After our first, somewhat tame forays into the wonderful wizard corner of Oz called Kimberely, it was high time we headed to the hellishly hot central part of the region – into the savanna and nearer to the Great Sandy Desert. For there’s plenty to see there too…
Now, if you were to travel approximately 300km to the east of Broome, and for some reason got stranded there in the dry season with no transportation or satellite phone… you’re dead in the water (actually, dead with no water) for sure. Your mummified carcass would perhaps be found after two or three weeks, or, more likely, it will have disappeared already after the termites and other hungry creatures have made an extended feast out of it. Yes sir, for this place is… a beautifully barren, direly desolate, utterly unpeopled and unroaded savanna that stretches for thousands of miles all around.
Hmmm. That paragraph came over a little macabre; and flowery. Let me try again…
If you were to travel approximately 300km to the east of Broome accompanied by reliable guides and with guaranteed means of transportation and communication, then it’s highly likely you’d find yourself in the thoroughly interesting Windjana Gorge national park (here). Apparently, if the various tourist information/history boards here are to be believed, then some 360 million years ago – in the Devonian (the period in which amphibians appeared) – this was where the coastline was, and underneath the ocean waves crashing against it a massive barrier reef was formed…
(Hmmm. Still… too wordy. I’ll have to start getting to the point quicker.)
…Anyway, later on, the sea left the area to expose the reef, which is now a terrestrial rock formation. It’s the ridge here in the next pic, somewhat incongruously traversing the sunny Australian savanna:
Over millennia, this river has cut a deep gorge through the coral-rock:
Here are the historical-geological details:
We just had to get on down there and into that there gorge… Hmmm, who’d have thought fishing would be physically possible – though forbidden – here?!
Here’s the entrance to the gorge:
Here we have fossilized trilobites and other prehistoric creatures set in the rock from the Devonian epoch. 360 million years in stone! The head just refuses to get itself round such numbers.
Ok, now this pretty beach is nice and worth a visit, but it’s not really worth spending too long examining it. We didn’t find anything totally outstanding there. So if you do ever make it to these parts, after walking through the gorge you only need keep walking for around half a kilometer; then you’d be best turning round and heading back.
And now for something completely different…
They can get as big as THIS:
… and as fat as THIS:
And even as urbanized as THIS:
Oh, yep… you might as well have them all – here! Just don’t show the kids, pregnant women, or yourself at night before bed.
Anyway, what am I getting at?
I’m getting to this river…
…In it reside crocs, which, though peace-loving in general, you’d do well not to get too close to, let alone wake up if snoozing.
Next up, we had quite an unexpected hiccup to deal with…
We got Windjana from the plane by coach, and after our walkies there we were to take another bus. However, when we got to the collection point it had already left, 15 minutes earlier than the prearranged time! What the koalas? It came as quite a surprise as we’d become accustomed to Australian orderliness and good service!
But what were we to do? In the end we had to negotiate with some aborigines (who work as rangers here). After half an hour of laid back negotiations we eventually agreed to a reasonable transfer fee and then climbed onto the back of their pick-up and happily headed off in the same direction as that bus from hell.
The negotiations hitting one of their high-tension/high-stakes moments
The following pic sums up our mood perfectly. Despite having been left behind by the bus, we had a great time on the back of that pick-up. In the end we were happy the bus had left without us. Let’s face it, we’ll never forget that bumpy ride on the back for the rest of our lives!
That’s all for today folks.
All the photos are here.
Back with the next installment quicker than two shakes of a koala’s tail; if they have tails…