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Published: October 19th 2012
As I type this, we are sitting in our roasting van awaiting help. Miles from civilisation, our van decided to spill oil and stop. For the mechanically minded out there, the drive end bearing on the rear differential has dropped out. Or, as Dean explained it to me, our two-wheel-drive vehicle is now a no-wheel-drive vehicle. With no mobile coverage, we were very lucky that a local came by within 5 minutes of our breakdown and gave Dean a lift to his house. Apparently the closest mechanic is 120km away so we’ve got a three hour wait. This doesn’t bode well… and on top of that, the inside of the van is covered in dust from the off-road driving, our side door will no longer open from the outside, and our tyres are looking very sorry for themselves.
But we had a great last few days in the outback! After leaving Mount Isa, we drove 300km to the beautiful Boodjamulla National Park (I must remember to add that to my ‘wonderful places’ list). En route, we visited the Riversleigh Fossil Park and spent a night camping in the middle of nowhere. The next day we made it to
Boodjamulla (also known as Lawn Hill) and thoroughly enjoyed getting back to nature. It was stinking hot, so we made good use of the cold showers (about three times a day!). Surprisingly, the area gets water all year round as, when it’s not raining, the gorge’s limestone springs are still active. The Constance Range is gradually being eroded by the Gulf streams and Boodjamulla is like a mini version of Carnarvon Gorge.
On the first evening, when I walked down to the stunning Indarri Falls, I had a utopia moment – like in the movie ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ when they come across the lush and magical underground world. There were waterfalls, palm trees, moss covered rocks and a backdrop of beautiful red rock. There was also a sign advising caution whilst swimming in the creek as freshwater crocs inhabit the area. There are crocs and people still swim in there?! Australia really is a strange country!!
However, we were in the water the very next morning! After a walk to the Upper Gorge, we floated back downstream in a couple of rubber tubes. There wasn’t much of a current, so
what took us one hour to walk took us three hours to float back :-) It was bliss and we saw lots of interesting creatures: all sorts of birds and fish, a turtle and gorgeous red dragonflies that frequently made us their landing platforms. But no crocs!
Back at our campsite, we were also surrounded by birds and a curious little Gilbert’s Dragon, otherwise known as a Ta Ta Lizard because it waves at you when it stands still.
We did a few more walks, to the Cascades and up the Island Stack (an impressive rock formation island around which the gorge splits). The area’s flora is also amazing, with palm trees, shrubs, acacia and spinifex forests and delicious smelling cluster figs.
Now we just need to make it back to civilisation and get our van fixed…. Watch this space for news…
Tot: 2.693s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 8; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0217s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb