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GIBB RIVER ROAD ON FROM WINDJAMA.

July 22, 2015

TUESDAY 14TH JUNE.

We got away by 8.30am & headed back to the “highway”. Our impressions of the GRR. The actual trip is rather boring & as it is so dry therefore not nice scenery. The ranges are impressive and unless you intend doing all the “touristy” things, why come this way!
It is not worth it just to say that you have “done the GRR”.

Disposed of the rubbish at the tip because had been in a NP so no rubbish bins. No sooner had we got onto the Gibb when we noticed a couple, obviously hitch hiking, beside the Lennard river. Stopped to see that they were OK. They had slept under the bridge & were hoping for a lift. We could not oblige as Patrol is full apart from the fact that we only have 2 seats.
A few Corellas beside the river. The corellas woke them up early, as they do, so they had a swim before hoping for a lift east.
We decided to take the road into Lennard Gorge but when we got in there & spoke to folk who had just done the walk & they said that it is a level 4 walk decided against it. We were told further on that it is referred to ‘’”heart attack walk”!

This road looks OK but the corrugations are continual.

The country up here gets annual “burnoffs” & it is amazing to see the regrowth. This was rather a large fire we passed through.
At a couple of the creek crossings I noticed Jabirus. At the first one by the time Bruce had stopped & I walked back it took off as soon as it saw me.
Was lucky at the next spot as I noticed the birds well before the creek.

Do not know the name of this tree but have seen it before in far north QLD.

A couple of panorama shots from a lookout along the way.

The stop for this night was beside a creek which is listed in Wikicamps. This was the only bird we saw & am told it is a white necked heron.

There was only the one bird there apart from the usual Corellas. I was wandering along the bank (by myself) when I heard something splash into the water across the creek! Could not tell what it was & camera not good enough & binoculars back at the van. This is the best I could do for a photo! .
Saw the red plant across the water so, with Bruce this time, we walked back to the crossing & up the other side. It turned out to be a Rosella. Edible.

We had a nice quiet night there beside the water but in the am it was down to about 6 degrees!
We were soon on the road again, with the corrugations getting worse if that was at all possible. Hopefully there will be less traffic because the school holidays are finished. As it was cuppa time we stopped at the turn off to Bells Gorge, which according to friends we should have travelled in there- I think about 50ks one way. A couple who had just come out of there was not impressed with the road- worse than the “main road” was their comment. As we were getting “gorged out” decided to keep on going towards Mt Barnett for fuel.
Had wanted to buy some fruit here as well but the truck was not arriving until about 12md. We got our day pass to go into Manning Gorge & hopefully the supply truck would have arrived by the time we go back. It was 7ks into the Manning Gorge camp ground then a long walk to the gorge.
A couple of badly half repaired crossings on the way in but not a problem.
On arrival at the river there is a boat on a rope with pulley which, if the boat on the other side, you have to pull back & then pull yourself over the river.

On arrival at the river there is a boat on a rope with pulley which, if the boat on the other side, you have to pull back & then pull yourself over the river. We were disappointed with the walk to the gorge. There was no wandering along beside the nice river but it was an hour one way along a very dry track. Sometimes over small boulders & level ground, passing a couple of trees in bloom. Getting closer to the gorge there were 2 small “gorges” to cross but the when arriving at the final descent down to the water edge there was rather large boulders to climb down, a couple had to be done on your bottom & we were certainly glad we had our walking sticks. By this time we were very hot & rather leg weary. Found some shade to have a snack & plenty of water.

The water was crystal clear & very cold. There were a lot of folk swimming but we did not- we are not cold water people!
They were climbing up the rocks beside the waterfall then jumping into the pool. A couple of photos show the return walk.

As you can see the track is not very enticing! The couple we had stopped & spoke to had been lucky enough to get a lift. I was taking a photo of a Grevillea which I had not seen before & looked up to see them in front of us.

Back at the river & luckily the boat was on its way back.

Back at the roadhouse,saw the supply truck parked out the back- good- now for some fruit. That did not happen as had just started unloading & the fruit would appear when ever they got to those cartons which could have been hours so what is a few more days without our fruit fix.
Back on the road again heading for the Kalumburu road junction & a little further for our next stop for the night. Could not believe it when Lesley & Erich were coming down from Drysdale Station & we met at the junction at exactly the same time. We had been keeping in contact via satellite texts previously but no definite date had been set to catch up. Stopped for a chat then we both headed east, finally stopping at the Durack river for the night. What a delightful place, perched on the river bank & certainly high enough to be out of the salties reach!.

Could not believe that this family were camped so close to the water! Do they not know that there are salties in this river. The photo straight after the one which I have written Durack River shows a dead croc in the water through the trees this side of the log in the water.
Along the other bank there were definite rows of 2 different trees but could not tell what variety they were. The road conditions, if anything, were still getting worse & we were heading for the lookout over the Pentecost river & Cockburn ranges to spend the night. Got a photo of this skinny, mangy dingo along the way. Poor thing looked half starved.

This would certainly have wonderful views if all the trees were not between you & the ranges. If only we had driven a little way down the hill there was a clear view & would have been good for the sunset photos. Will know next time- that is not going to happen!!!
Saturday 18th
Day break then sunrise over the Pentecost river & Cockburn ranges. Really disappointed with photos but as I said, the best that this tiny camera will do.
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At the bottom of the lookout where we had spent the night, there was this spot where there is an uninterrupted view of the ranges
so we stopped for a couple of shots. This was where we should have been last night for the sunrise photos!

Our last day before Kununurra with the Pentecost river to cross and it was only a few ks further down the road.
Arrived there with traffic crossing both ways so we could see that the water was not very deep as tide was out.
We waited for a few vehicles to cross then Lesley & Erich went over. They decided to go further & wait for us at the Cockburn rest area.

Bruce going over the first time.

I was being difficult because I wanted to get a photo of our van coming across with the ranges behind with the sunlight but that would mean waiting for that to happen. We had a cuppa then played a game of cards as well as watching vehicles come & go. Got sick of waiting for full sunlight on the ranges so Bruce drove over, turned around & came back towards me for the photo i wanted to take. This was thanks to seeing this done by ladies we know- thanks Sue & Ann for the idea. The water was probably
about 50cm deep so not a problem.
I then got in the car & we crossed again. This was as far as we had come in 2006 on a day trip from Kununurra.

The photo above looks as though we are about to run into the base of the range. Loved the scalloped edge on the one above. We were soon at the sealed road which starts at El Questro.

Kununurra at last.

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