• Thewhiteox

Day 8 - CSR - Kunawarritji and on to the Gary Junction Highway

Updated: Aug 19, 2019

The Community Art and music centre in Kunawarritji

As always, we planned to leave at sparrows fart, but we don’t do much fast. Maureen came over as we were cooking our veggie sausage morning sandwiches, & after another novelty shower, we packed up and went to see them.

They lived in a surprisingly lovely spacious 6x12m donga, which they’d decked out beautifully with so much style, cosy comforts and personality. Maureen offered coffee - gesturing to a coffee machine, which we enthusiastically accepted.

She was hoping to get a coffee cart for high season on the Canning, when vehicles are lined up all day wanting fuel. She planned to train one of the local Martu girls as a barista to help. She also wanted to start a permaculture initiative in the community, something positive and resourceful while they were there for Shane’s work as a ranger. Maureen took me up to the school to see their veggie gardens full of kale, rocket, tomatoes, pumpkins and herbs.

Apparently the teacher was brilliant, and I could just see the array of bright artwork, models and paintings inside, & a huge painted snake suspended across the ceiling, it looked amazing.

She also showed me the area where the elders painted on rugs and blankets on the floor, & music room, with both electric and analog drums kits, a bass, speakers, mics and pedals, it was quite a set up. She told me the lad we’d seen the day before had been in juvie for stealing something, when she’d asked how it was, he said it was alright because they had a guitar, and no one else knew how to play. He still didn’t want to go back though.

Shane then showed us the ranger station, the maps with hundreds of identified water spots that the Martu people had found in choppers and on foot, the controlled burning they do to renew the area, setting up well signs, monitoring flora and fauna and maintaining tracks and camping areas as best they can.

By then the rugby lead grand final was about to start, and we took it as our cue to get back on the frog and toad. After exchanging details and hugs goodbye, we set back off, heading east towards Kiwirrkura, almost immediately putting more air in our tyres (from 20-30psi at the front, and 28-38psi at the back, which has over a ton more weight to hold when our tanks are full) on the graded roads, and took down our mighty sand flag when we got to the Gary junction (named after Len Beadel’s son), and signed the visitor book before continuing down the Gary junction track.

We stopped at Jupiter well, a few hours short of Kiwirrkura, where there was an old water pump and shady camping spots, though slightly marred by the bloody idiots who leave all their shit (literally) dunny paper, tins cans and general garbage all over the sight - what the hell is wrong with them?

We recorded a few videos touring the Ox inside and out, the flies were bad, but liveable, but once the sun had gone down, after we’d washed at the pump, the tiny ones came out, and it was game over. Cooking was nearly impossible as they swarmed around me and went in the food, even with the fly nets down, but eventually I shut the back doors too and dealt with the heat to finish cooking mushroom & bok Choi ramen with hoisin glazed tofu, and we lay under the stars until retiring to bed.

Next Up: Kintore and the Sandy Blight Junction Track

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