Kimberley, Western Australia Part One Boab Trees
Not everyone can afford to fly to see different places in the world. I always thought I was going to be one of those people. I never dreamed that I was going to leave the United States and explore other parts of the world. When I was in the fifth grade, we did a study on Australia. I used to imagine that I would go to a sheep station and help run it but I knew that was just a child’s fantasy.
This trip that I am going to be talking about in this blog was inspired by a book Adam and I read together called “Tears Of The Moon” by Di Morrissey. I have mentioned this previously in the blog “Under the Milky Way”. We flew direct from Sydney to Broome, but I wanted us to stay in Derby first before we explored Broome. Adam reserved a 4×4 automatic Land Cruiser for us to run around in because he knew from all the things we read that this would be the best vehicle for us to travel in. I was confident driving in Australia by then but it was all new territory and I hadn’t driven a manual in years. We even brought our Tom-Tom with us so I wouldn’t have to be looking at maps. The drive from Broome to Derby was 2 hours (220 km) if I recall correctly. We had arrived in the evening and the rental was ready for us though Adam really had to push for the automatic. We put in our destination and we were off on our great adventure.
On the drive out of Broome, I am seeing these trees. I know we will go visit the Boab prison tree as well as the longest cattle trough that is near Derby. I just can’t get over these trees that seem to haunt me. It’s not like they are scary or that I am hearing voices but I feel very drawn to these trees. They look as if they are upside down. Words can’t really seem to do justice for this feeling that I have towards boab trees. At the end of this blog I will put a link that will give you a better idea of these magnificent trees.
The tree above is the prison tree that is outside Derby, WA. There are many boabs in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia. No boab is alike. It is true. It is at this moment that I get an inkling of the way aborigines feel about their land. I am definitely not Aborigine. My bloodline is American. My father was full-blooded Cajun and my mom was half-Italian and Irish American but I feel a connection to this land which by all rights I shouldn’t but I do and it’s all because of the boab tree. Maybe I have fallen too in love with the story Di Morrissey wrote yet she didn’t really go in detail about the prison tree. To this day, I still see pictures of Australian boabs and my heart fills with wonder. My mind goes around the lines of what have you witnessed beautiful tree in all the years you have grown. They estimate the boab prison tree to be at least 1500 years old.
I wanted Adam to feel the size of the prison tree but a fence blocked the way because of all the graffiti people had put on the tree. It is very sad for me to see this. We discovered another prison tree on an adventure to Tunnel Creek along the Gibbs River Road. I kept telling him about the huge termite mounds and he got to feel one close to the Derby prison tree. Look at the smile on his face! Adam is 5’9″ to give you an idea of the size of this mound!
We both enjoyed ourselves on that day. I got really introspective. I wish I could do justice to the feeling that I have about the Kimberley region of Western Australia. I think after you see more of what we experienced you too might be filled with awe. The diversity that we are blessed with just amazes me!
If you want to learn more about boab trees, here is the link I told you about: http://www.outback-australia-travel-secrets.com/boab_tree.html