I’m a keen yoga practitioner. My practice moves between Sydney and my new home in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.
Last week I was back at yoga in Sydney after a 3-week break and my teacher said, “where have you been?” “I’m just back from 3 amazing weeks in the Simpson Desert, communing with nature, driving the fabulous sand dunes and basking in the wildflower covered slopes.” Being at one with nature. She said, “you’ve got to write about that”. And so I am.
When I visited Central Australia for the first time over 20 years ago, the land touched me – it’s age, history, ruggedness, beauty and timelessness. I could see the aboriginal songlines in it. I heard there was a big red desert to the south, the Simpson. I promised myself I would go there one day.
It was the beginning of a serious love affair with this land, our magnificent country. I discovered, as a fire sign, I am a very grounded person and I am happiest when I am walking in our land. It speaks to my soul. It started with driving in the Kimberley, followed by walking the Larapinta Trail, visiting Kakadu and Arnhem Land, trekking the Jatbula Trail, then the glorious Flinders Ranges and finally driving through the Simpson Desert. I don’t think it will be my last visit to the outback.
Unbeknown to us, there had been heavy rain 2 weeks before our scheduled departure. It was possible the trip could have been called off. But as luck would have it, the tracks dried up and the rain presented us with firm sand dunes and a green, fertile vista everywhere we went. It carpeted the dunes and their valleys with yellow, white and purple wild flowers, which grew more intense as our journey progressed from west to east. It had been 4 years since the desert had presented itself with such finery.
With good planning we managed to eat fresh whole foods every day, avoiding freeze-dried and processed food. My body thanked me for that.
There was no mobile or internet reception, no showers or toilets for 5 days. So we were completely at one with nature – the sun, brisk breezes, spectacular sunsets, cold nights, star studded skies and finally a glorious full moon. I tried to read and write when in the desert. It wasn’t possible. It demanded I be at one with it. It freed my head of any thought, planning or wanting. It was a truly amazing experience.
To top it off, I drove over half the 1100 sand dunes we climbed and traversed during our trip, trusting myself, my training and our vehicle. (My husband drove the rest.) It truly was a great adventure, requiring courage and confidence. Fulfilling a dream of 20 years.
Jill Keyte is passionate about health, vitality and making a difference to people who want a natural, quality life where they are well, fit, energised and feel vital. My knowledge comes from my wellness training and and life experience.