Lake Argyle to Kununurra
Leaving the Bungles and Purnululu NP was a horrible experience. First, we left 1.5 hours behind schedule because Freckle had to fix Frank the trailer. I now understand why I had to pay so much money to traverse the Kimberley. The ride out took over 2 hours and was ridiculously bumpy this time. I felt dizzy, hot, and starving. It suffices to say that I was not a happy camper.
We continued on, stopping at a roadhouse for lunch, at which point I felt much better. We passed some mountain ranges where diamonds are mined. I don’t think I mentioned that all the land in the Kimberley is divided up into smaller land plots, each with a name like “Mabel Downs” or “Texas Downs” (it’s the size of TX). Aborigines own half of this land, and we actually saw some communities on the drive up (small, with shack-like houses).
And then we finally reached civilization – Kununurra. We were warned not to give anything to the Aborigines that hang out outside of the grocery stores because they end up folowing you around. We camped at Lake Argyle for the night, just outside of the town, and had the luxury of a hot shower and roaring fire.
The next day was the most boring and pointless day of the whole trip. I honestly don’t know why the tour didn’t end the previous day. We got up early and went to see Lake Argyle, a massive deep blue man-made lake surrounded by mountains. It was nice I guess, but a joke coming after all the amazing natural things we’ve seen. We walked along the river and dam, and learned that the lake is 90m deep and 50x the volume of Sydney Harbour and is used for irrigation. Wowwwwwww.
We then embarked on a “mystery tour” of Kununurra, which honestly was very near tear-enducing. We drove around town and stopped at random places like cropfields, a saltwater croc-infested river, a zebra rock shop, and a lookout over town where we could see the land and hear country music from a local station playing below. Finally we were put out of our misery when we pulled into an over-crowded trailer park full of old people and families who were in bed by 8pm. At this point, I walked into town and bought some snacks, was absolutely amazed at how dull and rural it felt, and sat by the dirty lake as the sun went down.
It was a very long last night. No fires were allowed (nor lighting/electricity after 9), so we sat bundled up in a circle around an ipod and tiny flashlight for mild entertainment and light. I stayed up much later than usual just to prove I could do it, then conked out before 12.