SATURDAY 24 MAY ADELS GROVE
I was on tents, John on canoes – his favourite job.
In the evening, after tea, we had a bonfire down by the swimming beach area – the shallower backwater that is safer for younger children than the main part of the creek. The bonfire was to celebrate V’s birthday, which was also the old Empire Day.
The boss put bamboo stalks on the bonfire – there were lots of large clumps of bamboo scattered throughout the Grove. Burning, it sounded like fireworks going off.
Tour guide H arrived during the day. He brought the two old “aunties” up from Isa for a trip. One of them cooks the food his tours use for their first day – smokos and lunch.
I had a really interesting talk with H about the Riversleigh country and some of his Waanyi people’s stories about it. It is not surprising that the aboriginal history in this area goes way back in time, given the abundance of water and foods. The Waanyi name for the National Park – Boodjamulla – refers to the ancestral Rainbow Serpent, who created the Lawn Hill Gorge by slithering along the land, and the permanent flow of water that fills it, to keep his skin from drying out.
Harry chose his words carefully. I got the impression that there were many sites around the area that he could not talk about for cultural reasons, and stories likewise.