This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2007 Travels June 18

MONDAY 18 JUNE     KEEP RIVER NATIONAL PARK

I didn’t sleep well, last night – the other bed occupant was “breathing heavily”!

I was, therefore, up and about early, but John slept for much of the morning.

During the night, noticed that the battery level light on the controller system had turned from green to orange. Not a good sign. So John got the generator going for a while in the morning.

M went off from the campground to walk and explore. John was tired after yesterday and wanted a mostly camp based day. He hooked his laptop to the inverter, whilst the genset was going, and had a “fix” of his computer game, until into the afternoon.

Zoom image – the campground circle and rock formations around camp

After a late lunch we all drove to the Gingers Hill walk, back near the Ranger Station. This was only a short walk, up a hill.

Gingers Hill outlook

At the top there was a structure that the aboriginals used for catching kites – the “fire birds”.

A man would hide in the shelter, light a little fire to attract the kite to come in, looking for prey that was trying to escape the fire. He would wave a feathered lure from a hole in the top of the shelter. When a kite swooped in on the “distressed” prey, it would be grabbed. Roast kite for dinner!

Drove on to Cockatoo Lagoon, by the Ranger Station. We hoped to see a whole lot of different birds here, but they were not as prolific as expected. We had a survey with the binoculars for a little while, but did not see anything riveting.

Turkey Bush – widespread at Keep River

Back at camp, M and I had a hair washing session, using her new solar shower bag, which we’d left out in the sun, to warm the water inside. We took it in turns to hold up the bag so the other could rinse. It worked well.

I made a batch of carrot soup, to use up those we had, in preparation for crossing into WA, soon.

Some new campers came in during the afternoon. The result was two lots of very noisy and hyper kids running amok around the campground until 9pm. They were very intrusive as they ran all round where we were trying to sit peacefully around our campfire.

This completed our original three nights here, but we had decided to stay on another night, because a Ranger was giving a talk tomorrow night, about the Park, that we thought would be worthwhile hearing.

Once again, the sunset was brilliant, due to increased clouds in the sky.

Red sky at night – should have taken notice…..


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2000 Travels June 26

MONDAY 26 JUNE     KEEP RIVER NATIONAL PARK

Today was another one like yesterday.

We got up about 8am. There was much activity in the camp area – it seems like just about everyone is going today. We will then be the longest staying ones here! It is a pity that so many people do not take the time to fully explore and enjoy this park. Quite a few seem to be here simply as an overnight stop.

In the morning, we heard a pheasant coucal in the distance, and a dingo howling. There was much noise from butcher birds, pardalotes and friar birds.

After breakfast, drove back towards the highway, to the Ranger Station and Cockatoo Lagoon, and watched the birds at the Lagoon for a while.

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Turkey Bush

Then we went back a little way, to the kite hunting hide on Gingers Hill. This was interesting: a low stone walled shelter, with the top camouflaged under spinifex grass. The aboriginal hunters used to light a smoky fire and the black kites – also called fire birds because they hang about fires hunting small creatures escaping from it – came down and were grabbed by the hunter in the hide. Clever!

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Kite hunting hide on Gingers Hill

We went back to the van for lunch – rolls John baked from a bread mix packet. They were good.

We’d driven 36kms this morning.

Later in the afternoon, we did the circuit walk that went from the camp ground. This was the best of the lot. The track wound around through excellent rock formations and across ledges that gave views from quite high up. I was glad we saved this closest one till last.

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On the walking track from the campground

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Unusual rock stack shapes on the walk from the camp ground

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There were more campers in the campground using a loud generator. Since they were making a noise, John had no qualms about running Truck engine for a short while, as the van battery was low again. It really was most unsatisfactory and we were really annoyed that the so-called solar power expert in Melbourne had equipped us with what was now an obviously insufficient set up for even our modest needs.

Then John worked out how he could switch the second, spare, Truck battery for van use, and all was well for the night. The fridge ran as needed. That was a useful lesson to have learned.

I did a bit of a cook up of apples, also of an onion, capsicum and tomato mix. I had intended to make minestrone soup, to use up the remaining vegies, but John was cross about the fridge and battery not working as we wanted, and did not like the idea of me heating up the van any more. So I threw out the soup ingredients.

Tea was the last of the carrot soup, and salads.

Like last night, the insects came in, in their hordes, and we had to retreat indoors quickly. It affected the whole campground and sounded like it was raining on the van!