Friday, August 16, 2013

Ubirr, Bowali and Mamaluka

There is a lot to be seen in Kakadu, so we did a second tour. This time it was with Victor Cooper, an Aboriginal tour guide with his own company, Ayal Tours.. We had Victor to ourselves as the others had not turned up. That was fine by us. At this stage we didn't know whether we would duplicate anything we did the day before, but as it turned out, we didn't. This trip was quite different.

We went to Border Crossing, as yesterday, but from there we turned off to Ubirr, a rock art gallery. There was another tour group there, but most of the time we had it to ourselves. Victor and I climbed quite a steep hill and there were 360 degree views to be had. Photos don't really give much of an impression, but here is one of Victor looking out.

We climbed down again, and went to the rock art gallery which I had all to myself for a while. I took photos, listened to the birds, and felt awestruck as I imagined the people those thousands of years ago. These are immensely old paintings, and there is one, very high up, of a thylacine. These have been extinct on the mainland for a very long time. I asked Victor how the artist got up so high, and he said the belief was that the Mimi spirits could turn the rock so the artist could reach.

There were wonderfully detailed X-ray style paintings of fish, turtles, and much more.

We encountered a woman sitting at the base of the big c.imb, waiting for her younger companions to return. She was reading a brochure which she proudly announced was 27 years old, and she had kept it in a drawer all those years after her last visit. Victor looked at it, and pointed to a picture of a fuzzy haired youth. "That's me, twenty seven years ago!"

We returned to Border Crossing, and looked at the river's edge. Victor took our photo, and yes, there are crocodiles behind us.

We then drove to Bowali Visitor Centre where we bought lunch to take away, and looked at the exhibits. Then to the lunch site and on to Mamaluka, a bird haven. More bird pictures!

After our return I had a swim and finished reading my book. I brought only the Kindle, and read My Brilliant Career (again). Loved it. Next on the agenda is Mill on the Floss, as I am going through a George Eliot phase for the first time. We did Middlemarch in my book group and that has motivated me. Silas Marner is next.

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