The next installment with Moose, Goldie, Wolfie and Wolvie.
  • Day8

    Loy's Country

    April 25, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    The story of Loy’s country continued as she showed us stone carvings that she said dated back approx 20,000 years.
    The carving showed emu tracks and water as part of a map of the area.
    She spoke about the vegetation in the area and how the desert oak develops as a needle like tree until it’s tap root reaches ground water at which point branches start to grow away from the main trunk.
    Loy was well educated and well spoken and talked about the trails and tribulations of gaining aboriginal title and how other indigenous aboriginals have been potentially denied control of their country because of their lack of knowledge of political process.
    Sad but true fact...
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  • Day8

    Indigenious Cave Art

    April 25, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Most indigenous art tells a story to pass onto to visiting tribes and this is the case with the rock wall paintings in Loy’s country.
    The art depicts child sized handprints that indicates safe area for children as well as the presence of water and food supplies.
    Loy also picked up three different dried scats and by looking at them she was able to identify what animals had visited the area recently and that the area or local country was still healthy enough to support life.
    Her story of her country was strongly influenced by the presence of the rainbow serpent which was evidenced to her by interesting rock patterns that supposedly were remnants from the scales of the serpent as it snaked through the valley.
    We were later told that another explanation of these scaled rock formations were that back in history (being in very early history) the area was covered by water.
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  • Day8

    Loy and Coming to Country

    April 25, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    The first part of the last morning at camp was a visit from Loy who is a First Nation lady who has a strong connection with country and whitefella culture. Her grandfather was Irish and her grandmother was an indigenous woman.
    Her father was an indigenous cattleman and her mother was half Irish and Indigenous and so Loy has had the best of two cultures.
    She was an accomplished athlete at National level as well as educated with broad experience in white man’s world.
    Her family has become farmers of olives and she has approximately 300 Olive trees planted on her farm.
    We walked for approximately 30 minutes into her country as she explained the significance of country and culture in her world.
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  • Day8

    Swag Night

    April 25, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    As a consequence of the type of road and driving that is done coupled with the constant aircon the van overheated here and we had to stay put for 30 mins so that it could cool down.
    We were literally in the middle of no where and I thought we could easily put our swags out for the night here.
    Interestingly one of the highlights of the trip for both Jen and I was sleeping in a swag. There is something about sleeping under the stars in such a remote and beautiful area and Jen said she had the best nights sleep whenever she slept in a swag.
    Most of the days ranged in temperature during the day between 25-30 yet in the evening because of the lack of cloud cover the temp drops much lower so warm swags are pretty essential. This was also the last camp out we had and was almost the night Chris got engulfed in fire as we boys took charge of the campfire cooking.
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  • Day7

    Ellery Springs

    April 24, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Another beautiful gorge to swim in and marvel at the majestic rocks walls that surround it.
    I thought it might be nice to swim nude here but I thought it appropriate to ask the other people present some of who were on the tour and others already at the waterhole if they objected to me swimming naked...everyone was cool with it except the one person who mattered the most...Jen and somewhat ironically I asked her last and then of course felt like a fool. D’oh.
    Had a swim and then toweled off and went back to the pub and then ate a berry and coconut cream ice cream (vegan) really delicious before boarding the bus to travel to our next destination.
    This waterhole was a little unique as it had two waterholes at the same location. What was so amazing was how one of the ghost gums had managed to grow to 30 meters without any soil to support its roots. Quite incredible how it just held on to the rocks.
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  • Day7

    The Ochre Walls

    April 24, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    First up...there is a fine of $5000 for anyone removing any of the ochre type rocks found in the area.
    First Nation people held this site to be sacred and only used the ochre from this region to feature at big corroborees and when males came of age to become hunters.
    This process is quite brutal for young men who have to stay out in the desert for five days and have to rely on their knowledge of the area to find things to eat so that they can sustain themselves.
    This time of secret men’s business is the pathway to becoming a warrior and then being able to take a wife who has to be of the right “skin family” to ensure that their children will be healthy and from a healthy diverse gene pool.
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  • Day7

    Glen Helen Gorge

    April 24, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Another beautiful waterhole and another opportunity to swim :).
    Clean clear water with an amazing rocky backdrop.
    There are a variety of water birds and small freshwater fish in these waterholes and some larger fish as well.
    Even though we were not traveling in Summer the heat of the afternoon sun was both comforting and relaxing and made more bearable by liberal amounts of sunscreen.
    Flies also congregate around waterholes as they search for every area where they can find moisture hence their love of mouths, noses and ears and fly nets are soooo important.
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  • Day7

    Tjorita West Macdonnell Ranges (Cont)

    April 24, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Most waterholes in this area hold water until heavy rain replenish them...however there are very big artesian basins all around the NT and many plants and people take advantage of this semi permanent water source.
    Animals rely on the water to survive and maybe one of the reasons we have not seen much wildlife on this trip may well be due to the state of drought that is gripping the territory.
    The first waterhole that I swam in must have been at least 10+ meters deep and around 19 degrees celsius...pretty refreshing.
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  • Day7

    Tjorita West Macdonnell Ranges

    April 24, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Another amazing national park with our first NT waterhole that we were able to swim in.
    The desire to have a swim is strong in these areas mostly because of the heat, dust and flies.
    There had been a major wild fire that had burnt out the area about 3 months before we arrived and the damage was really significant.
    First Nations people often use strategic burns to replenish their bush tucker food sources as native plants regenerate and often seed after fire.
    Apparently this wild fire was the result of a lightning strike.
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  • Day6

    Trip to Campsite

    April 23, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Traveling from Kings Canyon to our next campsite was relatively uneventful although as we closer to the campsite it is necessary to collect firewood for the campfire otherwise no hot food for dinner.
    Fortunately the wood is so dry out here as it hasn’t rained since November 2018?
    The “Oils” sang a song called “Beds are Burning” and there is a line in the song...Holden wrecks and boiling diesels, steaming 45 degrees...the time has come etc. I wonder if they were thinking of such a car. There is another song of theirs called “Luritja Way” which we also passed on our travels :).
    During one of the stops...I commandeered the truck and began to slowly drive off as if the hand break had slipped causing our guide Suzie to panic ;).
    Jen and I slept in swags a couple of times and the experience in the desert is amazing as the night sky is so vast and beautiful.
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