We’re both feeling a lot better this morning – always amazing what a good night’s sleep will do!
We headed off for Fitzroy Crossing which entailed a 3-hour drive across fairly monotonous savannah territory but with very red dirt like Hawaii. Unending horizons similar only to what we’ve seen in southern Patagonia. Of note, were the huge Baob trees which are a strikingly original feat of nature. And the massive mud termite mounds – colonies of termites that are often 5 ft high and 5 ft in diameter. It’s impossible to understand how a bunch of insects can build such a huge construction and even after googling, we don’t understand the logistics. Sometimes we’d see hundreds of these mounds over a small field – it was scary to think of exactly how many insects it would take to produce such massive structures!
Unfortunately though, we are discovering that the whole Kimberley area is not totally open for business yet – we’d been warned we were coming a little early in the season and true enough, some of the significant roads are closed for repairs and some of the important tourist services are not open yet.
So we’re missing out on a couple of our key targets – Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Mountain – and even the Geiki Gorge is partially closed for viewing.
We don’t have high hopes for tomorrow either, when we drive to Halls Creek and spend the night in a hotel there. Not sure there will be much to see without driving pretty considerable distances.
But … from there, we head into our most significant destination, which is Purnululu National Park and the Bungle Bungles! We know the park is open and Peter has a helicopter ride booked for Saturday morning. Plus by then, we’ll both be ready to give the Britz camper another run for its money and we are planning to spend at least two nights camping there! Wish us luck!
The beginning of Geiki Gorge – but the closest we could get.
A gorgeous sunset as we approach Fitzroy Crossing – one of the smallest towns we’ve ever seen!
How old would that Baob tree be? See the graffiti – would be interesting to know if the carvers were from outside Australia – all looks amazing- thanks for continuing to take the time to share.
Hi Thom – interestingly, Peter was also checking out the graffiti to try and gauge the age of the tree. But most of it had been warped by the tree’s growth and he couldn’t really tell anything other than most of the names were English (from where, who knows!) In case you didn’t see my FB post this morning, there was a similar tree in the place we were staying which was probably 1/4 the size of this one and we know it was planted in 1897. So I suspect this biggie is about 300 years old.
These trees can be very old. Some on the North West Kimberly Coast have graffiti carved into them by the early English explorers/ sailors from the 18th Century. Surprisingly the graffiti carvings fade/grow out with age, although they always get bigger. I have some pictures of the Derby Prison Boab Tree taken by my Father in 1963, featuring very much younger me and my Mother and Grandparents where there were many large carving of initials into the trunk. Much of this graffiti is still visible in the same tree today, much bigger, and less distinct, but still visible. they are an amazing photographic subject and change so much during the course of the seasons