Every time Kevin and I go on a road trip it takes us a couple of days to unwind. The thought of just doing nothing on that first night on the road doesn’t feel natural, so we frantically try to keep busy. Kevin chops fire wood with an axe as if we need a stockpile for a long hard winter and I’m so highly strung that I frantically pace around the campsite looking for something to do.
It’s a weird feeling and it’s purely because we need time to mentally adjust from the hectic pace and pressure of our normal work lives to this carefree, casual and new relaxed way of living.
From previous experience we know it will take three days; three days until we stop looking for our watches, before we lose the structure of our days and just go with the flow of life well lived.
So we have built it into the start of our journey.
Mental unwind commences at Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill Gorge)National Park, one and half days of solid driving, 1000km from Cairns. Why that far away you may ask? Sure we could just chill at some ‘really nice’ place nearby but we don’t want to start such an awesome adventure with ‘really nice’ we want ‘extraordinary’. Extraordinary describes Lawn Hill Gorge to perfection.
We have already visited this amazing place on numerous occasions. It draws us back time and time again. If I had a place on this earth that I consider my sacred place, well Lawn Hill Gorge is it. It has a rich Aboriginal history that supports this notion. It has been sacred to the Waanyi Aborginal people for 17 000 years and inside the perfect silence of the gorge dwells Boodjamulla, The Rainbow Serpent.
The scenery is striking especially considering the landscape around Lawn Hill. Classic Gulf Savannah, it’s flat and treeless from horizon to horizon. Marginal cattle country that’s remote, dry, dusty and sunburnt. Yet, like an oasis in the desert, Lawn Hill Gorge exists. Rich blue skies, red ochre gorge walls, lime green crystal clear spring water and ancient ‘Livistona Australis’ cabbage palm trees make this place a paradise, worth every long boring kilometre of dusty road to get there
So for three days we will immerse ourselves in this serenity. We will burn off pent up mental agitation by hiking the various walking tracks, canoeing through the first and second gorges, by sunset picnics with jaw dropping views and by the blissful night silence of the ‘generator free’ campground far, far away from traffic and city lights.
And then we get to turn left.
Each time we leave Lawn Hill we have to turn right and head homewards towards Cairns. Left is the Northern Territory border and we always desperately long to turn left but time has been our enemy. It’s going to be a monumental occasion for us to leave Lawn Hill this time because with all the time in the world we WILL turn left. And it will be the best feeling in our newly unwound state.