“Walla walla. Walla Lalla!”. That is what it sounds like repeated over and over! But Camel Man is actually shouting “leave the dog alone leave the dog alone!”. The wind, Camel Man’s mosquito net and that fact that he is just about toothless slightly muffles his words!
A truly surreal encounter just happened upon us. How did Camel Man enter the lives of the CAKE09 crew all so suddenly? Let us backtrack!
Casey Smith, Rod Thomas and yours truly are on the second leg of the CAKE09 – Cape Leveque and Karijini Expedition – in Western Australia. We have left Broome early morning, our destination is Karijini with a stopover in the mining town of Marble Bar. Having heard many great things about the landscape on the Boreline Dirt Road we leave the bitumen of the Great Western Highway and cut across to Marble Bar through the Pilbara region outback.
The Boreline dirt road and the Pilbara landscape do not disappoint. Almost instantly we are treated to this view of infinity:
Rather than a thousand of my words this image perfectly describes the gorgeous wide open spaces of the Pilbara region outback. Like the smell of Camel Man it is breathtaking. And then…
“Walla walla!” Like in a Sci-Fi movie we spot an alien incoming vessel, press our faces against the window of our spaceship (Toyota Landcruiser) and exclaim “what IS that?” cracking huge smiles. It’s a camel. It’s a car. It’s a man. It is. Camel Man! Casey halts the Troopie and we jump out, cameras ready. Again; the image tells it better than words. Two camels, a cut up car with a license plate that read SHIT HAPPENS, a dog with some sort of muzzle and … Camel Man!
A toothless fella who appears to have been living this lifestyle for some time, sharing his space with the hundreds of flies buzzing around his mosquito net covered head. He very obviously does not want us touch his dog. No worries. I love dogs more than anything and even I would not really want to touch this poor muzzled mutt. Oh, and in a classic case of not getting the job done I only manage a few frames and no video. Some photographer. It was over too quick and too surreal! We should have reversed and filmed the great Camel Man in his element, the Pilbara Outback. “Walla walla” was quickly adopted by Rod and I still find myself saying “walla lalla” and laughing out loud at the memories of Camel Man and CAKE crew roaming the universe!
Still smiling from our Camel Man encounter we venture further down the Boreline road. A friend had told me this road was home to some incredible landscapes and the Boreline road continues to amaze us. Magnificent cloudscapes, wide open spaces and deep red rocks and dirt road. I am in heaven.
The Boreline is a dirt road but used by the mining companies so it is in great condition and highly recommended. We arrive high on adventures in the outback mining town of Marble Bar around 3pm and start scouting for the caravan park. Should be easy enough to spot. But the adventures of this day are far from over as we somehow simply cannot find the caravan park in this small town! Follow our next adventures in the upcoming part II, CAKE crew look for the caravan park in Marble Bar!
This is told in travel story style as I am practicing this writing style for my upcoming nomadic adventure.
Rod Thomas tells the Camel Man story much funnier than me (with a better shot as well) on his blog. Casey Smith has a great 617 panorama shot of the Pilbara rocks here.