This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

2000 Travels July 25

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It was hot and sunny again.

After breakfast, we drove into Kalumburu to get the dratted permit that we were unable to obtain when we passed through on Saturday. I have been conscious that, without it, our presence in these parts is not legal.

We had mentioned to Les that we did not have a permit yet. He did not seem to want to have anything to do with permits – he rubbished them and said that his Kwini group, based in Wyndham, would be getting all the land soon and would change the permit system anyway. He said they would then lease the land back to the Mission and the community – but the top six feet only! I am getting a distinct impression that there is a lot of aboriginal politics in these parts!

Les had also told us that he was amongst the Mission people evacuated to Wyndham during WW2. He seemed to take it almost as a personal affront that the Japanese had bombed the area.

We found our way “into town” alright.

Bought some supplies at the store – which had few windows, steel meshed, and solid, heavy, doors that were kept closed, and which customers had to open to enter. I spent $46 on some food items – predictably expensive, as one would expect, given that supplies come in by barge.

Got our permit from the Town Office.

Bought fuel from the Mission servo – $1.35cpl.

We went to the Tip to dump our rubbish, passing the remains of a crashed wartime plane at the end of the airstrip.

On the way back, out of curiosity decided to try to find the barge landing. With no signposts – I guess the locals know where places are! – we went down a rough track to Longengie Landing. It was a mooring area on the inlet of the King Edward River, but not the barge landing. There were a couple of boats there, and some WW2 relics. It was pretty desolate.

07-25-2000 Longini Landing brolga.jpg

Longengie Landing on the King Edward River, and brolga

Drove back to camp for lunch. Given the state of the track in the section just before Honeymoon, it is not a drive we would want to do too often.

After lunch, John got involved with helping Les’ mate R, and another guest – also R, fix a water leak that had sprung up outside the amenities block. It took the rest of the afternoon. They finished just on dark.

07-25-2000 plumbing issues and vincent.jpg

Plumbing issues!

When Les came down to inspect progress, he brought a young grandson with him – lovely little boy.

I think John enjoyed the handyman work.

Tea was fries and tuskfish. Very nice.

Les and his mate R came round after tea. They had a cup of tea with us and sat and talked for a while, about measures needed to improve the campground, permit problems and the like. They take their tea sweet, so I had to beg some sugar from D – wife of the white R. I swapped it for a piece of watermelon.

D and R came over and joined in the talk. They are “doing” WA for a year. They have a camper trailer and hail from Sydney. They were on the Lake Argyle cruise at the same time as us – thought she seemed familiar.

Les said he doesn’t know how white people “get away with” changing husbands and wives – “this divorce stuff”. He said that if he didn’t keep his wife, he’d be in serious trouble with her people – it is just not done. He rolled his eyes at the thought of what would happen! Yet indigenous R has had two wives – “both no good”! He didn’t give us any idea of what happened to them though.

It was very pleasant, sitting around socialising, and gaining insight into other ways of being.

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