Monday, August 23, 2010

Tanami return

Our first night back on the Tanami on the 19th was pure magic. We detoured the 40 kms into Balgo community to look at the art centre there. Unable to help ourselves and realising that one piece hanging on our wall would be incongruous, another modest purchase was made. The creative director Annette knew that at that late hour we would have nowhere to stay so she took us off out of the settlement to the edge of a cliff in the Balgo Hills. The view out across a 50 kilometre broad plain (once an inland sea complete with fossils) a hundred metres below us, washed by evening sunlight and edged all around by an escarpment, was really a special experience few white folk get to see. Camp here for the night she said. And we did. Check out this photo.

The Tanami was again lovely when you stop, turn off the motor and just listen to the birdsong and take in the variety of plant life. A month has made a wonderful difference in the flowers after our first trip up. On our second night we camped behind Renehan's Bore near this wrecked vehicle - a common sight, but H was more thrilled by the botanical variety. This year is unusual after so many drought years, but it would be wonderful if better rainfall were to happen more regularly. Is this part of the southward trend of tropical weather systems associated with climate change? Oh, shut up! Two years ago the Oodnadatta Track was as dry and bare as it could be and it will be interesting to see it again this year as we make our way into South Australia in a day or two’s time. So we are again in Alice, a complex place but fascinating and beautiful. Could have lived here in another life I think. We meet up with old friend Jane Ulman tonight, who is arriving to spend time recording birdsong for the ABC. Alice is a meeting place in more ways than one.

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