The Kimberley WA - King Edward Wanjanas and a return to Drysdale Station.

Tuesday, Jun 27, 2006 at 00:00

Mick O

Tuesday 27th June
Drysdale River Station WA

Bit of a travel day today. We spent the night listening to the dingo’s howl intermittently and quite close to camp.Probably coming in for the scraps we were trying to tempt out owl visitor with. Out of bed a fraction before seven and a dusty pack up and breakfast followed by a wash and the drive off at 8:30. We backtracked across the plateau to the King Edward River through the palm groves and tropical woodlands, fording the mud holes and streams and braving the bulldust and oncoming maniacs. It was my turn to take the photos of the Toyo crossing the streams today. Crossed paths with the Traralgonites again heading into the falls area after having a night at Kalumbaru. They couldn’t talk us into it though.

Just before the King Edward River, we turned right onto a dusty and rugged track and drove a short distance in to an area of rocks. From here it was a short walk to find significant rock art, namely the Wanjana figures that I had wanted to see. The Wanjana are the spaceman/alien heads with a halo surrounding them that Erik Van Danekan made so much of in his ”Chariots of the gods” book of the 1970’s. Impressive they were but their true meanings have been lost in antiquity. What I had learnt is that the Wanjana are always found near water. They are a water spirit and have no mouth as it is believed that should a wanjana spirit open their mouth, the water flowing from it would flood the land.

We had a cup, of tea and biscuits there before pushing on across the deep water of the King Edward River. We were met on the other side by 6 vehicles from the Southern Highlands 4X4 club. We found that the graders had obviously turned left onto the road towards Drysdale because the first 20 km were not the horror stretch is was on the way in, one can be blessed. There was a good lesson to be had on just how quickly roads deteriorate up here with a bit of use. The road in to the Mitchell campground was definitely showing signs of wear only two days after being graded with the corrugations and ruts becoming obvious. I’d hate to see it in a few weeks when the traffic really picks up!

There were a still a few horror stretches along the track back to Drysdale but we toughed it out in good time even stopping to load up the roof rack with decent timber 15 km prior to the homestead. We arrived a tad before one and got set up under the bigger trees on the western side of the campground. Amanda and Jules staked out the two washing machines in the laundry while I soaked the socks and a particularly dirty set of shorts. Also charged up the computer as well as it had flattened out last night. A relaxing afternoon watching the washing dry and lamenting the Socceroos loss to Italy in last nights world cup match. A lovely dinner of Tandoori chicken and lamb on rice done on the BBQ plate. Much better quality wood than we had scavenged and taken into Mitchell providing us with a magnificent evening fire to relax by.
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903
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