For a week I camped in my Toyota High Ace Campervan at the Carnarvon Gorge National Park at a Caravan Park at the foot of the Gorge beside a river flowing strongly over pebbles that Koreans spent time arranging into stone sculptures.
I went on the walks. You drive, or walk, to the Main Office and take the walk from there. All the walks start at the same place, so I decided to go for the longest one, or as far as I could walk in the one day and return.
I met up with a man along the way so I had company for a while then he went back and I continued to see the Aboriginal Paintings/ I had to climb up quite steeply to get to the paintings. I was disappointed to just see hand-prints of the Aborigines in orange and yellow ochre and said so to some other tourists there and started to walk back. I had almost got to the stepping stone, (pictured above) when something made me pause and as I did a huge branch fell down just missing me and leaving me quite shaken.
I continued to the water and took a step onto the first stone, when I felt my foot being grabbed and I lost balance, and amazingly I was able to jump from stone to stone trying to keep balance before I steadied and made my way to the other side where I sat at the edge on the rock quite shaken by almost falling into the water.
I decided I had had enough and started walking back to the return track when I realized I was lost. I felt I had to cross the river and started walking across to find myself getting deeper and also into muddier sands. I thought I reached the other side and started walking back through soft sands sinking to almost my knee and climbing over branches and at one part through another waterway trying to find someone to follow.
I eventually saw a group sitting by the side on the rocks and made my way across to them to learn I was back where I had started falling, the stone steps across the river that led to the Paintings. I told them I had lost my way and as they were returning, could I please follow them. They were a close knit group who did not really want me to join their party but I was too shaken and needed to. I sat apart from them while they finished their picnic and waited. A lady came and gave me a chocolate. Finally they left and I followed them back until I was on a familiar track when I said thank you and went ahead back to the Central point and my vehicle.
I had spoken with an aboriginal ranger before I left who had told me about the spirituality of the place and that I would feel the spirits there.
I returned the next day to speak with him.
I thought about the experience wondering if I had been attacked by a cheeky spirit because of my lack of reverence for their art.
Then I also realised that as well as the cheeky spirit, I had also encountered a kind spirit who had thwarted each attempt to make me fall.
That was my explanation for me surviving each event..missing the falling branch, dodging the rocks and not getting totally lost.
It was an interesting experience but I did not want to visit the Arena because I would have to repeat my footsteps. I chose not to do this. I had enough of tangling with spirits I could not see.