Arrival in Gunbalanya

May 14th, 2010  |  Published in field research, inspirations  |  5 Comments

To enter Gunbalanya, you must drive through the East Alligator River, and having the caravan in tow was a worry. There had been late rains and the road was closed up until the afternoon we arrived! But it was going up and the overturned car in the water did not look too enticing. So we camped at the border crossing Merl campground enjoying good coffee and French pastries at the store!

The next day, after obtaining permits in Jabiru we hooked up the caravan and nervously drove to the river crossing. We had an audience, but so did the Bininj mob towing a car across before us. We lent them some WD40 and watched as they crossed safely. This morning a man had crossed when it was higher and conked out in the middle! But we have a snorkle and got through no worries. So happy to have made it to Gunbalanya, Anthony Murphy director of Injalak Arts directed us to the old church house where we parked the van and I cleaned the house which had been left in a state, lights on for weeks and full of insects. Frogs and geckos are everywhere to Tepi’s delight and a couple of large predatory whistling kites have a huge nest in the tree beside the caravan, I watched them swooping for bush rats in the very tall yard grass. Hope the snakes aren’t too friendly. From the verandah is a beautiful view of the lagoon and the escarpment. Sunset and sunrise are special, must be careful of the wasp nest though.

Responses

  1. Nigel says:

    May 15th, 2010 at 2:26 pm (#)

    made it! we’re following your journey reports with great interest (and envy). Can’t wait to see more pix…

  2. Vivienne says:

    May 20th, 2010 at 4:47 pm (#)

    Why had the lights been left on?

  3. Amanda says:

    May 20th, 2010 at 6:17 pm (#)

    HOORAY! I was willin you across that river, Vanessa! I’m lovin your descriptions of the astonishing journey.Our very best wishes…to you and the family. What a rich time, indeed.Love the forensic eye, and sensitive reflections…

  4. Melinda Hinkson says:

    May 24th, 2010 at 10:33 pm (#)

    hi Vanessa

    glad to hear you’ve made it to Gunbalanya, sounds like a great trip up. Enjoy these early days in the town, look forward to watching how your time there unfolds.

    all the best, Melinda

  5. laomedia says:

    May 29th, 2010 at 10:44 pm (#)

    the German’s had left in a hurry, but they won’t escape the power bill!

Leave a Response