great

Desert Journey

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there are 10 named deserts in Australia

two of them are the great sandy desert

and the Gibson desert they link the

rugged ranges of the red centre

with the mineral-rich Pilbara in Western

Australia on this journey which reverse

both still within the ranges of Central

Australia the desert reveals itself as

irresistible it seduces with beauty and

contradictions abundance of water is

bordered by rocky harshness

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mysterious what lies beyond the ranges

curiosity becomes the motivation to

travel deeper into the desert

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if you could saw like an eagle the

desert might give you a glimpse from up

high this desert has no qualms to

display its shameless grandeur

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come nightfall the glow from a fire

creates a dome of coziness and a safety

in a hostile environment beyond a

blackness and a foreboding world

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it's not long before the hook is set

addicted we want more onwards westwards

infinity swallows us a strange world is

waiting but there's always that

lingering sense of walking on eggshells

this desert is not just a tempting

beauty it's dangerous

make no mistake this is hostile country

is that underlying danger the reason why

we venture into the desert

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in the soft light of the afternoon the

thoughts of Menace vanish in this light

this beauty we are wood and can't resist

the desert splendour

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deep in the desert only age-worn messes

and crumbling hills are left from the

mighty ranges of Central Australia the

small-scale landscapes are now replaced

by intimidating vastness the feeling of

exposure of insignificance is humbling

this is the great sandy desert only

human ingenuity makes survival LT if

possible the desert hides its greatest

treasure deep underground water the tiny

green island in the sea of red dirt

symbolizes a dependency on technology

Aboriginal people who have roamed the

desert for thousands of years have no

need for boars and windmills they know

how to find water and survive their

presence in the desert for thousands of

years can be found here

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amongst the sand dunes is there food

medicine tools while indigenous people

can find everything needed for survival

in the desert newcomers have to bring

everything

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to experience these magic evenings out

here in the wilderness the logistics are

massive

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now deep in the great sandy desert vast

dune fields stretched to the horizon

it's here that the desert shows another

of its many faces a garden where there

should be no garden in this waterless

world

then a dramatic change to the picture

the shimmering salt expanse of Lake Dora

replaces the beauty of life with one of

harshness our insignificance reaches its

peak this is extremely hostile country

where a presence can only be temporary

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when we venture into the desert

curiosity and perhaps lust for adventure

my further driving forces or just a

temporary escape from a world far

removed from nature it might be the

romantic dream of purity or becoming one

with nature again temporarily at least

surrounded by unnamed hills and misses

far away from civilization this dream

might become a reality the desert

definitely is doing its bit supplying an

epic dreamlike stage it reveals an

ancient and timeless magic escaping

civilization however is really just a

pipe dream we've brought our comfort

with us it's just a simpler version of

what we are used to

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looking after the physical well-being

becomes a priority glowing embers from

the desert wood and a blackened grillage

takes the place of the sophisticated

gas-fired barbecue set up back home

simplicity and some culinary skills

create mouth-watering results after a

day exploring this extraordinary an

ancient land the sense of smell is

strangely sharpened the taste buds

curiously attuned this will be the best

meal you've ever eaten

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traveling through a desert is akin to a

nomadic lifestyle always on the move

always in search of those special places

inevitably these special places are

connected to the most precious element

the desert has to offer water with water

comes life and beauty and a sense of

safety here hidden in the remote gorge

deep pools filled with the elixir of

life

the harsh and hostile world stays

outside the gates of this sanctuary

while the outside world still holds its

own beauty

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hitting West the desert presents itself

as you would expect with seemingly

endless and featureless sandy plains

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when the land rises it becomes truly

desolate and thirsty this however is a

ruse framed by sun-baked wasteland

devoid of plant life it hides a

veritable tropical oasis hidden in a

forest of ancient Melaleuca trees is a

series of shaded deep pools with warm

smooth water for the desert traveler or

that pent-up longing desire and yearning

becomes reality this is truly paradise

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outside it's the little things that

delight the world becomes quiet late

afternoon is when the desert reveals its

real splendor its harshness the stifling

heat blowtorch white light parching wind

all disappear

for a while the desert reveals nothing

but exquisite softness

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now heading east

it's the vastness of the Gibson desert

that swallows up our convoy throwing up

surprises groves of desert Oaks are

followed by extensive grass plants

followed by wild flower gardens in full

bloom

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rangelands like islands in a vast sea of

spinifex sand invite and show the gibson

desert is anything but ordinary

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after a long stretch through flat

spinifex country the desert delivers the

last surprise of the day a strange park

like landscape at the edge of an

ephemeral lake

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endless planes big skies the scale is

magnificent and intimidating it's the

deserts way of putting us in our place

and reminding us that we're here only

for a brief visit

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to make its point even more clearly the

desert add salt to the mix it's a subtle

threat camouflaged a stark glory

enhanced by deep colors of a seeking Sun

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change is now on the way rocky outcrops

in Hills begin to interrupt the monotony

and add depth to the two-dimensional

landscape for a while the infinite

becomes finite

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the Mulga forest stretches to the

horizon amongst the trees we find our

private little niches then the

approaching night once again brings us

back to the soothing crackle and comfort

of our welcome and warming fire it's the

last night with his alluring desert

until we succumb in return again

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you