Munja - a three part story - Off Track Wines

Munja - a three part story

Perhaps when we saw the remnants of the last car that had attempted the Munja Track [featured image] we should have turned around, but we had watched 4 Wheeling Adventure The Kimberley, part 5/9 and we were determined to visit this remote outpost of Australia and see the Walcott Inlet water flow.  

Leaving the camper trailers at Mount Elizabeth Station, we headed westerly towards the coast.  The aim was to take 2 days to get to the inlet.  As we headed into Bob's Camp (halfway) the track was pretty clear, having just had the seasonal burn-off things were going swimmingly.  Arriving and settling at camp without a hitch, other than our charcoal covered feet.

As we began day 2, spirits were high.  We trundled along the track, the rock steps became bigger, the creek crossings a little more challenging and eventually the Hilux (not yet named) hit its first challenge. 

Crossing a creek, the sound of the wheel popping as it hit a rock was loud enough for the passengers in Thor to hear.  And boy was it is hit - the inside rim was wrecked!  

Part 1 - the wheel is destroyed

Spare wheel replaced and we were on the track again.  More aware of the remoteness of our situation and beginning to think about options should things continue in this vein. 

Part 2 - wing mirror down

Then, WACK, and the wing mirror on the Hilux detached from the side of the car and hung limply by its door.  Attached by the electronic wiring that allows one to adjust the angle of the mirror as driving.  Perhaps not particularly useful at this point as it needed to be cut to allow the mirror to be placed in purgatory until it could expiate its sins and be returned to the vehicle and wiring re-attached. 

The two families (both with young children) were beginning to question the logic of a visit to this remote place.  The grass was over vehicle high, snakes rushed regularly across the track. 

Eventually we made it to the Walcott Inlet and the tidal flow was intense.  Despite all the preparation, reading, YouTube watching and respect given to nature, I can honestly say we hadn't appreciated natures forces as the tide changed and the water flew back inland.  

As we sought a campsite for the night each spot we identified (including the 4Wheeling campsite) left us unsure if we wanted to sleep in swags anywhere near the Inlet.  Except that there really wasn't any option to returned to Bob's camp or even any sites we had seen before arriving at the Inlet.  

So when in doubt ... keep travelling ... and further along the track we found a largely abandoned airstrip where the grass was shorter and it seemed to be far enough away from the rushing water and the associated apex predator/s. 

It was only when we put the drone into the air a little later that we realised we weren't particularly far from any water source (images campsite looking south & looking north from campsite).

Campsite Looking South 

That night, after we had the kids asleep, we sat listening to the sounds of crocodile jaws snapping and birds squawking.  Let's suggest there wasn't a lot of sleep that night.  

Please don't misunderstand, we would do it again in a heart beat, we definitely felt alive!

However, it couldn't finish there, we still have one [missing] 'part' to add to the story.  As we made our way back to Mount Elizabeth, we had a piece of wood that we wanted to keep to build a Swedish fire log, and so Hilux (beginning to form its official name) tied the log in with the brand new chairs that had been purchased just before the trip and were being lugged across Australia for that little bit of luxury.  With reclining function, cup and wine glass holders, a bit of cushioning and generally making Thor feel quite jealous.

No fear however, the Munja Track wasn't quite finished.  As we travelled along the track with its rock steps, creek crossing and gorgeous scenery, Munja took its third victim and when we arrived at Mount Elizabeth we discovered that not only had the log fallen from the top of Munja [yes, the name has stuck] but also the luxury chairs and tonneau cover used to wrap the precious log.

Part 3 … 4 & 5 - the luxury chairs, tonneau cover and Swedish fire log

That night around the campfire we needed a few can's of The River is Calling [at that time known as Bolle Felici] to commiserate the lost chair and log, broken wheel and mirror. 

However, it was the discovery that when you loose a chair a swag is not a bad replacement that bought us the most joy and laughter, along with the best pasta meal of the trip.

The legend of Munja [Hilux] lives on as we continue our journey/s around the epic land. 


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