After 4 days travelling the world in my memories this fifth and final day I am back in Australia…
The year is 2005 and I am travelling on the Greyhound bus right round Australia, on my own and with only my pension, I was on a strict budget.
How I loved that challenge. The 12 month, 10,000 kilometre bus pass cost $990 and I was on my way July 23rd heading North, first on the “Sunlander Train” into the Warm Northern tropics. Then onto the Greyhound bus across the great Outback. Turning West I followed the magnificent wild flower trail south along the coast of Western Australia. Discovering the incredible history of the gold mining era of Kalgoorlie. Then on the mighty “Indian Pacific” train across the Nullabor. Through the capital city of Adelaide and on to Melbourne where I timed it to be there for the “Melbourne Cup” that great horse race that stops a nation and cheered myself hoarse along with thousands of others as we watched that magnificent mare Makybe Diva win the cup for the third time in a row.
For 4 months I hopped on and off the bus. Sometimes just me and the driver travelling through the night to the next destination curled up with my sleeping bag draped over me and trying to sleep. Other times it was staying in back packer or YHA dorms for a day or two with a variety of nationalities, male and female. While I roamed around all the fascinating places that make up this huge country.
For a change I also Wwoofed (willing workers on organic farms) spending time, for free accommodation, helping on various farms. A memorable one being a seahorse sanctuary, another a warm blood horse stud. Another way to stretch my budget was using “Global Freeloaders”, a forerunner of the now popular “couch surfers”.
Many times I have been asked what was my favourite place. A very hard question I could write a book about all I saw and did. It was a continual journey of wonder.
But what I am going to pick out for this final day of the challenge is my trip into the wilderness of the Kimberley.
With a small group of 6, a charismatic Australian larrikin called Scott drove us 5 hours in his 4 wheel drive. The last 50 kilometres we bounced over corrugated, rutted tracks that twist and turn and at times is like a roller coaster, the red bull dust swirling around us as Scott takes the track at speed as he tells us this is the best way to minimise the corrugations. After 3 stops, one to change a burst tyre and twice to allow one of our group to be violently sick, we arrived at the Bungle Bungle Range. Deep in the Purnululu National Park.
For the rest of the day we tramped among these wondrous and breath-taking formations. The red rocks towered above us catching the magic glow of the sun reflecting back.
We had this extraordinary world to ourselves.
That night Scott cooks us a traditional and delicious BBQ, just look at those juicy steaks. What a great guy he is.
Then we roll out our swags and lay around the camp fire swapping stories before drifting to sleep under a canopy of a million stars.
Next day it was more walking through this surreal landscape the azure blue of the sky accentuating the shape and colour of the domes. The final gorge Scott took us to was Cathedral Gorge.
This was to be a moment that will live with me forever and was the highlight of my trip around Australia.
Scott had carried a didgeridoo with him and when we reached the end of the gorge it was just our small group. We sat in the sand around a small crystal clear pool and Scott climbed up to an over-hanging rock and placed the end of the old Aboriginal instrument into a hollow. The haunting sound echoed and hung around us in the still air, time also seemed to stand still. The walls of the gorge towered above us and the top was a blaze of fiery red were the sun touched it. I sat entranced and awed by the majesty of the moment.
Well that is the finish of my 5 days. I hope you have enjoyed travelling around with me back into my past journeys. I have enjoyed reliving them…
The second part of the challenge is to pass the baton on to another blogger. So today I would like to nominate (drum roll please) Dawn of “The day after“. Dawn is a prolific blogger, her posts cover a variety of subjects, she hosts 2 challenges, “Lingering look at windows” and “Lingering look at architecture” her specialities are fiction writing and photography and I’m sure she will have many stories to tell us. Go across and say G’day to her and explore her world.
There’s no obligation Dawn, have fun if you want to join in!
The challenge is to just “post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge”.