Friday 12th June 2015, warm, clear
Fancy having to wake up to an alarm. We have to be up at 4:30am for our Bungle Bungles flight at 6:00am. After waiting behind 24 other seniors from a bus tour it’s into our seats on the plane.
The plane is a Cessna Caravan a 14 seater and a bit of a squeeze to get in. When Woody looks up to find one old guy bent over displaying a seventy year old ‘plumber’s crack’ he complains that this is too much to bear so early in the morning.
Finally, we’re up and away and over the patchwork of crops, sandalwood, mangoes and vegetables. We cross man-made Lake Argyle which is so large it is classified as an inland sea. It has 90 islands. But up here it is the mountains that stand out, there are so many ranges making unusual patterns from the air.
The Bungle Bungles stand apart from the rest, hundreds of beehive domes. On our return we circle the Argyle diamond mine open cut, where pink diamonds are mined. They are now tunneling underneath but thus far they have removed a whole volcano. The pilot tells us that the roads are paved with diamond dust, oh let me out here.
We are dropped back to our door at 8:30, hoe into breakfast and fall back into bed. Yes, we are feeling our age. After a long kip we hit the tourist hot spots of Kununurra. First stop is the Hoochery Rum Distillery for an excellent lunch of Wyndham Barra (that fisho and his missus must be making a mint) and pumpkin and chia salad both of which are locally grown as this is Australia’s chia capital. Bet you didn’t know that. Then we dart into the Sandalwood factory to learn how they grow it and how they are capturing a world market. It is a parasitic plant and is grown on several different host plants making for most attractive plantations filled with a variety of trees. There is a rock called Zebra stone that is unique to the East Kimberley and unlike most rocks every piece of this stone is quite differently striped and swirled. We find a studio with a talented young artist and come away with lightened wallets. We round the day off with a walk in the Mirima National Park. Also known as Hidden Valley it is in the heart of town and a world of its own. And that young lass at the tourist information centre said there was nothing to see here!
Being Friday evening, the caravan park has an entertainer, a one-man band Canadian called Moose who draws most of the camp down to the lakeshore. I couldn’t picture a better setting but I’m sure Moose could because every time he swallows a bug he has to stop singing. Ironically in his day job he monitors fruit fly numbers.
Travelling Kms: 0
Note: Upon reflection we really should have also visited the bush camp at the Zebra Stone mine on our way north and the flight over the Bungle Bungles was well worth doing for the aerial perspective of this region.