Gifts and Keepsakes from the Land Down Under.
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The first leg of our journey was to the little town of Laura located near the Laura River in Queensland. Our purpose was to attend a Corroboree, an Aboriginal Songfest. This was a five day add on to the trip. The actual expedition was to begin the following week in Alice Springs with a trip to Uluru.
We enjoyed breakfast at the outdoor hotel restaurant. After spending time getting to know each other, we boarded the twenty-four passenger bus for the trip into the York Peninsula. Eucalyptus, gum trees, and kangaroos made up most of the scenery as we slowly wound our way through the bush to our destination. After more miles of dirt roads than I care to remember we arrived dusty, dirty, and thirsty in Laura.
I was expecting something a little larger, the town consisted of maybe a dozen houses, a small post office, the Laura Hotel, which was a small metal building that might house ten people, hostel style. The hotel consisted of a pub and something they called a restaurant, in reality the restaurant consisted of a few picnic tables and a charcoal grill. The front of the hotel featured the only tree in town, a large Mango tree.
The bus came to a stop, I anxiously made my way to Ubirr Rock, completely oblivious to my surroundings. In my reality no one else existed, only me and the sacred land. I began walking down a trail that was so familiar to me, even though in this life I had never been to this world. I stopped for a moment to view the rock art, the most ancient in Australia, believed to be at least 20,000 years old. I walked up the trail leading to Nourlangie Rock, an enormous boulder rising from the dry earth becomes visible. The rock is not just any ordinary rock, rather it is a sacred site depicting the aboriginal history and culture.
Making Spotted Dog Bread
Being an aboriginal is a way of life, more than a race, anyone can adapt the ways of the aborigine and become an aborigine.
The true aborigine is a caucasian when some of them took their shirts off, they were white.They are dark because they have lived for thousands of years in the sun.
The campground had become rather crowded, the Corroboree was beginning. Native tribes from all over Australia were converging for this important event. It was quickly turning into what seemed like a spiritual track meet.
The sun was rapidly descending and we still had several miles to go, when suddenly the bus engine died. The stench of overheated metal filled the air, it left little doubt that the engine was ruined. The driver was unconcerned, he told us to take a break, have a beer, take some photos, and soon the bus would start. Yeah, right.
I inquired as to whether there would be another bus for us at Cooinda? The reply was that our bus would be fine. We still had two days of travel to Darwin. There wasn't any way the engine would last that long. However, just as dusk was descending upon us, the engine started and we continued on.
Shooting pool at an outback pub.
Beautiful Fine art prints from The Land of Oz