TALIPATA—The Spring Way Out West
[An Extract from Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981]
A gentle breeze carried the scent of sweet spring water as well as the sound of rustling leaves. With the hope that our search was over, Dad and I picked up speed passing the plodding young men.
‘This is Talipata,’ Dad said as he charged through the grove of gums.
‘Yes! This is Talipata!’ I shouted and ran after him to see the welcome old cattle trough.
Dad placed a hand on the rim of rusted steel. ‘Remember Mr. B bathing in here?’
I looked in the basin. ‘He wouldn’t have much fun in that now. It’s as dry as a bone.’
‘I think we’ll need to do something about fixing the pipe,’ Dad said. ‘At least we won’t have to ration our water.’
We proceeded up the gully to Talipata Spring. The burbling sounds of running water grew louder, patches of wet sand and pebbles appeared, and as we drew closer, the population of ferns multiplied becoming dense, and lush. Talipata is an important source of water for the local indigenous people, as it is an eternal spring welling up from within a subterranean reservoir within Mt. Palmer.
Dad scampered up the gully to reach the spring pool first. The rest of us, having had to ration our water the night before, raced after him, jostling each other to be next.
Upon arrival at the pool streaming sparkling pure water, Dad leaned down on his hands and knees and lapped it like a dog. The rest of us cupped our hands in this pure elixir and drank.
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2017
Photo from slide: Talipata Spring © C.D. Trudinger 1981