14.09.2016 - 17.09.2016
Now to travel what was reported as the roughest section of the Gibb - we left Ellenbrae resisting the 8am batch of scones that were due out of the oven - much to Rory's dismay. Today we were going to cross the Pentecost - something we'd really been looking forward to. Not much more than a hundred k's to our destination. Keeping an eye on our tyres in the side mirrors, we travelled without further punctures. The Cockburn ranges were absolutely amazing, grand elevated red rocky ridges revealed in the mountainsides. Photos can't do it justice - it continued alongside us as we travelled. Finally an opening onto a wide plain with panoramic views over the Pentecost and Chamberlain rivers. Water! A nice surprise. Really looking forward to the Pentecost crossing - unfortunately this late in the season, there was no water to drive through, but the scenery still amazing. We drove on to El Questro station - an absolute highlight for our trip. And a water crossing to get into it...at last! Fabulous gorge walks, great camp facilities. After finding a campsite with plenty of shade, we did a quick set up and planned for a gorge walk in the afternoon. Megan stayed at camp with Buddy whilst Stve, Rory and I decided to walk into El Questro gorge to the half way pool. A 2 hour round trip, so the full gorge walk of 6 k's would have to wait for another day. A beautiful walk in, mostly in shade due to the narrow gorge walls. Undulating rocky underfoot, orange gorge walls, cool pristine water - the purest we've seen. Finally we arrived at the half way pool. Wow. This was gonna be hard to leave.... a cool dip in a peaceful tranquil touch of paradise. Two huge boulders marking the spot, a refreshing waterfall to tackle as you climb up to view the next part of the walk. Time was getting late, so we had to retreat back to camp and Happy hour:-). Bonus find by Rory on the way out - a big beautiful olive Python that posed for a photo or two. This was a walk that I would happily repeat. The following day, I played dog sitter whilst Steve, Megan and Rory did the full gorge walk - and they absolutely loved it. A morning visit to Zebedee Springs - a series of flowing pools to have a refreshing dip in the shade of palms. Beautiful. And yet another snake - perhaps another olive Python? Steve and Rory came back from their trip to the springs with a full length snake skin - a great find. Happy hours took a pounding and we managed to watch the doggies beat Hawthorn ( sorry to mention that Bernie) on a big screen TV at the outdoor bar. This place was going to be hard to leave. We had one more walk we wanted to do - Emma gorge which is part of El Questro but 11 k's further along the GRR. Fellow travellers offered to dogsit, so we tackled Emma gorge with all four of us - Another pristine pool to swim in, with showers trickling off the plants that were growing on the gorge wall. Array of rocks along the track - 'ripple rocks', purplish rocks to go along with the usual reds and oranges. We returned to the Emma gorge resort for a drink and scone, reunite with Buddy who was happy to see us, and then travel back to camp. I could holiday here for a fortnight easily. Finally we were back on bitumen and a short trip ahead to reach Kununurra. The Gibb road was over for us, but more adventures to come back to.