Taistealaí at the Marella Gorge

I bought a new car last week. A second hand 1995 series 80 Toyota Landcruiser.  These are widely believed to be the best ever Toyota off road vehicle. Good ones are still sought after.  They have a reputation for rugged reliability and dependable performance.  

I think I got a good deal with this one.  I am the third owner.  It has been obsessively well maintained, it has a lift kit, bull bars, tow hitch and trailer brake attachments, second deep cycle battery, enhanced lights, CB radio, long range subsidiary fuel tank, extra power points for accessories,  and low mileage for its age.  It can seat 6.  With the back seats down there is room for a heap of cargo.  It is also big enough to sleep in. 

After a shakedown cruise today in the tough Kimberley outback, I believe my new car proved to be a very good buy indeed. She got a real workout on the rough Duncan road as well as some rock crawling, steep climbing and off-road bush bashing. It handles well and feels far better than the Colorado.   The suspension is tip-top.  It rides well in the rough, the gearbox is tight and the steering  firm.  The 4.2 litre 6 cylinder Diesel engine purrs happily with plenty of power and without chewing through too much fuel. From its performance travelling about 380k in 4WD all day today I estimate the two fuel tanks should take me around 1200k or more for about $200 at current Halls Creek fuel prices.

 I decided it needs a name.

I shall call it Taistealaí  (Pronounced tash ta l’ee)
It means “traveller”in Irish.

Marella

We visited Marella Gorge today, with kind permission of the station owners on whose land the gorge lies.   Here is a view of the Nicholson river from above:

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That shadowy shape in the water at 4 o’clock from the rocky island is a large crocodile that sank below the surface just before we could take a photo. That seems to happen to me a lot.  I did not realise I had actually caught it in the picture after all, until I viewed it at home on my laptop.

We could not be sure whether it was a freshie or salty, but its size suggests the latter. As we did not know for sure, we decided not to swim today. Freshies are quite safe to swim with, as long as you do not corner or threaten them. They eat fish.  A Saltwater Croc on the other hand, is another matter entirely.  If they are around I would not be comfortable even sitting on the bank near the water.   As salties can and do come this far inland, it pays to be cautious.  A long trip on a hot day, just for the view. But totally worth it.

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marella

 

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Author: Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.

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