Sunday, July 1, 2012

Day 21 CSR gorgeous

Day 21 CSR We have had a really lovely day exploring Durba Springs and surrounds. We woke early, before sunrise, walked out of the gorge and climbed up the northern side of the gorge to watch the sunrise from atop the rocky outcrops. We took lots of photos of white gums and red rocky walls. The colours surrounding us here are stunning and indescribable.  We headed back to the camp for breakfast of pancakes.....yum! After breaky, and washing up every utensil we are carrying, we packed the backpack with camera gear, epirb, sat phone, water and food and headed up for a walk to the end of the the gorge. Clambering over big boulders and tree roots, winding our way through secret caves and around the intermittent water holes we discovered some more spectacular scenery. Burning through the pixels at a great rate probably doesn't do the place justice. So hard to capture such magnificence. There is a prevailing vanilla smell here in the gorge. I have sniffed all the trees and shrubs and can only come up with the flowering spinafex grass which is emitting this delicious aroma! Back to the camp for lunch before we headed off again to find the Martu man. Martu man is a three metre tall aboriginal rock art painting.  We expected to find him tucked away under an overhang, but he was actually exposed and on a boulder that has fallen from the escarpment. He is spectacular, 3 metres tall, with bent legs like he is sitting, and a single antenna poking from his head! We also found a kangaroo painting on a nearby rock and another  figure we couldn't quite make out. Part of this figure was engraved into the rock, but the outline was very difficult to determine, as it was very weathered. We explored around and found another cave with a small spring fed pool of water under the overhang and lots more paintings. This was a lovely place, and you could easily understand why Aboriginal people came here to spend time, and inscribe the lessons of life on the walls.  Some of the figures look intended to inspire fear, with swirling eyes and distorted shapes, others appear to be maps, with engraved circles connected by lines, perhaps describing the next place to get good water,  how far it is, and how much you can expect when you get there. Water  seeps out of a crack in the rock, one drop at a time, forming a small pool. The finches and honeyeaters wait in the trees for us to leave, so they can flit down and have a drink.  We sat quietly, just absorbing the feeling of time stretching back, and imagining the people that used to come here.   We walked back on a high after discovering this place, really special.  Back at camp for a cuppa then went to replace the sand flag. We lost sand flag number 4 on our way into Durba yesterday. Jon has donated a red hanky to the cause and sand flag number 5 is now mounted and ready for tomorrow! The weather has been really lovely and warm during the day and only coolish when the wind gets up. The cold does creep in quickly though once the sun goes down. We have been nice and snug and cozy in our little tent at night. We tested the satellite phone by sending a couple of text messages.  On return from our walk to Martu man we arrived back at camp to discover the place is full of other people! It has been nice to have the the place to ourselves for most of our stay here. Tonight we have counted 18 vehicles altogether camping in the gorge. Dinner for tonight is a camp oven stew followed by chocolate pudding with custard and cream.

Sunrise at Durba

rock art site, Durba escarpment

Durba hills

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