Day 12. Into the Bungle Bungles
We had a 5am start today. Had breakfast then boarded a 4wd coach for the drive out to the Bungles. We were warned to expect a rough ride and this was no exaggeration. The road (dirt) was very corrugated and speeds were limited by this and the twists and turns on the way. Our driver regaled us with tales of foolish tourists writing themselves and/or their vehicles off. You could see how, as several escaped, as they flew by us with no thought of the mostly dry creek beds and the blind corners. After just over an hour we arrived at the tourist centre run by the National Parks people. Tina and I bought Bungle Bungle caps. She because she had come out without her hat and I because I fancied a new one. We had morning tea before continuing our journey, a much shorter one this time. Mabel Downs Bungle BunglesBungle Bungles - Purnululu National Park
We parked in the Piccaninny car park with the domes and cones of rocks on 3 sides of us. There is a shaded eating area here and for the first time in our trip we really appreciated all the warnings we were given in advance. It was dry, hot, and without a trace of humidity. Our group broke up into smaller ones with different plans. We were told that, given our "fitness Levels - read Age", we could probably manage the track into Cathedral Gorge. This was shown on the map as a 2K return so I didn't hurry making pictures that were available all around the parking area. I made use, with kind permission of the owner, of a small flatbed truck, to get a better viewpoint, then returned to the shade to collect Tina and start the walk in. It was a slow walk as there were distractions everywhere.
Quickly we found ourselves reaching for our water bottles and I was concerned at how Tina would cope. As we entered the Gorge there was some relief from the direct sun and even occasional pools of water. Our quicker companions were already on the way back when we passed and Tina decided that she would wait on a bench in the shade and leave me to get further in. I didn't go much further as my watch told me we would need all the time allocated to get back. After many more stops and no water left in our bottles we arrived back in the shade area in the car park. We took on a lot more water before getting into the coach for the next leg of our journey.
In Cathedral Gorge - Bungle BunglesBungle Bungles an Abstract Wall of tortured rock. This took us to another area of the park at the northern end, with a spectacular series of orange cliffs and more walks on offer. Tina and I plus a few others declined this time and sat and talked or moved quietly around enjoying the beauty of the place. I noticed for the first time how long brown and dry the grasses were and was a little hesitant to wade into it to get the viewpoints I sought. When I did I paid for the experiment with sharp seeds going through my light trousers, and I discovered later into my legs and thighs. Not easy to get out at all, and leaving very red raised spots which fortunately faded in the next few days. ITCHY!. Another lesson learned.
We returned to Mabel Downs once the walking folks returned and everyone headed for the showers. Which were very welcome. Tea was in the big dining tent, while off to one side a fire roared in a pit, and a large group of tourist sat around on camping chairs sharing tales of the days adventures over some cold beers and wines. We shared a table with a couple who turned out to be a surgeon and anaesthetist husband and wife. They had been camping and walking in the Bungles and had come into the camping area for a clean shower and a good feed. Pleasant company. We didn't stay late though and soon headed for our tent.
The following day we were of to Halls Creek for more adventures. - Peter.
Keywords: Australia, Australian, Kimberley, National Park, WA, abstract, blue, brown, gorge, red, rocks, trees
Hi Peter Thanks for these fine photos and comments. I guess that I will never get to the Bungles so it was great to read about your visit there. I couldn't walk long distances now.
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