Home' LOTL : November 2006 Contents 40 .COM
DELIA ALLEN KEPT A
JOURNAL DURING HER SOLO TRIP
THROUGH THE KIMBERLEYS.
I bought a 4X4 Toyota Troopy camper van in
early April, intending to head out on weekends
with friends to explore more of the country
around Darwin. Two weeks later my father was
diagnosed with cancer. The decision to return to
Melbourne to be around for whatever was going
to happen was easy, but I decided to return via the
Kimberley’s on the Gibb River Road.
I left Darwin on a warm June afternoon, to
the achingly sweet and sexy sound of Lucinda
Williams, with my two little dogs, Connie and
Mickie, in Trixie (the Troopy), and a photo of my
dad on the dashboard. I headed to Katherine,
excited and a little nervous. My qualms were not
about travelling on my own, but getting stuck and
needing to ask for help.
I haven’t done any real four wheel driving, and the
Gibb River Road is not an easy one. It is a couple
of hundred kilometres of corrugations with many
river crossings, and as I found, road works. Not
your city road works with a bloke at each end
holding little ‘stop’ and ‘go’ signs, or electronic
arrows directing you to a particular side of the
road. No, this was a bloody great grader heading
straight for me, followed by one of those rollers
with prongs that could turn me and my car into a
piece of pianola paper.
I pulled into the Big Horse Camping Ground, just
west of Timber Creek between Katherine and
Kununurra. There I sat with my gin and tonic and
laptop, looking at a three quarter moon high in the
sky, and a baby boab next to me. Mother earth
had a sense of humour when she made the boab.
Snippets of people’s conversations drift over as
I sit and write… “Yeah, we was sittin’ round the
campfire havin’ a tinnie or three and a yarn... yeah,
yeah, ya know ‘e drowned. Yeah, they pulled ‘im
outta the water, an’ ya know what ‘e said? ‘E said,
when I die I wanna drown, it was bewdiful, there
was soft lights and nice music and everything.
That’s what ‘e said, true”.
I’m in love with boabs, each one is unique – there’s
boab with child, boab soiree, boabs spooning,
boab with attitude, proud to be different boab…
Ode to the Boab
Boabs live in creek bed and rock ledge – even
“I LEFT DARWIN
ON A WARM JUNE
AFTERNOON, TO THE
AND SEXY SOUND OF
WITH MY TWO LITTLE
DOGS AND A PHOTO
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