TUESDAY 19 JUNE KEEP RIVER NATIONAL PARK
Increased cloud in the sky may have made for a great sunset, but it did not make for a great day following.
Today was a grey day, but the batteries that we’d topped up yesterday with the genset, were holding OK.
Drove north again, to the car park for the Keep River Gorge walk.
This was a 3km return walk, up the little gorge and back. The walk was enjoyable, between the coloured, layered sandstone gorge walls, to an overhanging rock area that had been used as a shelter by aborigines, and where there was rock art.
The works were varied in subject matter. Some figures were in the Wandjina figure style – eyes and no mouths.
The gorge was not all that deep, and was fairly wide most of the way.
Again, there were some wonderful old boabs to marvel at.
There were actually several different shelter areas along the gorge – an indication that a number of family groups used the area, and that it was rich in food.
Then it was back to the main road through the Park and further north for a short way, to a major art site, located in one of the rock outcrop areas that are scattered all over the Park.
The art here was brilliant.
Particularly striking was a depiction of the Rainbow Serpent – Garrimalam.
There had been the occasional drizzly showers through the morning. But the rain, heralded by today’s grey skies, started in earnest in the afternoon. We were somewhat surprised by this change in the weather. We didn’t have any means of checking the weather forecast, apart from firing up the HF radio – and we didn’t even think of doing that.
When the rock formations close to camp were wet, the colours changed. The grey sections became darker and the oranges more intense. These two photos were taken in the area around the rock shelter featured above.
The Ranger still came and did his talk, which was really interesting and worth staying for. The conditions were not great though – standing around in our waterproof coats, in rain, listening! We hadn’t wanted to take our camp chairs over to the talk, because they would have been soaked.
We learned that Keep River is a boundary, in these parts, between arid and tropical ecosystems, and is thus ecologically very significant. I think the talk was shortened from the normal, because of the rain!
Through the night, the rain became steady and heavy. This did not seem like some little aberration in the normal weather pattern…..