Wild, Salty and a little bit Pink

Down I sank, my white sand-shoed feet disappearing deep into the mud. I let out a shriek, more from the squelch and surprise and the feeling that I was going under. Thoughts of quicksand and being dragged under flashed through my mind. Then I yanked my feet out, and bolted, off the precarious shore and to safety.

We’re in the Pink Lakes in the Murray Sunset National Park, the third leg of our recent outback adventure and I hadn’t counted on getting quite so dirty.

Let me backtrack to when we left Mungo.

The Road from Mungo

Arumpo Road from Mungo to Mildura was a slow and bumpy one. We were in no hurry, especially with the temperature forecast to hit the high 30s Celsius. Our car was air conditioned and we were comfy.

Then we hit the dust storm. Visibility dropped to zero and it seemed as good a time as any to pull over. Photo time, click! Rig check, tick. All was well and eventually the red eerie swirling dust dissipated.

From Mildura to Murray Sunset

We hit civilisation around midday and treated ourselves to an Italian lunch in Mildura. For once this little Italian cookie wasn’t doing the cooking! Later, barely an hour off the bitumen past Ouyen, we were off the grid again. Entering Murray Sunset National Park is like Victoria’s own outback. It felt like we were in the middle of nowhere.

Here the sunsets really live up to their name but it’s the landscape that truly steals the show.

A sunset set up

It was close to dusk when we pitched camp. Like at Mungo we were the only ones here, except for the many birds. No roos to welcome us this time, just pure isolation and wide open spaces in a wild untouched landscape.

The salt lakes on the horizon beckoned to be explored but they would wait till after dinner.

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The sunset was soft and subdued but the hues and the white of the salt lake floor were mesmerising. There was no water, not an inch, just pure hard glistening salt.

As the night drew on the wind picked up. It buffeted the tents so we lowered our “dining dome tent” for the night.

As we slept soundly inside our new van, outside the wind blew ferociously.  There’s nothing quite like having sturdy walls around you and a comfy mattress underneath you when Mother Nature’s being a bit temperamental.

We wondered how the boys tents would survive the buffeting but we needn’t have worried. Their tents proved stronger than we could ever have imagined.

A Pink Plateau

We woke the next day, on my sisters birthday, to sunshine and a bit of a breeze. Yes, it was still blowing but calmer and the tents were intact. I brought my sis a cuppa, in her swag! How’s that for room service in the outback?

By mid morning the breeze had picked up again and given our intrepid boys some ideas. A new sport perhaps, pirouetted by the helping wind. So, armed with one of their twelve dollar tents from Kmart, a skateboard and loads of enthusiasm they took to the salt lake winds like seasoned pros.

While we walked from one side of the lake to the other, the boys twisted and skated their way across the lake floor whilst being pirouetted by the tent and wind. It was hilarious to watch them, and a bit surreal too.

It was so windy I wondered what would happen if they lost control of the tent. Sure as the thought crossed my mind, that’s exactly what happened. We watched helplessly from across the lake as it flew, caught by the wind, further and further away from them, as they chased it across the lake floor.

A tree eventually stopped the tent, snagging it just enough to grip it and allow them to rescue it! It didn’t deter them and they continued, taking their intrepid windsurfing skills and ingenuity to a new level.

If anyone is interested I have a video of them in action on my Instagram page.

Amazingly, the tent survived for another night of its intended purpose.

A Therapeutic Foot Spa

It was late morning when I had my (unplanned) salt foot plunge. Yep, that’s when I took a precarious step into a dark patch at nearby Lake Hardy. I found out firsthand that the dark patches were mud, deep, black mud.

My sister thought it was funnier to take photos than to help. And my other half wouldn’t let me back inside his car with my muddy feet. I had to ride back to camp on the back of his tailgate!

Banished from the car but do I care? I’m in for a wild ride on the back

What a crazy ride. I don’t know what got into the other half who decided to put the foot to the metal causing me to hold on for dear life. I was relieved to get back to camp, jump off and find a tap. After I washed the sludge off my feet they felt silky smooth and wonderfully clean. There’s nothing quite like having a salt infused mud foot bath!

Aside from the few seconds of pure panic when I thought I was going under, it was the ultimate outback foot spa.

Foot beautification complete, the day passed peacefully.

We drove the circuit trip around Pioneer Drive, an interesting 9km loop highlighting some of the salt lake mining ruins and heritage of the park. Along the way we saw a Stumpy Tail Lizard and a long brown snake slithering into its hole.

The National Park is massive and a mecca for off roading and bush walking. You can walk for 45 minutes to a three day hike of 66km along the Sunset Remote Walking Track. Deep inside this park it’s true wilderness.

Not us! We played it sedate, preferring to spend our time doing short nature trails and relaxing at camp.

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The last time we were here (over nine years ago) there was water in these lakes and the pinks were much brighter. The colour comes from the red algae carotene found in the water. This time with no water the salt floor was dazzling. Lake Crosbie and the other three salt lakes in the area, Lake Hardy, Lake Kenyon and Lake Becking, are all equally stunning.

Later that night we enjoyed a delicious barbecue dinner at sunset. What a way to end our outback trip with a plethora of mini birthday desserts that I’d picked up at Mildura, together with coffee and red wine amidst a gorgeous vista.

When the sun finally kissed the horizon goodnight we relaxed into our personal outback cinema, stargazing and watching for shooting stars in a cloudless sky. The wind died down to perfect stillness and the blackness covered the previously pink landscape.  I reflected in wonder at how much change a landscape and the weather undergoes, just in one day.

Everything changes, nature, the seasons, us … as each day ends it’s a chance to reflect on whether we’ve lived the best version we can in that day. Just like Mother Nature, sunset echos the end of a day but sunrise always brings new hope and the promise of a bright and sun filled new one.

“Every sunset is different, because every day sun is different, clouds are different, space is different, reflections are different, mountains are different, fogs are different, and above all, we are different!”― Mehmet Murat ildan

This was the last night of our outback trip, a trip designed primarily for my sister who always wanted to experience the outback camping.

So many things had to line up in a short period of time. Though we had the odd hiccup, everything worked out beautifully, proving that where there’s a will, there’s a way. I’m so glad we made it happen.

Life’s too short not to spend it doing what you love.

So take that trip, eat that cake, have a foot spa (a proper one!) tell that person how you feel about them and take a chance on something new. Go and fulfil your dreams. Tomorrow is never guaranteed so make the most of today.

Sending you all light and love as we continue the journey in this wild, wonderful world.


“Sunset dreams, a salt lake floor and a glass of red … bliss. Cheers to the next adventure.”


67 thoughts on “Wild, Salty and a little bit Pink

  1. magic trip Miriam, thanks heaps for sharing it all … and very glad your sister was there to capture the foot spa and family supper! Other than the dust storm the weather seemed magic 🙂
    Trust the boys to windsurf on a salt lake I’d expect that from Daniel, now they have a story to share into their old age ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The boys obviously took Wind surfing to a whole new level… 🙂 loved your narrative, and so happy you are enjoying family time.
    And loved the photos… I am pleased our only poisonous snake here in the UK is the Adder..
    Have a wonderful Christmas Miriam.. Thank you so much for all of your love and support, and all the very best for 2020… ❤
    Much love my friend from the rainy shores of Britain.. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Sue, glad you enjoyed this. I’ve just read your latest post, such extremes in weather. You with your floods and our country in the throes of devastating fires. Such worrying times we live in.
      Thanks for your kind wishes my friend and for your always inspiring posts. Wishing you and yours also a wonderful Christmas. Take care and much love back. xx

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I am always amazed that animals — such as a Stumpy Tail Lizard and a long brown snake — find ways to survive in what appear to be very challenging habitats. Why was there water in the salt lake when you visited many years ago? Would it be wetter there at a different time of year? Or is this another consequence of your current drought? Thank you for taking all of us on a trip that most of us will never do in person!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Will, many of our animals, reptiles in particular, are very resilient and adapt easily to the dry hot environments. As for the reason there was water in the lakes 9 years ago and not now, I’d say that’s largely the result of the drought we’re in. It’s the worse we’ve ever been in, particularly in the north of the country. Thank you for reading and for your always insightful comments.

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  4. What an amazing country we live in Miriam! The Salt Lake in particular was very interesting to me and the boys looked like they were having a ball. A sunset is quite special isn’t it and I love the quote about every sunset being different. You are right, ‘life is too short’ and you are certainly making the most of it. Enjoy life! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sue. We certainly do live in an amazing country. And there’s still so much more I’d love to enjoy. Hope you’re well and enjoying the lead up to Christmas. xx

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  5. What a great story and adventure Miriam! Amazing photos too. I’m glad you got some foot therapy with the mud. Nothing like a mud compress to revive the skin.
    I love all the smiling faces, and Happy Birthday to your sister.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a wonderful post Miriam, those salt flats look so impressive don’t they? How amazing to be able to camp so close and so remotely. The salt foot spa was funny but surprised that doesn’t happen more often to be honest. Excellent photos of what looks like a stunning place.

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  7. Ahh Miriam bless you for sharing your sparkling, heart-warming talents and tales with us!! I hung onto your every word and totally felt as if I was part of your beautiful famiglia and on the ride with you beautiful soul. So much adventure – duststorms, saltlakes, snakes, stargazing in the outback, one-of-a-kind sunsets… I want these type of tales to be everywhere in the media! So hopeful, true, and aware. Love it!! That foot-bath sounds perfect, and I love how you just make the most of everything life conjures up, like driving on the back of the van! So so cool lady!! Can you please become a president and media corporation leader of everything and spread your enchanting vibes everywhere? ❤️❤️ Loved everything about this post. And I would totally have joined your boys on that cool new sport they came up with! Staying young at heart forever is what its all about. Aw Miram, so much love to you! You are amazing!!! And amen to going for what you love, every-single-day!!! 1001 hugs 😉 xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You blow me away with your amazing words Maria Elena, just as those boys blew me away with their ingenuity on the salt lakes. President! Media Corporation leader! Haha, how you made me smile! Only if you become my Vice President or co-leader. Can you imagine the fun and the good vibes we could spread? 😍 You are definitely part of my soul-famiglia. I absolutely love the way you immerse yourself in my posts and savour every word. Thank you so much my wonderful friend. Yes, I agree, here’s to staying young at heart always. Wishing you a wonderful day and week ahead and sending you lots of love. 1002 hugs 😘 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My friend, I totally see that potential in you! I believe wholeheartedly in you and all your irreplaceable fabulousness 💖 And yesss amica we would make a fantastic team and would have so much fun!!! Love the idea! Awww you are also part of my soul-familia, thanks so much for saying that, that makes my day! I feel a little sad as to Fiery´s and Drew´s disappearance but you totally cheered me up with your beautiful positivity and indomitable spirit. Sending you so much love, so so happy to know you lovely!! Have a gorgeous day and week as well. 1003 hugs my dear 😘 xxx

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        1. I love how much you believe in me Maria, I feel the same about you and I feel a real kinship that goes way beyond words, one that sparked remarkably quick but feels so real. Yes, like you I feel sad about Fiery’s disappearance, I had just found her. And sweet Drew too, who connected us here. I hope they’re both ok and we hear from them again. But thank YOU for shining your light and gorgeous heart. So grateful for our friendship. Sending you 1004 hugs 😘 and wishing you a beautiful rest of the week. xxx

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        2. Aw Miriam!! You know I consider you and your friendship to be an absolutely incredible gift. I had so longed to find such a positive, inspiring, strong and conscious friend like you… you put it so beautifully ” a real kinship that goes way beyond words”! So glad you feel that way, too my precious friend! Thanks for believing in me also, thats truly special to me, as are you fantastic woman!! Drew just shared a little update, am glad he did… he is such a dear friend and beautiful soul also. Thank you for this beautiful friendship and for gifting me with your kindness and amore!! So grateful as well. 1005 hugs to you my precious, enjoy your week and keep being that incredible beacon of hope, light and love 🙂 xxxx ❤️❤️❤️

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        3. Your words are so precious Maria. Thank you my lovely friend and thanks also for letting me know about Drew and his update. You’re right, he’s a beautiful soul and I’m even more grateful to him for connecting us. You take care, enjoy the rest of the week too and stay happy gorgeous lady. Big warm hugs and all my love. xx ❤️

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        4. Miriam, you know what I just listened to? Waltzing Matilda haha lol. My love for Australia and its inhabitants knows no bounds 😀 Yes am so happy Drew connected us, too!! You know what, yes, I will be/ stay happy because I´ll decide to and sing and listen to many happy tunes 🙂 Big hugs and love amore y amor, enjoy your day lovely 🙂 xxx ❤️

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        5. Oh, I just love your enthusiasm Maria! I can feel it beaming through this phone I’m typing on at nearly midnight! You’re a legend my dear, you really are. You make me smile, laugh, tear up with emotion and be just plain happy. 😀 How good is that! Well, you keep singing and listening to those daggy Aussie tunes as I head off to lala land. 😴 Big hugs till next time lovely. xxx ❤️

          Liked by 1 person

        6. Aww Miriam!! I love that, so grateful to be connected with each other like that! Amazing!! Also: You have that exact effect on me, too. When I waiver in my commitment to joy, gratitude and healing and read from you, I feel like coming back to my center and purpose. Wow! Wishing you the most fantastic, healing and happy dreams my gorgeous friend. Big hugs querida!! ❤️❤️

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        7. Thank you beautiful! I feel the same and you’ve actually done that for me tonight (brought me back to my centre) so a million heartfelt thanks. Have a wonderful day my friend. xx ❤️

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  8. What a fabulous adventure, Miriam!! I love a good sunset and Australia looks like it offers up some beauties! When we still lived in Florida and a tropical storm was passing through, my two youngest hopped on skateboards and had a bedsheet that they held onto as the wind propelled them. It’s amazing how strong wind can be! I hope that the rest of your month is fabulous and 2020 begins amazingly. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Amy. Don’t you just love the ingenuity of kids, that sounds like such fun. You’re right, Australia has some absolute ripper sunsets as I’m sure you do there as well. Enjoy the lead up to Christmas my friend and wishing you a wonderful year ahead. Xx

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  9. That is an amazing landscape! And I love how you and your family just made the best out of the few mishaps that occurred on your trip. I’m enjoying reading about this trip so much….even thought the photo of the lizard (which I mistook for a croc) scared me for a moment!

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    1. Haha, no croc, just a harmless little stumpy tail lizard. They have very little road sense and often sun themselves in the middle of the road. So glad you enjoyed these posts Ann, I had a great time recounting them. 😊

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  10. Another beautiful adventure and amazing post, Miriam. There is so much beauty in your part of the world, and you do it justice with your words and photography. I savoured every words and hues —the Salt Lakes are sooo phenomenal! Keep shining your light my friend. Love and hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a gorgeous trip and what a fantastic way to spend a birthday! You will all have amazing memories to savor. 🙂 ❤ xoxox

    I hope you had a Merry Christmas, and wishing you the most joyful of New Year's, my friend! Love you!

    Liked by 2 people

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