Day 75 – The Bungle Bungles

Crossing the WA border screwed with our nice relaxed wake up time. Sure, time of day is relative, but it was easier mentally to get up with a 7:30AM sunrise, rather than a 6AM one. It’s also suddenly cooled right down, which is welcome. I actually felt somewhat cold in bed this morning.

20130727_RCH_9548 20130727_RCH_955120130727_RCH_9554Purnululu National Park (formerly known as Bungle Bungles) is accessed via a 55km 4WD only unsealed road – corrugated and a few small creek crossings, but nothing Deli-chan couldn’t handle. Apart from the noise/vibration of the rough road, it was a beautiful drive, especially since we were doing it while it was still cool (and there were very few other people on the road).

Found out that we also had to pay a day use fee for the park of $11! I know it’s not unusual, but just new for us (Uluru felt more like a natural amusement park than a national park). From the welcome centre there are two options: south or north. We chose south as the rocks got the morning sunlight. It was a further 27km along slightly better roads.

It seemed that the south had the section of the park that is most recognisable for the Bungle Bungles – lots of large stripy, beehive-shaped domes. As always, lots of walking options to choose from and we picked and matched a few of the smaller ones.

20130727_RCH_9555 20130727_RCH_9557 20130727_RCH_9563 20130727_RCH_9565 20130727_RCH_9570First up, The Domes walk, which was a short (700m loop) walk amongst some of the beehive-shaped domes.

20130727_RCH_9624 20130727_RCH_9640It was surprising to me how rough the surface was up close, because from a far they look smooth. The stripy pattern also looked completely different up close.

20130727_RCH_9561Risa even spotted some aboriginal rock art up high in one of the caves, too.

20130727_RCH_9575 20130727_RCH_9598 20130727_20130727_RCH_9593This joined up with another walk, Cathedral Gorge (1.2km return). The trail followed a creek bed (with surprisingly white/fine sand) to what would be a most impressive waterfall in the wet season (except the park is only open/accessible during the dry season). Underneath where the waterfall would be was a massive (cathedral like, even) natural amphitheatre. It was beautiful and cool in the shade of this exposed cave. It wasn’t a particularly hot day, but the sun had some real strength to it, which made these small respites particularly awesome.

20130727_RCH_9604 20130727_RCH_9611 20130727_RCH_9613There is a large and somewhat hardcore overnight trek that goes into some quite remote areas of the range (Picaninny Gorge trek – 20km return, which I think you could do in a single day…), but since we’re neither physically able, nor equipped for such a walk, we followed it for a little way (3km, to be exact) to a lookout called, The Window. The trail followed the creek bed of the Picaninny Creek, which itself is a spectacular flowing mess of eroded white sandstone. The contours and holes were really impressive. … The Window though… not so impressive! Risa felt cheated! It was a good walk, but it was getting quite hot (just after midday now).

20130727_RCH_9625 20130727_RCH_9618 20130727_RCH_9620 20130727_RCH_9621 20130727_RCH_963720130727_RCH_9646 20130727_RCH_9647Risa returned to the car park, but I made one more small deviation on the return journey to Picaninny Creek Lookout. I’ve been burned by some detours to lookouts in the past that have been pointless/unimpressive, so I kept my expectations low. It was actually a great view out towards the range behind us (and beyond). A real shame that Risa missed it, but there was no shade, and I think she was out of puff.

20130727_RCH_9643I also found a skeleton of a small crocodile. It was so tiny and fragile looking – complete with some crocodile skin still attached to the skull! I brought it back to the picnic area as a souvenir for Risa (and that is where I left it, for the next visitor).

20130727_RCH_9654We pre-booked a campsite for this evening at the Northern campground, Kurrajong – $22! Which is a new record for an unpowered site with no facilities other than a dump toilet and bore water. The lady at the Visitor Centre suggested a few places for us to watch the sunset, so we diligently went to the first location – Kungkalanayi Lookout. Risa said it best, it was nice, but it was just another red rocky outcrop, not the awesome beehives that comes to mind when thinking of Bungle Bungles. The super-spiky spinifex clumps look pretty awesome though, in their small circular clumps.

20130727_RCH_9655 20130727_RCH_9808The other recommended sunset location was from a walk just behind the campground, so we found our site (one of over a hundred – but thankfully much, much below capacity tonight) and went for a short hike. Again, beautiful view (and a nice sunset), but it just didn’t ‘feel’ like Bungle Bungles…

I’m going to have to start sharing dinner photos, too. Tonight Risa made some awesome felafel and some aloo-dum. We’re eating pretty simple/cheap food, but it’s generally delicious and healthy.

75日目 7月27日 (土)      Bungle Bungle バングルバングル〜

今朝は、6:30に出発! といっても時差のせいで、今までの8時すぎなのだけどそれでもちょっと眠い。。 だいぶ西に来たせいで、時差はあっても朝日が昇るのが早く、日の入りも早い。

少しWAに入って気温が下がるかな〜と期待してたけど、まだまだ北部なので容赦なく日差しが暑い。 9時過ぎにはすでに25℃以上は余裕であるし、太陽がすでにジリジリとする程。

Bungle Bungle(バングル バングル) というちょっと面白い名前の国立公園()世界自然遺産認定)に来ています。



自然条件でこんな形に浸食するなんて本当に不思議。 ここも地球上に生命が誕生する前は海の底だった場所らしいです。


まず最初は、カセドラル渓谷 ウォークというトラック。 トラックは、岩が浸食された際の白く、とてもきめの細かい砂で、歩くのがちょっと大変。




手前には、アボリジニの手形のアートを発見。 サインもなにもないし、かなり高い位置なので偶然見つける事ができてラッキー。

次は、The Window (窓) という名前のついたトラック。  このトラックは、かなり日陰のない道がほとんどなので、暑さにやられました。

このトラックは、乾いた岩底を歩くトラックで、ここは雨季には川の底。 たしかに川らしく、流れる水により出来た、うねうねとして、滑らかな岩肌と、あちこちにある小さな穴などの浸食の後が見られるとても興味深いトラックですが、肝心の“窓”は、一つのシマシマ岩に窓のように、ぽっかり穴が空いてる岩があるのみ。 しかもそんなに大きくないし!


お昼のサンドイッチを食べ(今日は、ベジマイト&チーズ! オーストラリア2年目にして最近やたらベジマイトがうまいと感じる様になった笑)

途中ロスくんは、もう一つの展望スポットに立寄りましたが、私は暑さにやられていたので、先に駐車場へもどり、日陰でぐったりしていました。 気温は、33、34℃ほど。


国立公園のキャンプ場は、一人$11 トイレも小さなコンポストトイレで、シャワーもないのに、ちょっと$11は高いなぁ。 今までの州の国立公園は、だいたい$5、6なのでちょっと不満〜  しかもその他に別途、二人で$11の国立公園入場料も取られます。

岩に夕日が映り、真っ赤に変化した素晴しい夕日を見た後の今晩のごはんは、大好物のフラファレルとアルダム。  中東料理とインドのちょっと変な組み合わせになったけど、材料も使い切れたし美味しーヘルシー♥


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