Day 6. Friday 10 August.
Sailed all night to Wyndham through the Cambridge Gulf. Docked around 6 AM, with no commitments until 9.15, so a leisurely breakfast and blog catch up. The port sees very little traffic and visitors see mud but the whistling of the kites soaring above was a welcome.
On the bus at the appointed time for the two hour trip to Kununurra airport, longer than usual because of multiple roadworks, where we boarded our Cessna 208 propjet Caravan aircraft for the two hour flight over the Ord River, Argyle Dam, Bungle Bungle Ranges and the Argyle Diamond Mine, with snapshots of the surrounds of Kununurra.
The produce gardens – melons, quinoa, bananas, mangoes, sandalwood trees – and more, were particularly impressive.
We had an aerial overview of Kununurra, but didn’t get into the town. Passed over the lake, where we’d stayed in 2007 in the caravan park and The flyover of the Ord River was a much easier journey than our three day canoe ride in that year – and it wasn’t raining!
The aerial views did not disappoint and T ran her phone/camera battery below 20%. Flood plains gave way to the ‘inland sea’ which is Lake Argyle, then long wave-like folding ranges, to the beehives of Purnululu. 2 hours of Pure magic!
Slightly less than two hours on the bus back to the ship, marveling at T’s almost favorite tree the Boab.
We followed up our day of sitting down with a short walk into the closest part town, keeping an eye out for hungry crocodiles. This part contains the Courthouse, Police Station, the old hospital and a few houses and several commercial enterprises of indistinct purpose. We recalled coming to Wyndham in June 2007 and at that time chatting to a young woman who had opened an art gallery. She specialized in printmaking and we bought a little piece with the boab tree image; her story had been one of going far from home to ‘find herself’ and it reminded us of our Jo who had gone to the UK. That gallery is no longer here. In fact the only retail outlets are a video shop and a cafe (both closed at 4pm). The motel (no longer in use) appeared in the recent TV series ‘ Mystery Road’, something that the coach driver spoke about at length this morning. He had been delighted to have had a screen role.
The commercial and main part of this dying town is to south, at Three Mile, so called because….yes. The town as a whole is somewhat depressing, with little sign of activity, hardly surprising as the total population is now less than 700 people. However, Keith the bus driver, ex-pharmacist, loves living here and after 47 years, still can’t get enough of the beauty. He pointed out the ‘work camp/detention’ facility and the alcohol drying-out facility – D is not sure what T’s dig in his side signified.
The afternoon concluded with a fellow passenger telling a long and fascinating family story of Wyndham.
This may be the last post until Broome, on 18 August – but we’ll try.