Jun 17, 2011

C A M P I N G  T R I P

on the road to Wandawuy - a three hour drive along a dirt road which for the most part was pretty good - a couple of wash outs from the wet but generally OK. The bush was beautiful and changed as we drove from thick eucalyptus to ferns and then large white gum trees... saw a couple of kangaroos too

Wandawuy is Watjumi's homeland (each Yolngu has a homeland relating to their clan - her's being Djapu) The homeland is ON AN AIRSTRIP .. literally. You drive out of the bush onto an airstrip and the houses line the runway. It is bizarre, and beautiful.  This is not a big homeland - only about 10 houses and a school.

looking one way .. looking another ...
the airstrip is perfect though for playing soccer, volleyball, riding bikes and throwing sticks in iggy's case .. which we did until the sun set

so much open space

we camped on watjumi's sister's lawn and made a fire, cooked freshly caught fish and we made lamb in the camp fire oven and risotto in the flames
 fire scene

meet charles

 me and my mukul (mother in law) and kade's ngandi (mother)
note the bright clothes !!

the night was cold in our little tent - and we froze.  But in the morning the sun shone and we had camp tea, bacon and beans. The community has no power, amazing. the houses are great - built open and airy to allow for the hot climate and the rainy season. Each house has their own personal generator run off diesel so there are light and TV.The kids run around happy and carefree and their lives seem simple. It is hard to imagine living in australia with no power and no shop - the nearest three hours away - if the road is accessible - but this is their reality and they seem happy enough for it ...

morning faces

morning game of airstrip volleyball

then we drove with a troopy fill of children and ladies in the back and Kade with Yolpi in the front ... to Biranybirany (which is my clan - Gumatj 's - homeland).  Of course we had to stop to cut bark on the way and Larritj on the way back

good tree
nice bark

bark colours


at the beach at Biranybirany at low tide where we walked through the mangoves to collect oysters and spear mud crabs to eat over the fire (with damper of course)

the river where it meets the mangroves and the ocean
there were crocodile tracks on the beach

we drove up river a bit and sat on the river's edge and tried fishing (i caught nothing except a snag and lost my line)

sailor caught a lizard

After we ate some fish that watjumi caught we drove back to Wandawuy, stopping quickly at the Branybrani homeland. A group had just shot a kangaroo so we got to take a leg back to Wandawuy and try some freshly cooked on the fire which was so good ... sailor not too sure

stripping the bark

and then we left - drove the three hours home in the dark with two boys asleep on my lap, a troopy filled with extra people and babies, towing a boat with a log attached ...  this is normal -  i am the only one who thinks that life up here is crazy.


  1. Wow Annie what an amazing adventure you are giving the boys. This will have such a strong and significant impact on them for the rest of their lives. You guys look so content. I'm sure it comes with its challenges but looking at ya girl, you are shining. I especially love that we get to share the experience with you.

    Love hugs and hickies xxxxx Jodi

  2. cheers jodi, great to hear from you! (and thanks for reading my blog) ... i think the shining has to do with the multi-coloured bright clothes haha! lots love xxxa