Written By: Gary Wonning
July 7th, This was to be our last day in the outback of Australia, I was beginning to feel as though I didn’t want to go back to the states, this felt like home to me.
Our final stop of the day before traveling to the Alligator River campground to camp for the night was to be at Jabiru, a new uranium mining town in Kakadu National Park.
The Australian government is trying to correct some of the mistakes that we Americans created in dealing with our American Indians.
The Australian government has decided that when any minerals are found on Aboriginal Land, the wealth is shared with the native peoples. The city of Jabiru is one such instance of this policy being put into effect.
It is a very modern city with beautiful parks and lakes.
After having lunch at one of the many outdoor restaurants, we were looking forward to an afternoon off, spending it swimming in a large lake nearby. It would have been a welcome relief after spending six grueling days traveling the outback of Australia.
It was about this time that Mark, our driver suggested that if we wanted to see one more sacred Aboriginal Site, he would be willing to drive us.
Many things began racing through my mind, we had visited many ancient sites in the last month and I really didn’t want to see any more, you see one, you’ve seen them all.
The swimming sounded really refreshing, but what the heck, I could go swimming at home next week if I wanted, this was my last day in The Land of Oz, I wanted to enjoy it to the max. I knew deep down that this was going to be a very special afternoon. Being in the outback for almost a month, I was unaware of the date, July 7th, 1989, I was about to discover would be a highlight in my search for truth, and the reason I came to Australia. (Hilda had reminded me of this months ago, but it had slipped my mind.)
Besides that, everyone knows that all the rivers in Australia are filled with crocodiles and after swimming in those uranium infested waters I would probably glow like a porch light all night.
With that in mind, nine of us boarded the bus for the bumpy, dusty forty miles of dirt road that lay ahead. Sitting near the back of the bus I had plenty of time to contemplate what lay ahead and what it would all mean to me. As we bounced along the dusty road occasionally crossing crocodile infested creeks and rivers it seemed as though I was going back in time, to a time long forgotten, a time remembered only in the Aboriginal Dreamtime. I was a little awed at what was going on around me, I could sense and see the other people on the bus, but it was as though I wasn’t really a part of their reality and they perhaps weren’t part of mine.
The dust from the road filtered into the bus and a red layer settled on everyone and everything. At times when passing another vehicle, yes there were others out here, it became so dusty in the bus that we could barely see the driver. At these times it seemed as though we were passing into another dimension.
It was at this time that I felt as if I was actually alone with no one else sharing my experience. I could actually feel my body become lighter and lighter, at the same time becoming less aware of the surroundings around me, becoming acutely aware of the sacred lands we were passing through, and the warning not to enter without permission of the tribal elders.
My thoughts were interrupted by a sudden jerk and a screeching of brakes, the bus was coming to a stop, we had reached our destination, Ubirr Rock, the home of Lightning Man, a very powerful figure from the Aboriginal Dreamtime.
Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.
His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.
He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.
He has published several books about his adventures.
For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.
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