Ahead was our most extensive driving day of the entire tour, the only stops being for comfort and for food. We drove out of the Kimberleys which are in the state of Western Australia and ¾ of the way across the Northern Territory. However, before we left WA we drove through the fertile belt around Kununurra, irrigated by the Ord River Scheme. I had no idea this was a food bowl, and I gather it will not be for much longer if the present economic reign supreme. There is a massive conflict brewing between the old style farmers who grow veggies and mangoes and the new style farmers (corporate) who are more inclined to grow sandalwood trees because this is where the money is nowadays. Sandalwood is used in perfumes. So, here are three images, the first one is a sandalwood forest, the sw tree being the smaller one which can only be grown using a host plant. The second (small) image shows an extensive veggie patch with mangoes in the background. The larger image is a bunch of backpackers toiling in the field. This is where the vast majority of the labour comes from across the Kimberleys – young people from around the world who come to Australia for a year to see the country but need to work to pay their way.
Ivanhoe Crossing was just inside the WA border but was a massive flow of water, and this is the dry season. I thought the two fisher-folk were a nice contrast – an asian woman and a pelican both just as intense and needy.
So we crossed the border and away we flew churning up the miles, well kilometres really.
Heading for the town of Katherine we spent a lot of the day shadowing the Victoria River which is yet another massive expanse of water. Other than tar, the things that we saw most of were birds.
Birds!! More on them tomorrow ...