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From Kununurra to Litchfield

May 29, 2012

Monday 28th May East of Kununurra

Here was the little lake in front of our camping in Kununurra.

lake

There were lots of birds in it, close to the shore. I wish I knew all the names. Here is a coloured ibis.

coloured ibis

And possibly this one is a red finch.

bird

And this one.

bird

And that one.

bird

And also that one.

bird

Et voilà. We drove away, stopped at a small gallery called Zebra rock, in which they were selling beautiful stones used as jewels, specific stones called zebra stones. Then we went to the supermarket to buy some food. We had finished all our vegetables etc the days before, as we were now going to enter that day the Northern Territories. In Australia, they don’t want you to carry food from one state to another, but we checked and it was ok to buy some in Pununurra as it was at the border. So here we were shopping a bit. Then we went to a nice river that Chrissy had spotted and wanted to check out from closer.

river

On the bridge from which we were looking at it was a truck making the lines for the road.

painting truck

Here was some other beautiful landscape on our way to another national park.

landscape

We arrived at Mirima National Park, which has some rock formations called the “Little Bungle Bungle”, in reference to the “Bungle Bungle” located in Purnululu National Park that we had not gone too because the road to get there is a 4-wheels drive only. This Little Bungle Bungle was quite nice too.

Mirima National Park

We took a small trail and here was some view from the top.

Mirima National Park

We stopped a bit higher and this was the view on my left from where I was standing.

Mirima National Park

It was quite windy and the wind took off my head the cap of Chrissy I was wearing most of the time. I had to get done a bit to find it. I had thought to walk around the rock, but it was quite bushy, so I went up again and this time it’s my only packed sandwich wrapped in aluminium that fell again where the cap had fallen. So I had to get back down again to take it and then up again. Some days, sometimes, elements are really against us, and especially that law of gravity that makes some objects fall all around you more than usual on your unlucky days. Why? Weird.

We hit the road again, in the direction of Lake Argyle. Here was the view in front of us. Quite foggy, because of a fire we were going to see really soon.

road

First, we saw a beautiful river on our left.

river

Here we were, approaching the fire area, seeing lots of birds flying around.

birds

This bush fire looked pretty bad.

fire bush

The scenery around was now really fire-foggy.

foggy landscape

We saw also the fire on the hill a few minutes later.

fire on the hill

We arrived at Lake Argyle 30 minutes later, and chilled out a bit there, enjoying the view. Lake Argyle is the biggest man-made fresh water lake created ever. It was already a lake before, but was made bigger by creating a dam on it. It apparently had a positive impact as the marine life soon developed there a lot, and more birds and other animals were attracted to live there too.

Lake Argyle

From the view point, we could see the huge smoke of the fire where we had passed with the car.

fire

As we didn’t want to get blocked by the fire, we didn’t stay too long at Lake Argyle and hit the road again.

road

We saw the sunset from the road again, through the trees. We refilled our tank in Timber Creek. And we drove at night again, as we had done so many times the previous two weeks. The thing is…That’s when the animals become more active, such as kangaroos and bats, and emeus, and even cows. We had been lucky not to hit any so far, as most of the accidents take place at that moment, at twilight and beginning of the night. And it happened that evening. We were driving and we hit a kangaroo. It happened so fast, maybe not even 5-10 minutes after we had left Timber Creek. The kangaroo jumped from nowhere, and “blip”, we just drove on it at 80 km/hour, like if it had just been some bump on the road and here we were, continuing to drive almost like if nothing had happened. But we had just killed a kangaroo. That’s horrible. I had never killed an animal in my life, it is sad and terrible. Australians are maybe used to it, but still, you are there, driving, or as a passenger, and suddenly this happens, and an animal is dead. It is not just nothing. It shouldn’t be considered as “oh yeah just killed one”. It is an animal after all. It is really sad and we are not Australians, not used to this, and we were shaken.

A few days later, in Kakadu, we would meet a few Australians who would tell us that they had killed more than 10 kangaroos each, and that there is nothing you can do about it, that’s it, get over it.

The fact is also that those kangaroos are really really dumb animals. How come sheeps that are grazing near the road rarely get hit? Because those sheeps are not crossing the road in front of you! Kangaroos are just so stupid, they don’t get it, they just jump on the road. One kangaroo a few minutes later just jumped right in the middle and froze there as if saying “Kill me, kill me!”. We had stopped the car and just waited for him to go away! Stupid animal! Anyway…

We looked for the next rest area to stop as soon as we could, and there was nothing until about 40 more minutes. We finally could stop. Cook. Chill out. Sleep.

Tuesday 29th May From rest area to Litchfied

Here is how the car looked because of the kangaroo we had hit. It was actually pretty serious.

bump

We took the road again, here was some landscape we had in the morning.

landscape

We saw a bunch of cyclists on the road at some point. Quite rare!

cyclists

We passed another fire, and there were the birds again flying all around.

birds

We did a quick stop for lunch in Mitmiluk to see the waterfall there.

Mitmiluk

We saw a pretty spider.

pretty spider

Then we drove until a small town where we bought some alcohol in this shop.

small town

Nearby was a kind of abandoned garden with a handsome old car.

old car

Here was the sky already at 3.19pm on our watch. Quite cloudy which was rare, and made the sun disappear more quickly. Still it seemed early for such a low light.

sky

The thing is, Darwin is 1h30 ahead of Perth, and for a good reason as you can tell that the old time on our watch didn’t fit, so we decided not to wait and to change clock now. It wasn’t 3.20pm anymore, but 4.50pm. Made more sense suddenly!

We drove to Litchfield National Park where we stopped for the night, near some waterfall we could hear from the van.

Tomorrow, exploring Litchfied and then up to Darwin!

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