Forgot the word of the day for 22nd and 23rd
White Fella – Gardiya
Crocodile – Lila garran
Emu – Wiyarril
When you speak gija, you must say the words extremely quickly and then you repeat it in white fella language even faster so white fella can’t understand his own language!
So, no doubt you saw the exhausting pictures we posted yesterday of Di about to expire from heat exhaustion even though she had tipped a whole litre of precious water over herself and the disgustingly high temperature we had to endure. We know one of our blog readers Carol from Maitland in NSW had a similar episode at the Taj Ma Hal in India. Carol and her husband Pete were travelling with us around India and we just happened to be at the Taj when it was 40c and with the sun reflecting off the white marble, Carol went into melt down. Luckily for Carol we were only a very short distance from our perfectly satisfactory seven star accommodation which had the most perfect of pools that we could cool down in. Only this time, Di only had a litre of very warm water to pour over her head!!!
Back to our story and the Bungle Bungles. We are combining two days into one posting as they relate to one another. On the 23rd we drove out to the Bungle Bungles and on the 24th we flew over them in a helicopter. Here is a picture to tantalize you with before we go into some information on this spectacular formation of rock and sandstone.
The Bungle Bungle Range is the landform that is the major component of the Purnululu National Park situated in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
The distinctive beehive-shaped towers are made up of sandstones and conglomerates (rocks composed mainly of pebbles and boulders and cemented together by finer material). These sedimentary formations were deposited into the Red Basin 375 to 350 million years ago, when active faults were altering the landscape.
The combined effects of wind from the Tanami Desert and rainfall over millions of years shaped the domes. Weathering also helped create this marvel. Water seeps into the rock, and at night it expands as it gets colder. This creates small cracks which eventually wears out the rock.
The range is found on the plains fringing the eastern Kimberley region. The ranges consist of stacks of ancient seabeds with layers of dolomite contained throughout them. A 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) diameter circular topographic feature is clearly visible on satellite images of the Bungle Bungle Range. It is believed that this feature is the eroded remnant of a very ancient meteorite impact crater and is known as the Piccaninny impact structure.
The unusual orange and dark grey banding on the conical rock formations is caused by differences in the layers of sandstone. The darker bands are on the layers of rock which hold more moisture, and are a dark algal or cyanobacteria growth. The orange colored layers are stained with iron and manganese mineral deposits contained within the sandstone.
The Bungle Bungle Range formation occupies an area of approximately 450 square kilometres (174 sq mi).Aboriginal people have been living in the area for over 20,000 years and continue to maintain a strong connection to this ancient landscape. The national park is managed by the Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation in conjunction with the traditional Aboriginal owners.
The range remained largely unknown except by local Aborigines and stockmen until 1982 when film-makers arrived and produced a documentary about the Kimberley. The area was gazetted as a National Park in 1987 and was also inscribed as a World Heritage area in 2003.
Let’s now start with our tale of adventure into the Bungle Bungles.
Up at 4.45am to get on the road to the Bungle Bungles which is only 120k away but 100k of the road is dirt and was in pretty rough condition. We knew we were in for a scorcher but check out the time and temperature in the photo below.
Ten kilometres up the road and we were at the National Park Entrance.
There were a few water obstacles that we were required to negotiate in low 4WD.
The road had heaps of corrugations, several water crossings and very sharp rocks just waiting to take one or two or even four of our tyres hostage. It took us over two hours to negotiate the 100k of bone shaking dirt track and finally arrive at our destination of Cathedral walk. We loaded up with three litres of water to do the two kilometre round trip which sounds a little over kill but by the time we got to the Cathedral we were half way through our water supply.
By the time we commenced the walk it was 37c and sticky nuisance flies were starting to buzz us, so on went the mozzie head nets, bug spray and 60+ sunscreen lotion. We had no choice but to walk very slowly and hunt out any area of shade.
Please take note of the black railing – what numb skull decided that Black was a good colour choice for a rail out in the middle of the bloody Australian outback. It was totally useless as it was too hot to use.
Back to the car to the air conditioning at which point we didn’t care how big a carbon foot print we were leaving today. It was blasting at full tilt for over twenty minutes until we started to get some use from it. We had another 50k’s of travel over to the Echidna Gorge where we embarked on another two kilometre walk but at this stage it was 41c. There are nail scratches on the door where Fras had to pull Di from inside the car to go on the hike which was sold as “you will regret it if you don’t go”.
Think this picture says it all which was taken at the end of the hike. Actually guys, it was worth the effort and Di is pleased she did go. We are just going to post a whole pile of pictures now to show what you all missed out on.
You know the old saying, “Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”, well in this case it was crazy Canadians and Germans. Most of the tourists have toured during the dry, cool months so are now at home delighting their family and friends with slide shows whilst thick heads like us are touring in this extremely inhospitable land in the height of the heat and beginning of the wet season. The Germans and Swiss we met today thought it a good idea to come now as it is cheaper – dah, there is a good reason for that.
After exhausting ourselves completely, we then headed back towards Frog Hollow but not before passing this little beauty of a termite mound.
The reason we have combined two days in this blog is because the following morning we took off in one of these to see the range from above.
Now this little excursion was not cheap!!!! But, and you should never start a sentence with but, but it was so well worth every penny.
The earlier aerial pictures in this posting are from our trip but here are a few more for you to peruse.
Coming back to the Warmun Aboriginal Community were the typical cattle that needed to be chased away so we could land.
We have had a wonderful few days and finished it up by having another swim in the Warmun Community pool with the kids from the school.