Sunday, 28 September 2014

Bush Camping in the Pilbara

We left Tom Price ready to tackle a few hundred miles of Pilbara beauty before getting to our free camp. Exmouth was our next major destination, the starting point in our trek southward, but much too far to do in one trip. So we ooh-ed and aah-ed at the amazing scenery unfolding in front of us: gentle hills covered in geometric spinifex patterns,  mountains of rock and stately ridges crossed this land.

It was so inspiring Fiela couldn't contain himself and after repeatedly asking, I consented to a true bush camp in the middle of nowhere. We drove off the road onto the red red dirt,  far enough from the road to be hidden from the the cars passing by and set up for the night. We built a fire, cooked some steaks over it, drank  too much wine and loved our life.
The Uys Huis, littering a pristine Pilbara cattle track with crap.
The next morning's pack up was quick despite our hangovers, and we washed the last of the surface Pilbara dirt off right there out in the open, safe in the knowledge that there was absolutely not one person for hundreds of kilometres.
Happy husband- fire, beer and rooster (of the metal bbq kind).
It would take days of swimming on the fringes of Ningaloo Reef for the red to come out of the cracks in our feet and campertrailer, and it would take more than a pressure cleaner to get that blood dust of the North Australian country out of our heart. What was it about this red dirt that was cursed daily by me and my blue dishrag and yet in the hum of an afternoon quiet it seemed perfectly true to rub it through your fingers, draw lines through it on the ground and taste it around the corners of your senses?

The Pilbara, the Kimberley and Arnhem Land have etched themselves onto our bodies, our car and our mobile home and will no doubt be washed off eventually. But it is country of momentous attitude, spirituality  and importance. These enormous places are where the essence of this land can still be found and felt. Come here with your heart open, and if you are Australian, skip the European Contiki Tour or the Bali all-inclusive and book a few weeks in the Central and North West of your land.

Our country is amazing, I'm ashamed it has taken me such a long time to realise it.  

Digging a hole. 

Outback Barbie House.

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