Bumbling around and above the Bungles

Trip Start Jan 30, 2010
Trip End Dec 01, 2010

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Thursday, June 3, 2010

Before we begin, we would like to say "thank you" to all those people who have let us know that they have enjoyed our blog. We love reading your comments and, yes, there has been an hiatus – but that's all to do with us travelling remotely and having lots of wonderful experiences, just so we have something to blog about!

So, on to the bit where we brag about our next fabulous, jealousy-inducing adventure; where we tell you all about our double dose of the Purnululu National Park – by both air and ground [or flying and feeting, as we nicknamed it!]

For Immi’s 12th birthday treat, we bought tickets to fly over the Bungle Bungle Ranges. A change to the overall plan meant that the helicopter flight had to be replaced by a fixed-wing plane (helicopters only take three passengers and, hey ... there are four of us!). We were collected at the ridiculously early time of 5.15am and driven to the airport for a 6am flight. There were several reasons for taking the early flight – better photographic light over the ranges, less thermal activity resulting in a smoother flight, and the early hour reduced the chance of motion sickness [some parts of the body were still asleep!].

Our flight left from Kununurra and we took in the huge Lake Argyle from above. It is so big one needs a maritime licence to naviagte on it. After about three-quarters-of-an-hour flying over the lake and an enormous cattle station, we began to see the outlines of the renown bee-hive domes. Then the stripes began to emerge from the early morning shadows. It was amazing to see the size of the range, but also that it was totally isolated from the surrounding ranges by flat tracts of sandy country. The patterns made by the stripy domes – their swirls and stripes and shapes – when seen from above, presented a very modernist canvas.

After circling the ranges several times, and getting a running commentary about the structures we could see from above, we headed back, flying over the enormous open-cut Argyle Diamond Mine. It was a fantastic trip – seeing so many sights in one go.

It came to pass that the Dry Season was beginning to behave itself, and the road to Purnululu NP was opened. We arrived on the second open day, which was also very auspicious as it was the actual 12th birthday day for one very beautiful girl. Because the park hadn’t been open for long, it appeared fresh and clean ... perfectly prepared for a Bungles birthday.

The road in is something of a challenge, as there are several water crossings and some hair-raising, single-lane blind crests, where the road disappears and twists away in unexpected directions. We had to just hope a car wasn’t coming the other way!

We spent our time exploring the gorges – Cathedral, Dome and Echidna – and walking along Piccinniny Creek to a lookout over some of the unusual domes and the Tanami Desert. We were spooked by the glowing water at the end of the Cathedral Gorge, suitably impressed by the narrow and majestic Echidna Chasm, appropriately pleased with the view towards the Tanami and somewhat underwhelmed by the Dome walk. Can’t have it all perfect, can we?!

That night we celebrated the important day with the traditionally-requested birthday meal – this time the menu was home-made pumpkin soup with freshly baked damper. Delicious. Immi and Daddy finished off the meal with a dessert of coco-pops and custard (jury still out on that one!!). Being out of signal, Immi had to wait for other congratulatory messages (for up to a fortnight!) and pressies, which she did with such patience and maturity.
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Kirstin, David, Maddie and Becky on

awsome photo's, I've missed your blogs lately.
Immi we hope you had a fantastic birthday - your hair has grown so much and gotten lighter. You are looking fantastic. We're on the countdown for you getting home now, we're really looking forward to seeing you guys again. Keep the news coming - and the photos

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