Day 10. Kununurra and Lake Argyle
We prepared for day 10 with the mundane. Getting a load of washing done and hung so that it would be dry for the new day. An egg and bacon breakfast at 6.30 am set us up for the day to come. Into the coach and off to the Ivanhoe Crossing, featured in the film "Australia". There's a weir here and I was surprised how much water was passing over it given that this was in the middle of the dry season. The multiple Croc warning signs held back most of the more adventurous folk.
Ivanhoe Crossing, Ord RiverIvanhoe Crossing Ord River. Scene - in film "Australia" Ivanhoe Crossing Croc SignsIvanhoe Crossing Croc Signs. We were passing once again through prolific farming country, heading for our next stop, Zebra Rock Gallery. This is a cottage industry which I knew nothing about, but lumps of strangely patterned rock in the pretty gardens gave some hint of what they were about. I'll quote from their own literature as it tells the story in a nutshell. "The highly decorative banded zebra rock is unique to the East Kimberley region of WA. Deposits have been found at several sites adjacent to and within Lake Argyle. It is not found elsewhere in Australia or anywhere else in the world. For this reason, it is rarer than diamonds but not yet as expensive! However, if the water level of Lake Argyle is raised, as is planned for Ord Phase 3 irrigation, then all known sites of zebra rock will become inaccessible".
The gallery is well setup and the creations from the strange and beautiful rock are so varied that I wanted to take a lot home. The cost, although reasonable for unique pieces, was enough to keep a tight hold on my credit card.
Soon we were in the coach for our trip out to the Argyle Dam proper. I knew it was big but really once you clear the confines of the boat boarding area it seems to go on forever. Islands that were once the tops of mountains and hills dot the lakescape. Some of them supporting isolated survivors of different types of 'Roos and other beasties. We were indulged with lunch and some of the braver souls took a dip in the relatively cold waters. I and the other photographers in our group took masses of pictures, but the reality is that most were the product of the new experience and have a sameness that will cause a big cull which I've already started. What turned out to be the most interesting part for me was the late afternoon. As often happens, as the sunlight drops away to the all too brief twilight this far north, there were several magical moments to reflect on and develop.
It was almost dark by the time we boarded the coach, which negotiated the very narrow and steep track back up to the road proper at the top of the dam and off to our, all too short, home, back in the camp. A Chinese meal for tea/dinner, followed by introduction to Bruno who was joining Jamie for much of the tour. Bruno, with great humour, proceeded to tell us that we were now finished with the luxury travel and needed some new skills for the days to come. Starting with setting up camp. Not that this proved to be too arduous, as he was setting up the tents. We were shown how to set up our camp stretchers. Making sure that we were in the right tents and an introduction to the Bat lights, which were the essential illumination for all nighttime activities. Another early night ready for an equally early morning and the start of a completely new stage to our adventure.
Really enjoying your blog peter and the photos
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