Kununurra to Purnululu National Park (Walardi Campground)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

With the time change back 1 ½ hours morning comes early, by which I mean that the sun is up by 5:00 a.m. and we are in darkness by 6:00 p.m. The best time of the day is between 5:00 a.m. – 7:15 a.m. and after 7:00 p.m. This is the only time of day blessedly free of flies. Small and curious they love ears, eyes, nostrils (!) and mouths, especially mine. Geoff was tormented by mosquitoes in Canada (as is Kate) and they hardly bothered me. Here Geoff has his revenge though he is too generous to mention it. Thankfully my Aussie friend Celia left her fly veil with me which has been a godsend.

On way to the park we stopped in at the Warmun Aboriginal Art Gallery not expecting much but hoping to learn more about aboriginal art. The gallery is at the end of a road in a small aboriginal community. Nothing prepared us for the beauty of the gallery, the history told in video by the artists, the excellence of the displays, the sheer quantity of fascinating art and an interim director who took time to tell us about the art, the artists and the community. We fell in love with a painting by Gordon Blaney of the hills around Mable Downs Station (near Purnululu) where he used to be a stockman until the equal payment act. The painting is of a tree whose fruit used to ripen at Christmas. Now, because of climate change, its pattern is erratic. The style is clean and simple with the ochre tones of red and brown and a stylized tree. I think it also reminded me of the Tree of Life Judy and I saw in an excavated tile mosaic in Israel. You can come and see it in our new home in Midland.

We camped along a dry riverbed and followed a walk in the evening on the river stones. Stars again in a dark campground. Glittering, spilling out of the heavens, luminescent Milky Way. Divine!

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