Perth … is the most remote city around the globe and ‘a world unto itself’. If Aus’ is to be considered as sparsely populated then Western Australia holds the crown amongst the States of Australia. Western Aus’ is more than 3½ times bigger than Texas and is the 2nd largest state/province in the world. It is 33% of the Australian continent. It has barely 10% of the Australian population and and 92% of this population live tucked into the SW corner of the state.
It has been a year. A whole year since we settled into the van to live permanently in transit, travelling the highways and tracks of Aus… out on the wallaby. This was a dream of ours since The Man and I met. It was one we shared from very early on in our lives and now we are living that dream. One we hope to live for many more years to come.
Millions of years ago, when life emerged from the waves it was stromatalites and thrombolites that made it possible. They breathed oxygen into the atmosphere and life eventually moved onto the land once water had begun to fall from the heavens, nourishing the earth. 600 million years ago the ancestors of thrombolites and stromatolites produced the oxygen needed for life on land to exist and their ancient colonies can be found today in only a few rare places around the world.
They look like rocks but are really ancient forms of microbial communities that produce energy from sunlight. These ancient forms of life are found in specialized environments around the world. They require water to survive. Stromatalites need saline water and thrombolites require a greater measure of fresh water.
We have left the Kimberley and slipped into the vast region south known as the Pilbara. The desert plains here are vast, the heat is arriving, climbing each day. The humidity is on the wind that sweeps across the plains and you can feel it heavy on your skin. We are headed south towards the cooler temperatures like thousands of other travellers and locals, this to escape the climbing heat and humidity in the air now blowing on our tails.
We have been enjoying a special privilege, visiting one of the vast Outback Stations and at this time of year they are finishing the rounding up cattle for market before the Big Wet arrives, it is almost the end of ‘mustering’ time. This is a time in the Kimberley when the land promises its bounty under the duress of flooding rains, humid heat and scorching sun and before this bounty arrives, the market cattle need to be shipped out and the ‘keepers’ settled in to fatten over the season of abundance. Continue reading
What is wonderful about the Kimberley is the things that are hidden. The landscape is amazing, from ancient scraggy rock karst in beautiful ombré red tones to the flat sandy grasslands, now golden and baked under the sun. I have written about the magnificent boab tree, which sits following flows of water, ancient and new but I haven’t yet mentioned the gorges, those cracks hidden in the vast planes which cut deep into the earth.
When I first met The Man at quite a tender age, I fell in love. I knew that this was the man I wanted to marry, the one I wanted to spend my life with. I think part of you, perhaps the part that lives beyond life, knows when you encounter a soul mate and immediately some part of you recognizes them even if you decide not to acknowledge it. Even if they are difficult, demanding or secretive … not that The Man is any of these things … Yet somehow you know you have met a destiny of one kind or another.