This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

2000 Travels July 16

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SUNDAY 16 JULY     JACKS WATERHOLE

We were woken by a really red sunrise, glowing into the tent. However, I was too sleepy to get up and go take a photo of it! I think the smoke from all the burning off is responsible for the red.

After breakfast, we went walking again. Upstream, this time.

07-16-2000 03 Durack River light.jpg

Durack River. Brown line across trees show line where water was up to for a time

There were not the cliffs of the other direction, that we had yesterday, but were still some rock shelves and jumbles of stone, and a steep slope on the far side of the river.

We saw some birds that proved hard to identify: olive green with a smoky red upper tail and back, and some red in the wings, a finch-like face, a dark beak. They were after insects or seeds. Seemed to have elements of both the Crimson Finch and the Firetail. It remained a mystery.

We walked as far as some rapids in the river – yet another great outlook. We sat on the rocks for a while, just looking and listening.

07-16-2000 01 other end Jacks Waterhole.jpg

Upstream rapids where river widens to become Jacks Waterhole

On the walk back, detoured via the store/office. Looked at the detailed maps of the area that were displayed there, and talked with the lady manager. They leave in November, while the road is still passable, go to Qld for the summer, and return at the end of the Wet. She said that his year it had been such a big job to remove the mud from the buildings – the uneven stone floors mean that shovels can’t be used. It must all be hosed and broomed out. Her husband has staked out a claim on some of the area – he wants to build a stone house up on the bluff above the camp area (someone who thinks like John!). But she says it is not for her, and the aborigines will object to the claim, anyway.

07-16-2000 05 durack river camp.jpg

The floods earlier this year reached inside the amenities block shown

We spent another quiet afternoon at camp.

A plane that had flown over, low, in the morning, had in it a German lad who is working here. We were talking to him later in the afternoon. The plane had flown out of Home Valley because the Durack River airstrip had not been repaired after the Wet. He said they’d flown for nearly two hours – but it affected his stomach!

There was fire somewhere nearby. We could smell it. Either a burn off or a camper’s fire that had got away. It is hard to tell, sometimes, in this country.

07-16-2000 04 durack river hs flooded to 1m in 2000

All this area was under water earlier this year – it was up to a metre deep in the building  shown

A large tour bus came in, during the afternoon. About 30-40 people in an ordinary bus. It was a real mix of people and thus interesting to watch them. There did seem to be some really obnoxious types amongst them, though – loud and opinionated.

I cooked a piece of corned beef for tea. It was ok, and will do us for three meals. John cooked potatoes in the coals of the fire, and I cooked zucchini and carrots as well. The honeydew melons had gone off – were mushy inside. So, they don’t keep!

There was a full moon at night and then a funny eclipse-like effect – a sort of browny shade over part of the moon.

07-15-2000 10 full moon and shower block jacks waterhole.jpg

Full moon over camp

It cooled at night and we needed windcheaters to sit outside.

It was tempting to consider staying on longer here as it is such a beautiful place, but we do have a lot more of the Kimberley to visit.

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