Such is the life of a desert dweller…

Wow, 7-weeks in the Australian Outback, travelling this wonderful country of ours in a customised four-wheel drive may not be everyone’s cup of tea – but hey, for the adventurous, you’d love it…

And for the less adventurous amongst us, crikey, come on get on board, it is about time you got out of your comfort zone and gave it a go.

My recent adventure into the deserts of Western Australia involved a return journey of over 10,000 kilometres into some of the world’s most inhospitable country, crossing vibrant red sand dunes where no roads or tracks exist…

Sand Dune Crossing

But don’t be put off by the remoteness and harshness of the Australian Outback as the rewards for the traveller, the adventurer, is a landscape more bio-diverse and fragile than the Amazon rainforest.

The contrasting beauty of a rugged landscape, the colours that you will see can never be replicated in a painting or photograph, but the memory of a setting sun, the golden hue it creates as it gently slips below the distant horizon will imprint a lasting memory that will have you longing to return to this place…

Outback Australia

 

My journey took me across Australia’s interior on a quest to assist a group of like minded people construct a shelter and other buildings for the Birriliburu people, the Traditional Owners of the Little Sandy Desert and Gibson Desert region of Australia…

Mind you, it is also about the journey and there was plenty of opportunity for me to explore and photograph other parts of the Australian Outback as I made my way westward…

Now let me say, shovelling sand and gravel into a cement mixer, on a clay pan and under a scorching sun is hard work and won’t necessarily count as a highlight of the trip. But the opportunity to spend time with the elders of the Birriliburu mob in their country, on their lands, was well worth the discomfort – it will leave a lasting impact on my life!

Crikey, don’t get me wrong, it was a pleasure to assist, I’m just complaining about those aching muscles that were antagonised in the process…

Amongst the aboriginal people I spent time with were a number of elders who were born to nomadic parents in the desert, first generation desert people who lived, hunted and sheltered on the very lands we were on and without any contact with Australian’s of European descent.

One of the elders, Geoffrey Stewart, was born to parents Warri and Yatungka, a couple who engaged in forbidden love under tribal laws and whose story is recounted in the book “Last of the Nomads”.

Another, Georgina “Dadina” Brown, took us to the place where she and her family were discovered by  Stan Gratte, an historical enthusiast, in 1976. At the time Stan was retracing the route of a 19th century explorer.

Georgina is an accomplished artist with work on display in the Australian National Gallery and her story is recounted in the book Born in the Desert – The Land and travels of a last Australian Nomad. 

All were willing to share their country with us, showing where they roamed the desert with their families and explaining how they captured food and travelled from rock-hole to rock-hole to find water.

Geoffrey shared some “Dreamtime Stories” and permitted us to view some magnificent rock art located in a gorge not too far from where we were based in the desert.

I have been travelling Australia’s vast outback region for many years and have always recognised it has a “spiritual beauty” to it.  But this trip has been special in a way that I never thought possible and has helped me view life through a different lens, putting a different perspective on life…

We live in a society that insists we plan our lives away, where we have an insatiable appetite for instant gratification, and need the latest gadgets, where we are able to visit a supermarket for our daily food needs with little thought as to how it arrived there…

It was refreshing to observe another perspective on life from people whose ancestors’ have inhabited our sunburnt country for over 40,000 years – a people whose philosophy of living in harmony with the environment is the pathway to ensuring a sustainable existence.

No, not necessarily an easy one, that’s for sure!

Most importantly, this trip and time spent on country with the Birriliburu mob has reinforced something that modern day living often has us overlook and that is the only moment you can live in is the one you are in.

Such is the life of a desert dweller…

Baz – The Landy

As a footnote:

The Birriliburu Lands are an Indigenous Protected Area not open to the general public. I visited at the kind invitation of the Elders of the Birriliburu People. 

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17 thoughts on “Such is the life of a desert dweller…

  1. Tiny September 26, 2015 / 12:45 pm

    Thank you for sharing this magnificent story – and great photos of your trip. So refreshing to get another perspective on life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kerbey September 25, 2015 / 8:20 am

    The orange against the blue is like nothing I have ever seen.

    Like

  3. Lavinia Ross September 25, 2015 / 4:24 am

    These people have given you a gift that is priceless – the sharing of their lives, land and culture. A beautiful post!

    Like

  4. Barbara Grandberg September 24, 2015 / 5:20 am

    once again, thanks for sharing you journey :]

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kayla_Joy September 24, 2015 / 3:10 am

    Oh, I love this so much! So fortunate to have this opportunity hey. Great perspective, beautiful pics 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Baz - The Landy September 24, 2015 / 7:17 pm

      Thanks Kayla…sometimes you have to strip back to the basics to get a new perspective on life!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ksbeth September 23, 2015 / 9:22 pm

    i love love the pictures of the elders. what a lovely opportunity this is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Baz - The Landy September 24, 2015 / 7:17 pm

      Hey sweetie, they are wonderful people, who have great love of their country…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Gallivanta September 23, 2015 / 8:32 pm

    We are very privileged to share this journey through your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Baz - The Landy September 24, 2015 / 7:18 pm

      A truly wonderful experience…you have to love this country and its people, hey!

      Liked by 1 person

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