Sunday, August 5, 2012

Gundabooka National Park - Mulgowan Aboriginal Site - Road trip with Danish visitors - Part 4

Back at Dry Tank campground after an eventful day, it was pretty clear that we were all up for a less stressful afternoon. Outback summer hiking is pretty demanding and we all had that good honest feeling of having had a bit of a workout. After spending a few hours leaned back in a camping chair only managing to get a photo of a curious Common Bronzewing and discussing the fine art of managing your water ration while hiking - should you drink it all in the beginning to save weight up the hill or is there a hint of sense in keeping a few milliliters for the last three hours of the walk? - Both tactics had been tested that morning with various success! :-) Finally, we were ready to explore a little again and took the car to Mulgowan Aboriginal Site, close to the entrance of Gundabooka national park. Water is life in the outback and if there is water there will be signs of life. Mulgowan is such a site, walking along the path you only slowly realize that you are brought into a very shallow gorge. Water has over time carved a strip through the rock and left a little oasis, where plants, animals and humans have been able to find shadow, shelter and reliable drinking water. It is in no way an impressive majestic gorge, but considering the dry sandy landscape surrounding it, you understand the importance of the place. The caves bordering the gorge display a good selection of Aboriginal rock art and we saw significantly more wildlife surrounding the site, than we had seen hiking across the dry plains during the scorching midday sun .. those kangaroos seems to understand water ration managing and Australian weather much better than a gang of Danish tourists! Bird life was not as good as I had hoped for. The most likely reason is that a wetter Australia allow the birds a much wider selection of places to drink, therefore they are not forced to all journey to those secure waterholes that so many birders take advantage of at sunrise and sunset in the dry outback. Abundance of water allows life to flourish and spread, but strangely enough it also makes it harder to see those hard to find species at their usual secure habitats. After a good solid day we could all sleep. Early next morning I took the macro lens for a little trip to the bush toilet. The humidity generated in those bush dunnys attracts an excellent selection of exciting creatures, and this morning was not different. Highlight was the close-up of the Mantis above. After a few days of outback loveliness the part of our little party that had the joy of sharing a tent were quite adamant that any change of a close encounter with some water and a bathroom without Mantises would be appreciated. Having seen some red dust it was time to see what else NSW had to offer and I decided, that Warrumbungle National Park was just the right place to setup camp for the remaining part of our journey.

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