- I spend a lot of time walking in Mirima National park, which is 5 min drive from home. If you have been there, you will understand why it's called the mini Bungles. Left is my reference photo for the painting in this post.
My artist friend, Nadeen and I went for a walk there one morning to take some reference photos. The plan was to go for about an hour and a half, it was the wet season and it's not a great idea to walk for long periods of time in excessive heat, so we headed off just after first light.
We checked the position of the sun to navigate our way back, and also trees and rock formations as there are no walking tracks where we were going. We kept looking back so that we would recognise landmarks when walking in the opposite direction.
As we were exploring and taking photos, some clouds started to form rapidly. They were so thick that we couldn't tell where the sun was, so we thought okay, we were paying attention to the rock formations and other landmarks along the way so we were very confident we would find our way back, so we turned around and headed back.
At that point the sky was DARK and we were starting to get worried about being struck by lightning. The electrical storms here can be very intense. This probably sounds unbelievable, but BOTH of us have been struck by lightning before, and I have been struck twice, so we were petrified of being burnt to a crisp. We had to get out of there, ASAP!
We walked and walked, pretty sure that we were heading the right way, but when we ended up at the same gnarly whitegum tree twice, it became clear that we had been walking in a great big circle.
Then the storm hit, in true Kimberley style and the only shelter we could find was a little slanted rock with a tiny space under it, so we huddled under it. My backpack is somewhat waterproof but not waterproof enough to protect my camera, so the first aid plastic bag was emptied and my camera was saved.
Then the rain came gushing down with such force that we were flushed from our little stone shelter and had to look elsewhere. There was no other shelter, nothing, so all we could do was stand with our backs against some rocks and wait. Fortunately the storm lasted less than half an hour, so we were able to head off again, but we were soaked to the skin, boots squelching.
We arrived at a place where we could see a prominent feature, a rocky outcrop shaped a bit like a head, which apparently is called 'head lice dreaming'. I know, my story is sounding more far-fetched by the minute, but it's the truth! This landmark enabled us to get more of an idea of where we were, but it wasn't all that simple to get back because there were sheer drops, or crumbling, dangerous rock formations which are impassable.
Finally, we found a tall rock formation where we could climb up and survey the landscape from a high vantage point, and then we could see exactly where we were and we found our way back to the car.
I had told my daughter exactly where we were going and when we expected to be home, we took twice the amount of water we thought we would need, so we knew we would be okay even if stuck out there for several more hours. Our one hour walk turned into 4 hours but at least we got back safely before the search party was sent out.
We did talk about how exciting it would be to be rescued by a helicopter! I really regret not taking photos of our bedraggled selves.
This is Head Lice Dreaming. I'm not even sure if this name is real or someone's idea of a joke, but that's what we call it.
If you know something about this rock, please leave your comment below, I'd love to know.
Does your head also start itching just at the mention of head lice?
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