As it is said, plans were made to be changed/amended..whatever and so it was with ours. I finished work in Tennant Creek but decided at the last minute to forego my trip to Perth in order to take a more leisurely pace on the drive back to Peppimenarti. Not that there is much to see along the way that I haven't seen many times before so I set off at lunchtime Friday and was in Katherine by dinner time. Overnighted in The Beagle which is our accomodation of choice in Katherine and after quick load up of, hopefully, 4 weeks of groceries set off again.
At the turn-off to Edith Falls I wheeled off the highway to relive an event from nearly 35 years ago. I was working at Katherine Gorge, as it was known then, as a tour guide and had a lot of contact with the local indigenous people. One in particular, name withheld for privacy reasons, asked one day if I would like to see some rock paintings that no tourists had ever seen. I was very keen so took him up on the offer and we set off towards Edith Falls with my guide directing the way.
Shortly after turning off the highway he got me to stop the vehicle and we walked only a few hundred metres off the road to some rocky outcrops. Here was found a variety of rock art, some pretty ordinary but some quite reasonable One outcrop had a huge boulder leaning at an angle on another rock making quite a sheltered area underneath and my guide said that the "old people" used to live here.
Long story short, 35 years later I was able to locate the outcrops with the art still as it was all those years ago. Since my original visit there has been a high voltage power line run quite near the site. I wondered if any of the workers had investigated these rocks and were they even aware of the ancient artwork's presence next to where they were working. As I walked back to my car the contrail of a high level passenger jet was passing overhead and I couldn't help but wonder what other changes these painting will see over the coming years.