Having seen some spectacular landscapes in Spain like the fabulous Montserrat or the hill country around Toledo and the Windmalls of La Mancha, I appreciate that most countries have their enchanted places that authors often write about. What I found though in Spain is that it is hard to find a landscape without the obvious presence of some human settlement. Australia in contrast offeres wilderness views in many location where human history appears to be absent.
For those who read Cave Hill it will be obvious that the Carnarvon Ranges in Queensland is a special place for me. Here is the first paragraph in Part I of the story:
ACROSS THE CENTRE of Queensland there lies a rugged sweep of sandstone
landscape. It is Garinbal and Bidjara country – wild, spectacular, moody. Few people live
there and few people know of it except for onesmall segment, the much-visited wonder that is the Carnarvon Gorge.
It’s a region that excites the bushwalker with breathtaking vistas and imposing cliff lines: cliff lines that shine brilliant white in full sun, yet at dawn or in the evening light up in colours that mirror the beauty of the winter sunsets – pinks,purples, and gold. Trampers adore the spring-fedtrickling streams, the secretive moss gardens hugging the wet sandstone walls of the narrow side canyons, and the stately groves of cabbage-tree palms that grace the main valley floors. They ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’ as the spectacles pile up and their cameras
flash hoping for the right light and exposure to capture those magic moments.