The walk is a steep and rocky ascent up a natural, rugged water course. The blazing sun brings relentless heat, but we can turn around at any point in the hike to see the ocean down below. Pushing through this wild frontier land, abundant with iconic boab trees, our hosts tell stories of lore and culture that have been passed down for thousands of years.
The destination ahead is the Ngumbree art gallery hidden high up in the escarpment. This gallery is abundant with ochre paintings covering the rock overhangs and ancient walls. The paintings depict Wandjina figures that are symbols of fertility and rain. Wandjina have been continuously painted on rock surfaces along the Kimberley coast for the past 5 thousand years and are not found anywhere else in Australia.
These natural art galleries are sacred places and to see them in the wilderness is a spiritual experience that truly awakens your wonder.
FAVOURITE SCENT MEMORY
High up in the mountains, far away from the pollutants of industry, Greek Orthodox monks bottle oil from organic olives and resins they hand-collected from the surrounds of their monastery. These monastic oils are created for spiritual, ritual and healing purposes.
I have a deep friendship with someone who comes from the same Greek village as my family. We sat beside each other, one afternoon, and grieved the loss of his mother. He opened a small bottle of Mount Athos olive oil that had been infused with Myrrh and Frankincense. Myrrh is said to symbolise the tenderness of the heart and is emotionally grounding and calming. He rubbed it into my forehead, like a blessing, and then into my inner wrists. The aroma was mystical and exotic, like the kind you expect to waft through an Arabian bazaar; smoky, woody, earthy, sweet, and citrusy.
Later this year we’ll be celebrating the creation of the second fragrance we’ve created for Paspaley. Stay tuned.