Further along the Gibb river track.
12.09.2016 - 12.09.2016 39 °C
So, packed up and back on the road. Fellow travellers had started to warn that the road between Ellenbrae and El Questro was probably the roughest along the Gibb - we weren't quite at that point yet. From Manning gorge we travelled a few k's down the road and pulled in to explore Barnet gorge. A bit of a 4 WD track to get in there, and we arrived to see just one other vehicle. Only a 15 minute walk in the heat, to reach the lower gorge - a welcome refreshing swimming hole that had us cooling off. Buddy had an awesome time launching from the edge, swimming out into no man's land before turning to come back to us. His fitness has definitely improved throughout this trip, but hard not to wonder whether he stops to think that once he swims out that distance, he still has to get back! Nonetheless, the relief from the heat must have been fantastic for him. His tongue was hanging low as he stood briefly on the bank, panting madly, recovering from his efforts before launching back into the water. Chatted with another family after making our way back to the car - more travellers stories shared. Back on the Gibb, we eventually reached the Kalumbaru turnoff mid afternoon - oh... Which way to go? By now it's late in the season and the word around was that the road north was pretty damn rough, hard on vehicles, and there was little water at Mitchell Falls - was it worth the travels? We sat at the roadside stop at the turnoff - time for a late lunch....and decision time re: which way to go. Megan felt summonsed by the invitation of an as amazing burger with the lot at Drysdale Station. 50 or so k's of marked corrugation?....... A ranger vehicle swung past us, and alerted Steve to the fact that the bar light on the front of our vehicle was only just hanging on. On inspection, one of the metal brackets had simply sheared leaving the light hanging on at a single point. A temporary fix using some wire coat hangers and we were ready to move on. Decision - we opted to continue on the Gibb and head for a stopover at Ellenbrae Station. And so, on we went. The road surface was variable with short stretches of bitumen and then loose gravel with some sharp edged rocks. Taking our time, but the sun was getting lower in the sky.... Around 15 k's to reach Ellenbrae when.....aaaagghh....a flat tyre. We pulled over to see the left back tyre flat. Alas, the hissing sound of a tyre had us walking to the other side of UGG only to find the right back tyre deflating as well! A double whammy..... Team Hollowood kicked into overdrive. 40 minutes of daylight left, 2 tyres to change and another 15 plus k's to go. So glad we had two spares.... and four pairs of hands. A slow trip to Ellenbrae had us arriving soon after dark. We were kindly welcomed by Logan with his torch in hand. As they say, things come in 3's so we shouldn't have been surprised in that last 15 k's to have our UHF antenna flip off into the dark somewhere along the track. Not the time to go searching in the dark, so we left that one behind in the bush somewhere. So, all 3 hiccups accounted for.... bar light, flat tyres and lost antenna!! Not expecting anymore today. The following morning, Logan assisted by repairing one of the tyres, and we purchased a replacement for the other. We enjoyed a round of Ellenbrae's famous scones (very YUMMY) and the oasis of the homestead environment. A giant ~100 year old boab had only recently collapsed next to the main building, so we could take a look at the inside of it and there was some beautiful local artwork on display. A small shrinking waterhole near the campsite allowed us to cool off from the heat of the day. So where to next? That's another blog entry:-)