Last night we drove to The Living Desert, a park about 12km out of Broken Hill. It has a nature trail and a walk to the top of a hill where you can see a series of sandstone sculptures carved by artists from around the world in 1993, each with their own story. We planned to go at the end of the day to see the sun set hoping there would be a nice view from it.
We arrived there about 5 (the gates shut at 7) and decided not to drive directly to the top, but to drive around and park at the bottom of the hill, and walk up to the sculptures. That was a big mistake.
The walk winds around the stony hill and through a multitude of indigenous plants giving great views at every turn.
By the time we reached the sculpture garden at the top we had seen beautiful rocky outcrops, amazing views and quietly watched emus walk through the bushes while a group of teenagers stomped past, completely oblivious to them on their quest to get to the art.
No sculpture could outdo the natural beauty we saw on the way up there so when we arrived to find a crowd oohing and aaahing over what I thought were mostly average pieces we were distinctly underwhelmed. Some were good, but they were the ones with the largest amount of admirers and the hardest to see.
My apologies to those artists who had obviously put a lot of effort into their sculptures, including one who injured his hand badly while there, and whose piece had to be finished by a group effort, but I know what I like…
We did a turn around the sculptures, dodging the other visitors all the while. After re-grouping we decided that we would be more entertained by walking to one of the spots we had seen earlier, making ourselves comfortable, and watching the sunset in peace.
We wandered down the hill and found a nice spot to watch the shadows lengthening in the distance. Of course, once the sun had sunk to acceptably low level we realized we had no idea what time it was and from our vantage point we could see that our car was the only one left in the carpark. Eeek! We zoomed back to the car and made it out before the gate shut… phew! It would have been a cold night out there, that’s for sure!