July 19, Fitzroy Crossing to Kununurra

If I was writing down Kununurra, I would write Kananarra, because the "u"s are pronounced as in "but".

Kununurra is at the Eastern end of the Kimberley mountains. I have to say, until today I was very disappointed with the Kimberleys. They were even smaller than the Pilbara, which are very small mountains. The road from Derby to Fitzroy Crossing is quite flat. This may be due to the road following the Fitzroy river.

In any case, today I was very happy to see some actual mountains. Not very big mountains, but they did look like mountains.

The shapes and the red rocks reminded me of Arizona. At times, the landscape really was quite impressive, though the photos don't always give the idea.

The plants in the foreground of the last picture (which you can click to get a bigger picture) are called spinifex (the first syllable is pronounced as "spin", not "spine", and if you manage a thick Australian accent, the word can come out as "spinnyfeeks"). Spinifex have long pointed thin and rather stiff leaves, and walking among them in shorts usually results in being poked. So far they have not broken my skin, but it is somewhat uncomfortable and good motivation to walk carefully.

There are many things I passed by today without visiting, including a meteor crater 137km away down a very rough road, and some beehive shaped mountains in Purnululu national park called the Bungle Bungle range. If one had a 4-wheel drive and plenty, plenty of time, there would be lots more interesting things to do around here. Many of them can also be visited on tours.

I spent most of the day driving to Kununurra, but I did see a few things along the way. First of all, a huge truck going 75km/h, when the speed limit most of the way is 110km/h.

Eventually I figured out how to pass it safely. It took me long enough that after I passed it, I no longer wanted to stop and take pictures. Before I passed the slow truck, however, I stopped frequently and took quite a few pictures.

Cane toads have been introduced to Australia, and they are poisonous and spreading fast. When I was on the Fitzroy river, they said they expected the toads to arrive in the next few years. They were not certain what the effect would be on the crocodiles, who might eat them and be poisoned.

I stopped by a river that had some water in it, and an interesting warning sign.

After my adventure on the Fitzroy, I am confident I can recognize crocodiles, and I did not see any here. But maybe in the wet season... And I did see lots of birds.

Elsewhere, I saw lots of interesting plants, including this one that looked like a pine tree.

Rather than slowly follow the slow truck, I took a very satisfactory nap under the shade of this pine tree.

A couple of other interesting plants.

And a beautiful sunset.