I went to Broken Hill for a "God Outback" desert retreat. It was very fulfilling, and a very challenging experience. Along the way, I met up with "Miss Eagle", a fellow blogger. One of the sights our group saw at Broken Hill was the "Living Desert" sculptures. We stayed at "The Nine Mile", as guests of Greg and Mia. We toured around the property on the first day, with Greg, and tried to take in what it means to be a farmer in an area with an average of "5 inches" of rainfall per annum. Saltbush farming. Coming from Robertson, an area of 60 inches of rainfall, on average, this is an eye-opener.
On the second day, our group visited the Mutawintji National Park. There Ranger Bill, our guide, showed us some of the ancient carved images made by his ancestors. These carvings may be as old as 30,000 years, a thought which is totally awe-inspiring. The remaining days, we visited various parts of the property. Each area of the property was different. In some areas, dry hillsides dominated, the landscape. In others, particularly the creekbed, the huge old River Gums dominated, being the source of life and of nesting holes for hundreds of birds, especially Corellas and Galahs, but also many other smaller birds.
I drove back from Broken Hill, to Robertson, with Miss Eagle, where she met a few of my friends. We helped Celeste launch the Pathway at the CTC in Robertson. The launch went off well, with the Robertson School kids participating, along with many volunteers who had helped Celeste with making and laying of the "Potatoes" (They are ceramic potatoes, by the way, Leo). It is fantastic to see this project come to fruition, having talked with Celeste about her "vision" of the pathway, over such a long time. Congratulations to Celeste and to all the volunteers, and helpers whose assistance made it possible, and also thanks to the Wingecarribee Shire Council.
Special mention is made of the participation of "Aunty Val" Mulcahy, a representative of the Gundungarra people, who not only welcomed visitors to the launch of the Pathway, but who had been involved with Celeste in the design and making of many of the special Aboriginal motif tiles incorporated in the pathway.
After our brief visit back to Robertson, Miss Eagle suggested that I ought accompany her to Melbourne, to see her part of the world. Being a reasonable chappie, I decided to agree. So here I sit, on Miss Eagle's computer, composing my "late note" for the blog.
The "mountain" to which I referred in the title, is of course, both metaphorical and real. Miss Eagle's nest is underneath Mount Dandenong, on the eastern edge of Melbourne.
Eventually I shall return and post a few of the hundreds of photographs I took at the Nine Mile. Be grateful that I am not undertaking to post more than a few. As the group leader, Ian Robinson said at the time, we should regard this experience as being a spiritual journey, not just a tourist experience. And indeed it was, (and continues to be).