Featuring: Diane, Mark and our awesome Aboriginal guides – Bundy, Brian and Robert
The story as it unfolded
“Dawn. The sun rises over a beautiful bay. Mark enjoys the view from the balcony of the safari tent. He turns to Diane who is still in bed, her eyes open gently. ‘So… what do you want to do today?’
A 4WD cruises along the pristine beach. The camera rises up to reveal they are the only people for miles. They look out the car window at the waves breaking just metres away. A feeling of freedom is evident.
Brian guides them through the mystical mangrove forest. The roots of the trees are covered in oysters. Brian gives a machete to Mark, and Diane laughs in fun at him playing the role of the hunter-gatherer. Together, Mark and Brian carve the oysters off the tree and Diane swallows one fresh.
Suddenly there is excitement all around. Mark grabs the spear and moments later he holds a giant mud crab up to Diane and her smile is a mile wide.
Brian cooks up a rustic but elegant bush meal with fresh Mangrove Jack and mud crabs on a beautiful rock shelf in Hunters Creek. The connection they make with Brian as he cooks is one of equals. They are sinking deeper and deeper into the Aboriginal way of life.”
Behind the scenes…
I love coming back to the easy going way of life of the ‘Salt Water People’ at Cape Leveque, which calms my soul in spite of the action packed couple of days we had here. We managed to capture the sea kayaking at Lombadina’s beautiful remote beach, as well as the exhilarating action of reeling in fish thick and fast on their charter boat – where we were accompanied by dolphins.
We attempted to capture on film the magic of a wine at sundown… looking out over the turquoise ocean whilst the air around us is slowly illuminated in a stunning ochre hue, as the setting sun bounces of the deep red cliffs.
Waking up to the beautiful glow of dawn and watching the sun rise over the eastern beach from the deck of the safari tent, I am wondering just how we will edit this footage down to a three minute film. Later in the day we head off to nearby Hunters Creek mud crabbing and eating oysters, catching Mangrove Jack in the creek and swimming in the warm, crystal clear waters filled with fish. We finished the day cooking up the mud crabs and fish on a rock shelf watching the sunset over the water. Our wonderful Bardi guides explained the tidal systems, wildlife, bush food and seasons.
As this was the end of the shoot, we were all really emotional. This is how Mark and Dianne summed up their experiences:
“The trip was amazing! I don’t know that any words really encapsulate how incredible it was. We don’t want to go home. We’re going to disappear into the wilderness… I could say it was a profound experience on every level. Surreal comes to mind. I just can’t describe it.
The average person would be blown away. I mean we were blown away. I’ve been here before but am still blown away. I think we’ve both travelled quite a bit and seen some beautiful and amazing places… but here there is something that really resonates with your soul.
Just being in touch with the land, and the people that know the land, and learning from them. Even yesterday we were learning more about bush tucker, survival, things you can eat, and just how they’ve known about this for thousands of years, it’s incredible. And their synchronicity with nature. From tides to animal behaviour, to bird behaviour. There was a bird calling at about, [I’m not sure]… sunset and it was calling a certain call because the tide was moving out and it was time for the birds to go get the water, drink their water before the water disappeared, and you’re just thinking they were letting each other know.
You think how you’ve lost that connection with the land, with the animals, with the birdlife, with nature. You lose that in the cities and you come to a place like this and all of a sudden it’s overwhelming. It’s quite an emotional experience.”
Next I look back and take measure of my own personal transformation… Kristi!