Thursday, August 19, 2010

When the river runs dry.

The Ross river.

Work had been very busy this week and I had been counting down the days to the weekend. On Saturday I got up very early and took a trip out to Ross River, about 100 kilometres from Alice Springs. It is peak tourist season here and the highway was full of campervans and interstate four wheel drives. Everyone seemed to be in a great mood as although the sun was shining ,it wasn´t the normal sweat dripping heat that you come to expect in the Central Australian Desert region.

The river itself was now empty but this photo shows the debris that had washed downstream. It settled finally at the base of this tree. All around the banks of the river you can see debris scattered, even in the branches of trees.

From the main highway there is a turn off onto a dirt track. It cuts through the dry river beds and over rocks. As I live in the city ,any opportunity I get to drive like crazy down rocky tracks I savour! At the end of the turn off is N´Dhala Gorge National Park.  This place holds special signifance to the Aboriginal people of the area and there are a few rock engravings which tell traditional stories.

A rock engraving telling a dreamtime story.  The dreamtime is a collection of stories linked to the creation of the Earth and the history of the Aboriginal people.  Storytelling is very important to Aboriginal people and dreamtime stories are filled with morals and virtues.

There was a small amount of water in the gorge which was collected in a few rockpools. Suprisingly, some of them even had tadpoles. There are frogs that live here in the desert, although I am yet to see one.
From the gorge I followed Binn´s track and turned off back towards town. Cattle were casually meeting and feeding beside and on the road. They are quite tame and will simply wander off the road at the sight of cars.  It also appears that they are pretty photogenic as not one left the road while I stopped the car to take this photo.

1 comment:

Hilary said...

Looks like a very interesting area to wander with a camera, indeed. And that cattle.. cowmra hogs! ;)