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.
Soul mates have a part to play in your life … you even sometimes marry them. Others move in your sphere for only a short time and others move on almost immediately having left a mark in your world. Soul mates come in many shades and have invariably travelled the road of life with you before at some point. I also believe that where they are troublesome; be they relatives or friends they are around to either learn a lesson themselves, or to teach you one. Having shared many different experiences with you they are shadows of both your past and your present experience and you recognize them deep in your own being when you do cross paths. It is all a learning curve really.
In the last few days I have met another destiny, another love… The Kimberley’s and the NW Western Aus. The Man and I have avoided this area all our lives during our travels because we knew that when the time came we would eventually spend a lot of time here. It was something we saved for our retirement, or rather our life as wanderers. Our retirement is for us a time when we allow our wanderlust to consume us and we have plenty of time to truly appreciate those wonderful secrets of any region. We knew in our ‘family rearing’ years that we then will have done those hard yards. We had decided very early in our life together that our own personal evening sunsets on our lives were going to be ours alone.
When we finally chucked the jobs, or rather the jobs chucked us, our first plans were to head towards the NW corner of our world and Country, Australia. Here we reintroduced ourselves to a promise we had made ourselves long ago, and this we have finally fulfilled… well at least the first part anyway.
The Kimberley’s, The Pilbara and the Bungle Bungles. It has taken us a year to get here… there is just so much to see along the way and there is that, which has yet to be discovered. But we made it and are snuggled up ‘glamping’ it at the moment on the magnificent Lake Argyle which dams the still mighty Ord River. We are settled into a caravan park, which is a rare experience on its own and we are exploring. This space and rest point will give us time to shake the red dust from the Grampie Flat (caravan) and clean the car, as well and to take notes. We are on a trip of discovery this time and this is the best place to base ourselves from, where we can branch out and plan.
I also am once more in love. I can’t believe that our first pass through the region has had such and affect on me. This is our maiden run and we have places to be, things to do elsewhere before we make another much longer pass at this region. When we planned this run through the North West corner of Western Australia it was to be a reconnoitre run and we will land again in this region in the near future. Next time we will have a definite plan of the things we truly want to do and a list of the things we really want to see and explore. This region requires time, the right gear and planning to really appreciate its unique beauty.
Already I am gobsmacked … and we haven’t even reached or touched the true beauties of the promise around us. Already we have learnt that there a things we will require to revel in our newly found love for this region as we peel back her secrets. The list is growing and The Man has been given the job of developing the plan over the next years as we make varied forays back into the beauty of this landscape. I am busy working on the plans for another region and you can really only do justice to one region at a time so the task has fallen to him.
So what is it we have learnt? … First it is HOT. It’s only spring in Aus and already the temps here are reaching towards the 40’s C. There’s only a mounting humidity though and this makes it easier. Over the next few years we will see her in all her moods … from the beauty of rebirth in the Wet season and the cold bite of night in the dry winters.
The next visit is going to be a winter excursion and I know, or rather I expect then that it will be freezing at night. We have also discovered that this is not an area you can drag a caravan all over, not if you want to experience the best the region has to offer so we must plan alternatives if we want to get to where we plan to go, intact and truly appreciate its secrets.
The region is remote … communications are not good. So much for 95% of Aus being within reach of a communications tower, as we are told in mobile link advertising. Most Aussies know that means 95% of the population … numbers not regions. Most Aussies live in the cities and there are vast … vast area’s of this country where reliable telecommunications, or indeed any communications via phone (not connected to expensive satellite) is a mere dream.
Best of all though is that the general ‘tourist’ never makes it into this region, as it is a too remote and demanding a lover. Most all the tourists or travellers here are Aussies. What few backpackers there are, are working behind bars or on the big cattle ‘Stations’, which are as big as many countries. There is not a fly-by Asian or American tourist in sight … and if you are lucky enough to see one, they are sitting behind the tinted glass of a rare air-conditioned tour bus likely on the way to somewhere else with four stars of their particular brand of remote in mind. You are in a place that the global tourism daemon has not yet reached and it is really a magical experience, something truly rare in this day.
It is plain to see that here this land and its scenery is truly breathtaking … the area is just unbelievable. It is ancient, caved from the earth where the tables of rock have been pushed up in huge chunks and crumbled over eons in a magnificent jigsaw of stone escarpments. Where great red mountains have been worn my endless time since the Dreaming into gentle slopes against high, red karst rock ridges.
The wind has had her say here and left womanly curves in ombré coloured stone having delivered the burning heat of the desert and whipped it around where rock has dared to emerge across the landscape, caressing the stone like a lover creating beautiful formations. This is the unique landscape art of the Kimberley’s and the Bungle Bungles. It is simply magnificently beautiful. It reminds me of a fine mellowed red wine that sits on the palate and permeates through the senses slowly, leaving an indelible memory.
When we climbed up to Five Rivers Lookout of the Bastion Range at Wyndham on one of our forays, we found a lookout that sits on the edge of the where the rivers drain into truly vast flood plains and mud flats. The five great rivers of the Kimberley’s drain into the Cambridge Gulf and the view in all directions left me truly speechless. This doesn’t happen often. A view such as this I had never seen before in its immensity of scope and scene. It was here that I truly fell in love and I am looking forward to introducing myself to my new lover over the next few years.
The North West Corner of WA is somewhere we have barely begun to explore, but already she has captured our hearts.
You can explore the Lore and Legends of ancient worlds in her stories.
The Spirit Children series, ‘Lands Edge’ Book 1, will take you into the heart of Sydney on an adventure into legend and time. ‘Through other Eyes’ Book 2, will take you deep into the histories of the Jenolan Caves. It has been newly released and is available now at Amazon.com
Explore contemporary tales of the ancient Kadaitcha, or the Featherfoot of a truly unique Lore in ‘The Dreaming Series’.
Or enjoy some of her lively travelogues and tales of past true life travel adventures, published in both e-book and print under Around the Campfires and Oldies at Large.
You will find her on Facebook where you too can become part of the adventure. You never know… you might just catch up with her and The Man around the ridges somewhere.