Saturday, 14 July 2012

Dune Runes to First Dutch Explorer, Uncle Dirk

Geraldton holds memories of crashing surf on endless beaches, bordered by dunes of low scrub. Varied access points from residential areas all seemed to have weathered wooden fence posts joined by lengths of wrist-thick rope, festooned with rainbow remnants of aged cords, cables and rope bits found washed up on the shores. Any beachcomber's stroll would produce handfuls of rope lengths lost by fishing boats, which seemed to have become a spontaneous folk art/ecological display when attached to the rope cables that fenced the dune access trails. Mysterious myriad knots and color patterns, beaten to faded frays, seemed to hold important coded messages; echoes of mariner rhymes, if only one could solve them. I missed the photo op, but hold the vivid memory.
An excellent museum of maritime artifacts held our interest for half a day as imaginations engaged in real tales of treasure, shipwrecks and lost lives from 400 years earlier. A pewter replica of Dirk Hartog's famous plate, left as a marker of the first European to land on Australian shores in 1616, had to be purchased for posterity. Who knows if he really was an ancestor of the den Hartigh clan? It's very possible proof of the link, bearing further genealogical research. Heady stuff for a personal inquiry for Kees, not just dusty facts from history books. The search continues for him, with dreams to view the original plate, next time we are in Amsterdam.
We camped near the shores of a vivid pink lake, strange and yet not surprising, in this land down under, south of Jurian Bay. A rare non-toxic cytobacteria created the uncanny pepto bismal appearance. We hoped for much more than an average sunset and tepid showers, but the tiny Port Douglas Caravan Park held no other
appeal. Even the hungry wedge tailed eagle, hovering elegantly on updrafts as he scanned for prey, found little of interest and soon moved on.
Perhaps we were travel weary, but the thought of a side trip to the geological anomalies of The Pinnacles didn't sound promising. Acres of ochre formations, fingers of rock pointing skyward as if warning of impending aerial attack, were remarkable sights in an otherwise tedious landscape.
We took photos and pushed on.

No comments:

Post a Comment