ArnaudBarras.ch ArnaudBarras.ch

ArnaudBarras.ch

Critical, creative and digital writingEcriture critique, créative et numérique

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05 June

1300 – Windjana Gorge National Park: CarI made it here in one piece. The road was easy enough. Much easier than yesterday. The route to Windjana Gorge is the "Tourist Way" after all. At first sight I'm a bit disappointed by the campground. Nothing fancy there, but a lot of people: around a dozen caravans. I'm less anti-tourist as two days ago during my first night in the hostel in Broome. This is the reason why. After my trip to Coulomb Point, I decided to spend the next of the afternoon at Cable Beach. I took a swim, and after a few minutes a guy came to talk to me. Matt was his name He had noticed me the day before and was himself feeling a bit lonely. So we talked and had a beer. It was nice. Then, back at the hostel I met my new dorm mates, two girls from Germany. Karina and Nadine. We had dinner along with Emma and Matt (who were both going on a tour today). Then we had a few drinks. It was good fun, and clearly helped raise my morale. The trip from Broome to Derby was uneventful. Beautiful landscapes though. The trip from Derby to Windjana Gorge was much better, what with the thousands of termite mounds, the herds of stray cattle scattered all along the road, the red clay and dust that surrounded my car as I drove along. I'm about to go explore the gorge and see the fresh water crocodile. I'll be back soon! 1441 – Windjana Gorge, Trail This is the sound of my own life. I am here, in the Windjana Gorge, by myself. And, it is beautiful. I don't wanna write these words. I want my voice to be part of this environment for a while. I love it. It's so majestic, so beautiful, so quiet, so devoid of humanity and modernity. Or so it seems. There are signs that actually show me the way. Signs that make up the trail. The only trace of life is frozen in time. Signs of life. That is, not alive. 1553 – Windjana Gorge National Park: CarI'm back and totally unimpressed by the freshwater croc. They were so little and cute. But still retaining a bit of the frighteningness, I have to admit. I'm impressed by my lack of shape. The 7km walk was difficult, but nothing I couldn't handle. It was just painful, which must be caused by my lack of exercise for the past few months. Anyways, I had a really good time. I'm now exhausted and contemplating my week. I realise I need to write about the environment of the gorge. But I don't have the words yet. 1639 – Windjana Gorge National Park: CarI am alone in the middle of 30 caravans. I thought that the Kimberley was remote, but I realise it is packed with tourists. AM I one of them? Or perhaps am I a traveler rather than a tourist? What is the difference anyway? Perhaps the traveler is more reflective. Perhaps he does more than consume the landscape. The traveler has a purpose that is more than simple consumption. The traveler goes on a journey of the body, but of the mind too. What is my purpose in this journey through the Kimberley? I guess one purpose is to compare how experiencing Australia relates to reading about Australia. Well I think I've got some sort of answer/comment to that one. The Kimberley I read about in To The Islands is not the same as the one I'm experiencing right now. Country in TTI was about solitude and isolation and alienation. I've tried to do that, but it's hard to find a spot where you can be all that while having a nice time. I guess the motivation behind your journey determines to a large extent the nature of it. I'm having a hard time separating my analysis from my life. I guess it's a good thing in a sense. It's what I was looking for coming here. It's just that I thought it would be more "intimate". I have trouble dismissing the fact that all those folks around me are completely unaware of these literary works that are so important to me. It's as if I lived in a parallel dimension of space-time, noticing things they don't. I'm attentive to my surroundings; I'm reading the signs of life and reflecting on this experience. They're just, well … there. It's now 17h04. The sun is no longer visible. My neighbors are making preparations for dinner. And I… am writing to myself about my "experiment", my "initiation", my "journey" and my attitude towards it. No one to talk to, only others to observe. My mind is a strange country.