Forget the secretive Pine Gap… Gnomesville in the Ferguson Valley SW Western Aus is more secretive and holds greater mystique in quiet places. It has a larger population and is the centre-point of ‘special powers’, those powers common to gnomes. The Man and I found out about Gnomesville quite unexpectedly, sitting over a lovely glass of something on one of those deliciously lazy social afternoons with friends.
I have often had a whine about how Aussies are not taught our own history. We are taught instead, at the very best, anecdotal stories. Mostly we are taught about European history, English royalty and the histories of European explorers who came to lay their own uncertain claim to fame in a new world. There is nothing about Asian explorers and traders who had a huge traditional trade business operating on our northern shores for centuries, or even information on the claims the Dutch held in continental Australia. This claim being one much earlier than when Lieutenant Cook made his equally ditzie claim for English sovereignty over the vast swathe of the Australian coastline while standing on a remote island in the Torres Strait.
We’ve been kicking around the dust in Western Australia now for some months having a simply glorious time. We’ve also been getting involved in stoushes over freecamping vs caravan parks. Why? I do not know as they are as far removed from each other as anything could be but many people do not see this. I have heard and read more than one comment on the comparisons between the eastern and western states when it come to free camps and rest area’s.
We’re presently in Western Australia as most of my regular readers know. I have to admit to some trepidation as we approached the state a few months ago intending to freecamp and explore. In the years before we even got here we had heard of the predatory practices of some WA towns in regards to tourists and travellers and this certainly concerned us.
Visiting WA was not entirely an unknown, we have been her many times before. We have flown in, driven in and stayed for extended periods. I spent 3 months in Kalgoorlie and had a truly wonderful time and we have toured the SW corner on a number of occasions. We’ve explored Walpole, Albany (sorta) and many other places spending long hours in the beautiful tall forests and sandy beaches of the region. We couldn’t find anywhere to park in Esperance so we breezed through there as with many places.
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.