Rob engaged in an early morning bout of photography. Based on the “Tanimi book”, we had decided to make for Lake Gregory, as we rather liked this no-nonsense explorer. We crossed the WA/NT border, and around the same time/place the Tropic of Capricorn, the second time Rob and I have crossed it going north in the space of 12 months.
We came across a small group of wild (feral) camels, and got some good photos of them. They were introduced into Australia from Afghanistan (mainly) and there are estimated to be around 600,000 to 700,000 feral camels in the Australian outback.
We stopped off at Balgo, and visited the Artist’s Cooperative, and enjoyed the excellent Indigenous art and watched artists at work. Some of them we decorating “car bonnets”, with Australia Rules Football team regalia, on commission from the clubs. We headed west towards Mulan. We stopped to photograph a wrecked car – and horror – Rob discovered he had left his tripod and camera at our overnight campsite – a mere 175kms away! I showed remarkable restraint as we turned the car and trailer and began to retrace our steps. We asked the police if we could leave the trailer at the police station, and that improved fuel consumption and handling of the car for the 350km round trip. The camera and tripod were still in the same place, apparently set up to take a very long exposure of a gumtree.
We returned to Balgo, where we watched the local Aboriginal lads playing football on a red dirt football field. They were excellent players – agile and strong – and showing very good skills. It was funny – a few of them had only a single boot. We then drove west to Mulem (again) into the setting sun – really challenging – but the sunset was spectacular.
We camped at the site of the local Handover of Aboriginal Land/Title (Paruku), and quite close to one of Gregory’s camps on Lake Gregory. It was a beautiful campsite among straw coloured tussock grass and surrounded by ghostly gums. The Milky Way was beautiful and we took a stroll towards the lake – a dry lake I might add – in the moonlight.
We slept well after driving 600kms!