Magic in the Bungle Bungles
“Prior to the invention of cars and sealed roads, ancient paths were walked and experienced at a slower pace, allowing time for the landscape to unfold and reveal itself and, in doing so, permitting the walker time to think, opening dialogue between land and mind. Pathways therefore, were a journey onwards as well as inwards.”
As soon as you land at the remote air strip, the absence of phone reception forces you to disconnect from home and lend yourself completely to the wilderness. Before you know it your thoughts transform from motherly worries – concerning our hubby and kids to how long until the next fresh water hole to cool down in. That’s the magic of the Bungle Bungles it takes you physically and mentally to a calmer place – a place that opens conversation between nature and mind.
By 10am the outback has already lived up to its warm and humid reputation, the temperature climbing to a muggy 36 degrees. Heading in from the cooler climate of Sydney, our bodies were in shock. Dressing for the occasion, we clothed ourselves in cool dry fit shorts, thin merino tops or sun shirts with wide brimmed hats and most importantly a wet bandana to cool the neck.
It was a big full pack walk in on day one, and our Wild Women couldn’t get enough of the secluded rock pools to splash and cool down in. We submerged ourselves fully clothed in the cool water, floating on our backs admiring the beautiful gorges we had found our way into. In the Bungle Bungles, you literally fall in love with the fresh pools – they become your saviour! The feeling of floating in a place so secluded is quite indescribable, the earthy orange and grey walls stand so tall, patches of shade settling in the rocky gorge as the sun falls.
The terrain of the bungles is river bed, so our trek was not easy–our famous rock scrambling skills from Trek Training were put to the test. At times, we were forced to take our packs off, scramble down the other side and haul the pack on again. Team work brought us all so close, it’s quite incredible how close a group of woman can become over such a short time period.
Finding our campsite around 3.30pm, we were relieved to dump our heavy full packs. The campsite was absolutely gorgeous –a white sandy beach sat next to a waterhole surrounded by towering orange walls of rock and palm trees. The foliage and scenery were unlike anything I've ever seen before. The mixture of rock, sand, palms, the prickly spinifex grass and the dark pools of water every few kilometres, was absolutely stunning.
We set up camp, hanging a rope between two trees we propped up our mosquito nets and laid ground sheets to put our sleeping bags on. A setup perfect for a clear starry night, but as I’m sure the girls will agree… not so perfect for a rainstorm! Rain in the bungle bungles is like snow in Sydney… literally unheard of. The weather gods must have wanted to test whether Wild Women really do live up to the name as within a few minutes we were greeted with a rain storm and lightning.
The guides were shocked! We grabbed a tarp and hailed it over six of us at a time. The next three hours were spent getting to know each other on a closer level (quite literally.) We laughed and laughed at the craziness of being stuffed under a tarp in a rainstorm... in the Bungle Bungles! Fortunately, the rain eased and some of us braved sleeping on the beach whilst others fell asleep under the name shift tent we had set up with our walking poles.
The night skies were the best! Stars, the Milky Way and the brightest of moons danced in the sky and the glittering eyes of cane toads peered from neighbouring bushes. The silence was incredible, the bustling noise of man so far removed from the secluded gorges.
There was nothing between me, the girls and the wonders of the natural world.
“In our increasingly fast-paced world, as our lives move online and indoors it is ever more important to take the time to truly connect to the ground we walk on, reorientating ourselves towards the inner landscape of our soul.”