Keep River National Park, Goorrandalng July 20 2021
  Nganalam art site is closed. Its a long time since anyone used the bridge, there is no sign of a former track on the other side of the river. There was no signage and not much evidence at the roadside a picnic table and track ever existed.

On one of our maps its described as "Cockatoo Dreaming".

  The Keep River is surprisingly (to us) small. Though no doubt it breaks its banks onto the floodplain.

Well dried out at this time of year.

  We carry on to Jinimum Walk, partway through the Keep River Gorge.

The sun not yet up. The entrance guarded by baobab trees.

  Hints of pools. Hiding turtles in the mud until it rains again.

The long grass we see is a cane grass. Only vaguely similar, to our unpracticed eyes, to the dune top cane grass of the Simpson Desert.

  The light coloured rock persists in this area.
  We reach the rock shelter.

Beyond this the track has shrunk somewhat. The two (where did I read that?) rock art galleries seem to be closed.

We expected "Abundant bush tucker supported a number of family groups demonstrated by individual living shelters and numerous art sites." according to the park guide. We found a shelter and a sign.

  A solitary bower catches our attention.
  Guarding the shelter.
  And so to Goorandalng. To camp and to walk.

A bit different to the northern campsite we are a bit closer to accessible rocks.

  Are there two colours of turkey bush?

We climb a little upwards.

  Drier, the spinifex, a type that grows into large balls, occurs nearer the plain. Almost mixed up with the long cane grass.
  To a lookout. Looking west.
  We keep thinking of toe nails on elephants' feet. No scree, just a change in slope of the rock as it joins the plain.
  People are dwarfed by the tortuous landscape.

The track soon descends.

  We walk back to the campsite across the plain, among the grass.

Still none the wiser where the sand that formed the sandstone came from.

  After a suitable interval, a bit of relaxation, a bit of lunch, a bit of electrical help for a fellow traveller .... a slow, solo, walk around the loop.

Interested in the tilt of the land, in the distance, to the south, is an escarpment, curved (bent).


  The rock I am walking through seems tilted up to the west.
  In the distance to the south west what looks like some of the darker sandstone we saw so much of through Gregory, and we think the Pinkerton Range.

Eroded very differently to the softer rock around me.

  Most birds take fright as I approach. Very shy. A few hints of small birds but too slow with the camera. Throughout Keep River we've heard lots of birds, but seeing them has proved a challenge.

This white-quilled rock pigeon flew before I saw it, but landed on top of a rock and sauntered (if birds can saunter) behind it.

A bit of patience, almost more than I had, and it re-appeared.

How perfectly its colours blend with the rock. As pictures go I'm well pleased.

I didn't see any of "the elusive" sandstone shrike thrushes.

  A quick repeat of our early morning sunrise exploits, a walk to the lookout.
  To watch the sun light up the hills.
  As it inevitably does.
  A strangely quiet world. No movement, and no sound. Broken by an occasional bird call.

It finally dawns on me that while in the Simpson Desert the can grass is on top of the dunes, with spinifex both on top and in the swales, here, the cane grass is on the plain with the spinifex above. A topsy turvy world.

  Leaving Keep River National Park we stop for a quick look at Gingers Hill.

A bird hide. Light a fire, the smoke attracts hawks. Lay out a decoy. Catch the hawk when it lands. Eat it.

  There was also a pleasant vista to the south.
  There is a drinking water (boil before use etc) tap at the side of the road.

Very low pressure, the base of the tank is about 1m above road level, the tank is full.

Its a normal sink tap, no screw fitting. But we have an attachment that pushes on.

We use a combination of filling directly and filling a bucket to pump out of. A slow fill but eventually all done.

  To the Ranger Station at Woorrilbem and Cockatoo Lagoon.

The birds aren't sufficiently desperate for water yet and fly off as soon as they hear the squeak of the gate.

There is a bauhinia tree near the water, in flower, and flowers below head height.

The same technique I used to use for fuschia when young worked for sampling the nectar. Much sweeter than I recall, the quantity just as small. A small lolly.

  Three seasons. Hot, Cold, Wet.

Cold is about 15 deg C in the early morning. Its almost negative temperatures in Brisbane.

Judbarra (Gregory) National Park - to Top Humbert July 21 - 23 2021

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