14/8 – 15/8/2013
Foresight is a wonderful thing – if we could have known what we know now we would have probably stayed where we were in Warmun and just driven in the morning for our tour. It is quite funny really as we a driving into the bungle bungle caravan park Shane is complaining, the road is a bit rough, theres no trees so I say come on we have to give it a chance, don’t worry til we get in there. The trouble was we were there and he was right. Then I started. I just couldn’t believe how stark and barron the place was. There is not a tree to park under, not a scrap of shade to be had. The toilets are incredibly basic – what have we done? (The price we are paying here is $10 dearer than anywhere else so was expecting a little more – no ‘bang for your buck’ here.)Thankfully a fellow camper helps us with our awning, we were truly struggling with it, and then asks us over for drinks when the day cools off. We bide our time catching with some reading and at last the sun goes down with the immediate result of a cool breeze with the temperature dropping fast. Cows from the station move in looking for something to eat – they won’t find much here. One lady is quite frightened so much that I offer to walk her back to her camp site. We now just look forward to our trip in to see the bungle bungles, even though it is an early start at 7am. I am sure the bus is air-conditioned and apparently you can swim – bring it on.
The bus ride is a bumpy, rough ride over corrugation, dry creek beds and a couple of wet river crossings – so glad it’s not us driving our car. It takes us an hour and a half to get into the Bungle Bungles but it is absolutely worth it. They are truly magnificent. Apparently the best example of the bee hive rock formations in the world – they are even world heritage listed. We head off on a 3k walk but considering the heat, 38 today, it feels like 10. There are many longer walks but our time is restricted to just over 2 hours. There is plenty to see and I truly can’t put into words what this place is like. It is very unique, different to anything either of us has seen before. The Cathedral Gorge is a cooler part of the walk but due to a ‘dry’ wet season the creek has stopped flowing and the pool of water is green with slime sitting on the top – no swimming I guess. We do sit and rest under the shade of a huge overhanging rock and it must be a good 15 degrees cooler under here than outside. After lunch it’s another hour in the bus to the other side which is quite different again. We head into Echidna Gorge – which is like seeing 10 Standley chasms in a row (at Alice Springs) At times you can only fit one person through the gaps with 25foot walls either side of you and other times it opens up into large caverns with glimpses of sky up the top. A long, skinny green/brown snake that was just quietly lying peacefully cooling off is suddenly terrified by all of our group traipsing in and tries to get away under the smaller loose rocks at the edge of the gorge, poor thing, mind you it did manage to scare off the 2 French travellers with us – they refused to go any further. All in all we travel 200ks, walk about 10ks and we are quite exhausted when we arrive back at camp – thank goodness the tour comes with a bush dinner so no cooking or cleaning.