I leave Niagara Dam to checkout rock formations near a small town of Kookynie, about 20km further east on the dirt road. When I get there, not any sign or other indication of those rock formations I read about. I walk into the old Pub and straight away get a scolding for walking on der frshly washed floor which was not appearant when coming into the dark hallway. She was friendly enough and points me in the right direction: "… follow that road for about 2 miles, cross the cattle grid and keep goin' until you get to the second grid, cross that and then follow the track on your left for about 5km…" Good enough, a few more miles of dirt will be alright. The country around me is still flat, very dry and the growth of scrub is sparse, surprising even, that ANYTHING would be growing in this parched land. There are signs of flodding though, sand that has been washed into dried-up rivulets some time ago.
The rock formations are very beautiful and absolutely worth the trip.
I find one other 'traveller' climbing the rocks and we exchange our surprise and take some pictures, me with her camera, she with mine so I can also see myself inside one of my own pictures.
you didn't know I was THAT powerful, did you?
There are all these piled up rocks of quite astonishing size and brilliant colours in the middle of this flat landscape.
Quite interesting also to see that most of the rocks seem to be made up of layers of stone, almost like a crust that has formed around them, as if the rocks had at one time been very hot and as it cooled down fairly rapidly from the outside the cooled layers separated from the main rock itself. What really happened I don't know, its just a way of trying to explain what I see.
The next stop on my plan of places to visit is Lake Ballard. This means that I have to retrace my steps, first back to the main highway, from there about 50km back to the township of Menzies that I passed through on my way up to Niagara Dam. At Menzies I re-fuel ($1.88 as against $1.70 at Kalgoorlie) then drive down a badly corrugated road towards Lake Ballard, a dried up salt lake, where an artist has placed 52 statues seemingly randomly all over this lake. When I get there, only 2 tourists with a rental car from Perth are out there on the lake. Its quite desolate with the heat shimmering in the distance of the white salt surface. A dome shaped hill seems to overlook the place, so I decide to take a walk to the top, giving me a vantage point for a different kind of view. I do feel very small in this environment. Signs on the shore point out that to take 4 litres of water per person if one should want to take the full tour across the lake. I check out two of the statues but find them not attractive or inspiring enough to wanting to venture out further on the lake.
View across Lake Ballard
I am already thirsty as I have finished my bottle of soft drink I have brought from my van. Its already 4.00pm and I decide to look for a campsite. Needless to say, no amenities at this place (yet), so I drive a few kilometres back the way I came, where I had seen a side road leading away from the main road. This turns out ok and I make it my place to stay for the night.