Mallee, mountains and the Silver City

- escaping the grind, 2010

The drought is waning, at least temporarily. Rivers flow again with vigour, desert dunes are flush with wildflowers, and birds are returning to lakes recently dry. To stand amid this revival of nature is the motivation behind 'Escaping the grind, 2010', which will be predominantly a bush-camping experience spread over 5 weeks.

Trip route
The proposed route of my journey

The original concept of this trip also included a cycle tour through the Flinders Ranges and flight across the rare shimmering water of Lake Eyre after flood. But the circumstances which guide life's decisions have changed a little since those early days, and these shall wait for another day.

As the plan currently stands, the journey will begin with four to five days in Hattah-Kulkyne National Park. It will be my fourth visit to the virtually untouched mallee wilderness, where the stay has never failed to bring tranquility to a busy mind.

North, then, to Broken Hill where a couple of days will be spent looking around a city developed on one of the worlds richest mineral deposits. In addition to many an exhibit dedicated to reliving the mining history of the area, there is apparently a thriving arts community within the 'Silver City'.

Leaving the comfort of a motel for a reunion with my tent (and the flies?), the proposed trip heads north to Mutawintji National Park. This park, which maintains strong links to its Aboriginal heritage, is known for the beautiful but rugged Byngnano Range and the many gorges which lie within it. A visit here is a late addition to the itinerary.

The route then heads back south to Menindee Lakes in Kinchega National Park and a slow kayak along the recently revitalised Darling River. Bird numbers not seen in many years await, or so the reports suggest.

Finally it is off to the beautiful Grampians National Park. Refreshed from four days of hiking and cycling I return to Melbourne to confront the backyard jungle - remembered once as a lawn.

Yes, this may well have been the most boring travelogue you will have read, but please do come back! For the first time I am going to try and maintain an online, annotated daily photo diary and with any luck I might manage the occasional passable photograph. There may, of course, be a few days delay in updating the diary if I can't get any mobile internet connection (no phone access is a nice part of the wilderness experience!).

Links will be made available from this page.

The trip diary

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