Hello! Lovely to see you! Here you will find random posts about living a creative life in country Australia. I am an illustrator. I create, take photos, faff, collect, teach. Watercolour, collage, colour, cheese, travel and dreaming are my faves. And Turkish delight. And cushions. And gardening. And op-shops...

Monday, 16 June 2014

ONE FINE DAY WE WENT WALKING


ONE FINE DAY WE WENT WALKING 


One fine day we went walking. Some may call it hiking. Some might call it madness.Some might call it fun.I think I am somewhere in between.

We were camped in Mutawintji National Park, an hour or 2 from Broken Hill, Outback NSW. It was a gorgeous Autumn day. If you ignored the flies which were feverishly trying to get into every warm moist cavity on your face and threatened to drive us insane, it was sensational.So we decided, the whole gang of us-my crew of 5, and my parents too, that we could no longer sit around camp and gaze at our navels, but it was time to explore. 

Boots on, backpacks packed, water bottles full, sunscreen on, hats in place (all this no small feat) etc etc etc, and we were off and racing. Sort of.

You see, when one carries a big SLR camera, and a smartphone camera, and is constantly stopping to take shots...and just look around and absorb the scenery, one often gets left behind, to the back of the pack. Add to this, the said photographer is a middle-aged lady in somewhat out of the zone of physical perfection and fitness...and you get the idea.Never mind, it was grand.

And watching the kids get right into it was heartwarming. When they were not fighting over who would be the leader.And who had the best walking stick. And who was the best walker.And who was having the only pack of salt and vinegar chips.

The walk/hike was made even more entertaining by the gorgeous waterholes , billabongs and the creek, which was full due to the recent rains. They were full....full of water,full of tadpoles. 

And even more exciting, and this is not a lie...there was even QUICKSAND. I know. I fell into it.Well, not so much fell as was sucked into it. And had a quiet heart attack/panic/brown pant moment.Especially when I felt myself sinking...and realised my little girls were right behind me. It was already up to my thighs..and it would have sucked Miss7 under easily. I screamed. They screamed. Their father screamed. They stopped. So did I. 

Remembering all those wilderness shows and movies I had seen over the years, I remembered to spread my weight, slowly, and not struggle. So I leant down, AFTER  throwing my cameras to my hubby, on the creek bank (God, the cameras!), and managed to grab hub's hands and a stick he held outstretched. And I pulled myself free....on my belly. 

I was out. And my daughter's reaction? Wish they had taken a photo for Instagram first. Oh Gee whizz, my giddy Aunt.Priorities!

(Trouble and truth is, I had quietly thought the same...)

So, crisis overted, but with rather sandy and wet legs, soggy shoes and squelchy socks,and adrenaline racing we continued on. And on. And on.








As seen by the above photos,we eventually made it to the top of the rock pile, to the view that was so sweet to drink in. Awesome, really. 

I have been to a lot of places, and have been lucky enough to see a fair few wonderful things. This view took my breathe away, and made me so thrilled to be Australian.I should be completely truthful and admit there were tears.Tears of joy and elation, and pride and wonder, humbleness and overwhelmed by the vastness and brutal beauty.After an all too brief interlude, we then had to walk down and on, to the end of the hike...

Our reward was a large, cool billabong, filled with tadpoles which the kids caught, all slippery and gelatinous in their hands. 

Our reward was watching them get their kit off and splash around...until other hikers came past (mad giggling and laughter from the adults on the sidelines), and watching them chuckling themselves, and trying to hide their now goose-pimpled bodies in the freezing, tannin stained  water.

Our reward was just sitting in the cool,under the branches of a tree, looking around and just "being in the moment" as they say. Imagining Burke and Wills and the rest of the expedition party, gathering their supplies here. Imagining indigenous Aboriginal families, doing just what we were doing, listening to the birds, the quiet rustling of grasses, watching the huge blue, blue, blue sky above us. 

A bit later on, we collected our things, and headed back to camp.And inevitably the euphoria wore off,the kids started complaining about the flies, being hungry, thirsty, sore feet, heat and tiredness. Sore muscles, a little sunburn,  weariness  and  the cries of anguish and threats of calling DOCS for child abuse
("I cannot believe you made us walk all that way and still will not let us play on your phone!") 
soon quelled by the roaring campfire, camp food, chocolates, and a lot of praise for how amazing the day had been.


Yep, we did it. Yep it was grand.
A fine day indeed.