After recently visiting the Kimberley region of Australia, I have returned a changed and more enlightened person.
My partner and myself took a week long journey on a cruiser that had only a small number of others aboard. We cruised the isolated islands of North West Australia and the mainland coast.
Our original idea was to enjoy a well earned break from our respective jobs of work but we encountered much -much more.
This became a spiritual journey of sorts and to say it was the greatest experience of my life would be disingenuous to the many wonderful other things I have been fortunate to part of. It was however one of the most important times of my life.
Australia is a continent of many facets. South East Australia is cool and mild, North is tropical and Central is just plain dry and usually hot. All of Australia is quite beautiful for different reasons.
The colours of each area vary markedly and depict the temperature range, but the particular colours of the Kimberley are some of the most beautiful. Vast swathes of red juxtaposed against the azure clear sky and cool green vegetation. The ghost gums (so named) are splendid with their white/grey trunks and green leaves.
The real Wow! factor came to us as we left the cruiser and ventured into the estuaries to be with the crocodiles. These magnificent creatures are as old as any animal that exists today and you just don’t mess with them. To have a crocodile lie in wait for we humans to take a wrong step is quite humbling and frightening.
Part of our journey involved a personal helicopter to venture beyond to the mainland. This was something else. Having never flown in a chopper before, we were blown away by the vastness of the country. We also realised just how insignificant we really are. Suddenly our roles in life were given a whole new perspective. The clarity of the moment had us realise that our lives are but a brief moment in time.
While on the mainland we were given the absolute privilege of viewing some Aboriginal cave drawings. Being only possible to fly to these caves as the bush is way too dense, few, if any others had viewed the drawings before. It is possible that some of these drawings were 15-20 thousand years old and indicated a land, flora and fauna of an entirely different type. This was indeed an exceptional experience and one that personally, I feel a degree of responsibility to pass on its importance and significance to Australia and people of the world.
Try as I will to convey this message, being non-Aboriginal, with humility and care I will endeavour to do so.
As the journey reached its last day, everyone aboard had changed. Upon arrival at the beginning, everyone was on their full colours. Some business people,some retired, some children with gadgets and ourselves. Like an un-folding onion the layers began falling away and suddenly all of us were completely smitten. The Kimberley spirit had taken us and the person returning to home was a different person, a more learned person and a person touched by something beautiful.
With the knowledge that I time was up in this glorious landscape, we steamed for home all quiet and Nella Fantasia (from The Mission) playing in the background. We will never forget this wonderful experience.