Another Day at Kennedy Ranges.
MM exhausted after the walk, pinched Parp’s chair, but after being disturbed, went straight to their swag for a kip! They’ve found this place pretty heavy going, and even Yell Man has mellowed a bit. Green MM has come on in leaps and bounds and is giving the others a run for their money. There is a communal fire here, gathering around 4:30pm and MM have enthralled everyone with the stories of their adventures.
Last night, we cooked another fillet roast (mainly to have some cold meat in the days to come and her were probably 12-14 people around the fire all chatting furiously about their travels.
Before we left Kennedy Ranges, we photographed a father and his eleven year old son taking the suicide way down the Ranges. We spoke to them afterwards, and got the impression they’d bitten of a bit more than they could chew!
There is a long-drop toilet here and it is full, which is a bit of a turn off, and we have woken to a threatening sky, so after seeing all the gorges except one, we decided to pack up a day earlier in order not to get stuck in here for days. So Mount Augustus, here we come.
Travelled through fairly barren terrain, toward Mt Augustus, where we plan to stay at least two nights.
Gibber plains, powdery red sand, floodways, dips, stunted trees – typical Australian outback country, until a row of green indicates a creek or river crossing.
The Lyons River joins the Gascoyne River and we crossed it into Kennedy Ranges and crossed it again, several times, on this trip.
The mountain, or asymmetrical anticline – rock layers that have been folded into an arch-like structure – which is 1105 metres above sea level and is twice the size of Uluru (Ayers Rock). It is a granite formation, about eight kilometers long, covering an area of 4,795 hectares and is estimated to be 1750 million years old. The photo to the left was of our first sighting. The MM our awestruck by the size of it and they are hanging on for their lives!
We are on an unpowered site, but have mains water to our van, septic toilets and can buy basic supplies here. There is much more space in the camping section and we can have a fire.
Drove to Cattle Pool, walked for a Km or so, along a permanent waterhole on the Lyons River, which was used by the station owners, over the past 150 years as their water source, for both human consumption and cattle.
Meanwhile, in the quiet, waterbirds and honeyeaters flew in around us, butterflies, and insects. Everything seems to come to you if you are patient enough.
We are enjoying it here, except for the lack of communication and contact with family and friends.
MM had loads of fun on the massive red river gums and were daring each other to go just that little bit further. “Trust me” said the yellow one, as he encouraged the others to follow him skidding down the tree, to dive in.
Decided to stay another day here – such an interesting place and last night we went over to the bar and dining room, where Candy the aboriginal owner sat at our table and told us all about the Wajarri people, who once lived here. Their name for the rock is Burringurrah.
Walked ingto Kotka Gorge, which incorporates the Gum Grove Trail. Quite hot walking over rock, even though there is extensive cloud cover. Didn’t go the whole way, as the walking became too difficult – climbing over large boulders etc. Lots of lovely flowers and bushes on the way, and incredible red gums, that we had to duck under, weave around and marvel at their presence.
At the end of our walk, we sat at a picnic table to eat our egg and lettuce sandwiches, thinking we’d have a leisurely break, until a few spots of rain made us make a hasty retreat, back home, to take down the canvas roof. Resumed our relaxing lifestyle after 15 minutes of furious work, even though the rain was only at the rock and not back at camp.
MM had a ball playing on the Karavan, trying to get into our bed. They were missing Rhys and Heath badly yesterday, so last night we let them sit around the fire and sang songs. Yellow MM has a shocking voice, but we wouldn’t dare tell him!
We are leaving tomorrow for Tom Price where we will be able to publish all this and talk to our kids again.