, but with respect for my niece in law who is one of the Aboriginal people who call this area her spirit home, I will refer to it as Purnululu. The road in is absolutely terrible with several creek crossings, so I am glad I did not attempt the 53 km drive in my RAV.  The Park is very different each end. The southern end has the iconic domes structured rocks with the variegated rings.

The stripes are caused by Blue green algae growing on the surface of the rock layers which have mostly clay in them as they hold water. The red layers are the sand layers. These rock formations are 350 million years old and are unique because they were formed from the erosion debris of the Osmond Ranges which are now merely hills and have a billion year old date. The age of this area is significant as it emphasises just how peripheral we are to the environment. Having said that, the rocks are vulnerable and are beginning to suffer the consequences of tourism.

View from Picaninny Lookout

Cathedral Gorge.

In the afternoon, we went t the Northern end of the Park and here the spinifex grasses cushioned the slopes of the ranges with soft, silver pillows. The ranges were very high and cut with fingers of chasms. I visited Echidna Chasm. Cockatoo was chasing Echidna and he buried himself in the mountain but not before Cockatoo pulled some of his quills out which are the Palms in this gorge, you can see today.

Echidna Chasm
We finished the day on Osmond Lookout.
These cockatiels were sitting in a boab tree. And more flowers.