Kunnunara to Bungle Bungles was a short day, only 250kms on seal. We stopped at Warnum Roadhouse for gas as no fuel now until reached Halls Creek & we were going to do 250kms in the park. The correct name for the park is Purnululu but through a "lost in translation" moment became the Bungle Bungles when a white explorer asked an Indigenous guide what the area was called & the guide thought he was asking about the grass in the park which is called Bungle bungle in the local dialect.
The Kimberly's which is comprised of a few different ranges, and mainly soft sandstone has spent millions of years being eroded by wind & water & has created an unusual landscape.Huge boulders are scattered across the landscape some large on top of larger & in turn on top of largerest. These, according to geologists have been all caused as a result of wind & water erosion. Of course they could be wrong & may have been crafted by Egyptians visiting after they had finished the pyramids.
Most creeks we crossed (all on bridges) are dry but obviously in the wet season they are raging torrents as most roads have
depth markers & signs warning that there are flood drains nearby. Interestingly a lot of the land under the trees has been burnt deliberately as in the Aboriginal way they know to stop dry weather fires they need to destroy the fuel (undergrowth) & in the process release seeds & buds for food when the big wet starts. We saw smoke in the distance which appeared to be controlled burning, so maybe we are starting to learn from these people who have been doing it for millenia. We also visited Robin Falls where there was an interesting story board about how the Indigenous people harvest a particular seed & washed it in running water for days, burnt it in a certain way & baked it into a form of bread. This gets rid of lethal toxins before they eat it & gives them an important source of minerals. Not sure how they tested this...I guess on people who they weren't too keen on. We have a lot to learn from these people regarding caring for the environment when you consider in the so called "greener" areas of our societies we have been locking up forests and not clearing undergrowth &
then blaming the resultant conflagration on climate change.
At the Purnululu park world heritage park aka Bungles Bungles, we took a scenic helicopter ride & saw the really unique landscape. There were chasms up to 300 metres in depth. We also saw the Picanniny crater which was the result of a meteor strike (thousands of years ago) apparantely there is a bigger one near Halls Creek. Glad to be leaving this area soon as it may have a meteor attractor.
Many of the rock faces have a native Australian Palm (Livistona) growing from the cracks wherever there is seepage water.. The station (Mabel Downs Station) we were flying over was 5400 square kms and running 32,000 head of Brahman cattle ..the only beast tough enough to exist in these harsh conditions. This & 3 other similar stations have just been bought by Andrew (Twiggy) Forest. He is a mining magnate & claims he is buying these pastoral leases to develop sustainable farming. Mmmm I wonder if the red in the ranges which is iron ore oxidising has any attraction?...this is how Lang Hancock got started. He was flying over similar ranges in the Pilbara,wondering why it looked like rust. The
outcome is Rio Tinto & a large bank account for his daughter Gina Reinhart who is possibly the world's wealthiest woman.
Back in the campground Ian & Brenton fitted my bike with new chain & sprockets as the originals were past there "use by"
We then experienced outback camping the Aussie way. Everything from tiny campers and roof top campers to big rigs with every home comfort. Al Fresco buffet dining finished off our evening.
Leaving earlyish (7.30 - 8am) we rode 53kms into the park on a rough gravel 4wd road with 5 water crossings one deeper than our boot tops...wet feet! Reaching the information centre we headed North for 20kms to reach the Echidna Chasm. Not sure why it's called that as we saw no Echidnas, but it's spectacularly 180m deep & only a metre wide in parts. We hiked in for a km & waited there until late morning to catch the light overhead creating some fantastic photo opportunities.
We then rode back to the south on more 4wd tracks to the Cathedral which is equally spectacular as you can see by the photos Ian & Brenton took when they hiked the 1km in over some
rocky & steep terrain.
Back out of the park on 50km of more 4wd roads, we then headed south for 107kms on seal to Halls Creek. This seems to be a very Indigenous town and the hotel we are in is like a guarded fortress, but quite nice in a faded grandeur sort of way. The bar filled up in the evening with a group of miners from a local mine. Apparantely the mine is around 300m deep & miles & miles of tunnels. The guy we were talking to drives the machine that puts in the steel reinforcement mesh - a big responsibility.
Tomorrow all gravel to Kalkarindji. More photos to come.
Tot: 0.112s; Tpl: 0.015s; cc: 12; qc: 27; dbt: 0.0083s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb