Well, now that I’m in the Bungles at last, time to take a closer look at it, right? As the dawn breaks, I prepare my backpack and promptly drive towards the southern section of the park, to marvel at all the goodies before other walkers and hikers swarm all over them.
I start my day of driving very early, at 6:15… but only because I switched the clock at last, and everything happens 1.5 hours earlier for me now. As I open and close one of the gates, I spot a dingo watching me from the distance: it's the first one I see in the wild! I try to take a picture, but it quickly scoots away. Maybe it’s just a feral dog, anyway.
It still drizzles in the morning, and I even see an occasional lightning in the distance as I get up and start my morning routine. It’s not as cold as I thought it would be at this time of year. However, I still decide to cancel my second visit to the Breakaways: it’s probably pointless to try and do good photography of that particular place when it rains.
It’s Saturday, 7 a.m., which means that it’s time to start the car, leave the house and head towards (and beyond) more black stumps on my Australian map. Winter starts in just a few days, so I might as well spend these days travelling to the regions where summer never really ends.
The sunrise that follows has some spectacular cloud formations, and I make sure to capture them all while I can. The blessing and the curse of landscape photography: you can have the most beautiful scene in front of you, but you have no control over it whatsoever, and if the clouds or the light change, they change for good. If a sunrise is bad, you can't do anything about it; but if it's good, you're the luckiest person on Earth. Like right now, for instance.
In the morning I take another detour from the Track and venture out into the Painted Desert. The name alone is worth a try, right? It looks pretty bleak most of the way, but as I approach the Arckaringa Station, I can clearly see how the region got its name.
Did you know that Anna Creek Station, the largest of its kind in Australia, is bigger than Israel? Just think about it. An area of land as big as a country, just for your cows. You have probably never even seen a lot of your own property in person. Hell, there are probably places that no one has ever seen so far, except for your cows. And maybe not even them. That's Australian outback for you.
It was quite interesting to see how this particular piece of Australia can be so different from the mainland, and I’m not talking just about scenery and wildlife. Small things here and there stand out and create a very unique experience. For example, I’ve never seen poplar trees lining the roads anywhere in Australia before. Or so many timber forest reserves, for that matter. They also love the “JCN” abbreviation on the road signs there (meaning “junction”). They don’t however, like to put up too many speed limit signs, and as you return to the main road you have no idea whether it’s a 80 or a 100 zone. An extra $12 for the vehicle in national parks wasn’t a particularly great surprise either.