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Marshmallows and Dirt

IMG_1322It was a bit of a gamble, but we made it in one piece up nearly 100-kilometres of dirt road to Mungo National Park.

The ranger I spoke to on the phone advised half the road had just been re-surfaced: “it’s as good as it will ever get for a caravan,” she said optimistically.

We kept our fingers crossed the whole way.

Not a bad place to set-up camp.

The kids roasted marshmallows on the fire for the first time in their lives.

They fought over the only stick we could find, before deciding raw was the way to go.

Mungo National Park is the site of some of the world’s oldest human remains – “Mungo Man” and “Mungo Lady,” both about 40,000 years old. They’ve also found bones of giant kangaroos and buffalo-sized wombats there.

But what was once a basin of water and fertile green land that sustained nomadic aborigines for centuries, is now dirt and scrub with a 30-kilometre lunette of sand.

It’s one of those places where anthropologists and historians salivate, but there isn’t really much to see as you traverse a 70-kilometre loop of the park.

The kids weren’t impressed by the bitter winds and just wanted to see dinosaurs.

We didn’t have enough fuel to drive back the same way we came in. The closest town was Pooncarie, up another dirt road.

Fingers crossed again.

We learnt the hard way what dirt roads can do to a 1960’s caravan.

68-kilometres of the worst, dusty, riveted road you can imagine.

Wallabee was shaken from top to toe.

By the time we refuelled, the back of the wooden bed was cracked, the pantry door was hanging off, two cupboard doors went flying and there wasn’t a flyscreen left on the windows.

We vowed to stick to bitumen from then on.

But suddenly the sealed road ended and the only way ahead was via a dusty highway.

Here we go again.

2 Comments »

  1. it is lovely to see your face too miss sonia! – i think i have said that somewhere else….anyway, do you have a swag? you both should leave the children and spend nights out there under that beautiful blanket of stars. Because one day when you are tucked up in a shoebox again you ll be glad you did xxx

    • I would LOVE to sleep out in a swag and did a lot of that in Arnhem Land prior to kids, but alas on this trip I’m not sure sleep is on the agenda. The twins have been waking at least once an hour and running up the hallway to check I’m here. I’ve now taken to sleeping with them and even that is hell. Arghh… Bloody attachment parenting. I need to WEAN them but they are impossible! Any tips for places to see in Katherine and Darwin? Its been so long since I’ve been up north. We have friends with a farm in Katherine but all my Darwin buddies are now long gone so I am looking for fabulous new people to meet. xxx

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