Today it’s raining in a place where it sometimes doesn’t rain for 3 years.
The local indigenous mob and custodians of the land are the Junigudira, traced back 30,000 years or longer, with a necklace found in the Mandu Mandu gorge.
One of their stories is that Rainbow Serpent came to land here, in a crater made eons before, in another dreamtime story.
Even now in Turquoise Bay, an inexplicably large population of sea snakes churn in the waters.
It’s the top north west of Australia, some of the oldest land on earth. And it looks that way too, it feels that way in my bones when I’m here. Hiding in the cliffs somewhere the locals won’t tell you in case you steal it, is a megalodon tooth, from a prehistoric dinosaur shark that could grow up to 15 metres in length.
Rocks worn smooth cover the ground in a muted earthy rainbow, as scraggly grey trees twist into shapes with the whooshing wind before your eyes.
Rugged and unforgiving, hardy and bleak, but solid and dependable throughout time, Mother Earth at her most resilient.
We fly along grey roads cut into the red rock as the landscape undulates ever so slightly every couple of kilometers, nobody speaks in the car. All of us talked out, enthusiasm blown out of us with the sand in our lunch and we sit silently as pebbles flick beneath us, and the sun shifts around us.
Holes worn into rocks from the eternal winds circling other smaller rocks, I stand on primitive lands. Fifty million years of evolution and all we have worked out to do here is drill for oil off the blue coast & distract people with whale sharks.
I’m glad in a way. Places like this should be left alone.
The moon on earth. No man’s or woman’s land. The great nothing.
Who only reveals her tiny translucent crabs & rainbow patterns from the water tide & macro yellow straw flowers surviving somehow in the desolation when you really stop to look.
Sit quietly and you’ll hear the roar of the surf on the offshore reef, the scraw of Galahs and the ever present unavoidable soundtrack of a billion flies. You just have to tune them out, by humming something else quietly in your head. They get trapped behind your sunglasses, in your drink & in the car with you heading on adventures farther than they’ve ever gone.
Even though we all get bothered by them at times, we smirk a little at the one guy with a headnet on, we are Aussies mate, just deal with it.
Curved white sand beaches with turquoise water leading to the vast blue of the East Indian Ocean beckon….but then batter us with wind and waves, visibility of less than a meter and jellyfish rolling by my elbow.
Not today says nature.
Everything out here reminds you of your insignificance, the giant sparkling Milky Way above at night, the fact that it’s 80% sky here in any direction, the fact that it’s no cellular reception & the ocean goes on forever.
Ningaloo means ‘deep water’ to the local Yinigudura tribe and I hope it remains that way, elusive and vast, untameable, wild and free.
And we are small and the land is big and once again the sun drops below a horizon that will be here long after we are…..