Wednesday, August 11, 2010

East Kimberley to Kununurra

After Mt Elizabeth where we spent four nights, we began to think of our friends residing in Kununurra at the east end of the Kimberley, so we set off early on a long day to reach Home Valley (where the film "Australia" was made), just 70kms from the bitumen and 120kms from Kununurra. There is a Grollo owned property called Ellenbrae 5kms off the road, where good scones can be had, or tyres can be repaired. We shredded a tyre after putting a stone through it about twenty short of the scones, and took two hours changing it because we couldn't get any of our three jacks to fit under the lowered undercarriage, and ended up digging a deep hole in the road to get the tyres off and on again! Don't blame me if you hit a deep pot hole! We reached Home Valley safely enough but it is nerve racking driving without a spare when you realise none of the tyre mending technology you are carrying is any use at all. By the time we reached Home Valley there were seven with tyres written off; one had had three go in a short distance. Luck has somethng to do with this but tyre pressures and speed a lot too. The road had been topped with crushed shaley metal since we were last on it, and the result is a very happy local tyre industry. This morning at Tyrepower I heard of a new Range Rover owner who had done 5000kms in his pride and joy when it broke down out there. The owner was heard talking to the Sydney dealership whilst stuck at the roadside "....and I've just been passed by a f.....g Wicked van!" Apparently he purchased a new Toyota LandCruiser in Kununurra to continue his journey. Oh what a feeling!

Kununurra has been wonderful and in large measure because we have been able to catch up with old friends and one time client Brian and Greta Beveridge. We left Home Valley early so we could reach K in time to have a catch up and prepare for crewing on the Ord River Dragon Boat, Brian being the VP of the local dragon boat club. It's great to be able to meet local people like this, and take part in some of the social activity. Saturday morning had us on the lakeside at 0700hrs clambering into three canoes that Brian and Greta own, then paddling out through lily lagoons onto the broad sweep of the Ord itself, and a couple of kilometres downstream to The Old Pump House for a stunning breakfast. 

A little exhausted, we rested up until 1400hrs, then set off with Brian's local knowledge to a rock art site out of town. It was extraordinary in every sense. About 300 metres of overhung rock face at the base of a towering range that resembled the Bungle Bungles. There is a wide range of art, but also much evidence of spear tips, grinding rocks and the grindstones, and especially whole rock faces where spears had been sharpened over many generations. We returned for Barra and chips that night well satisfied with a marvellous day.

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