Camping next to the crocs

Trip Start Dec 29, 2010
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Trip End Dec 05, 2011


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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thursday 9 June saw us moving on again, in the direction of Drysdale Cattle Station. Large parts of the area are still closed because of the long heavy wet season they have had this year, including the Mitchell Plateau, which was the main reason for heading in this direction.  So we decided to have some fun and do some more bush camping. 

Not before we had a brief stop at Galvan's Gorge, a short walk off the road, and a really pretty waterfall and plunge pool, complete with aboriginal rock art.  Shame that the view of the falls was marred by a sizeable herd of over 60-year olds, all sitting around and on the falls.

We have quickly realised that the Kimberleys is a very popular destination for the older adventure traveller, with numerous overland trucks transporting them from gorge to gorge.  We have actually been really impressed with this crowd.  Many of them are well into their '70s and keeping up with a hectic schedule, getting up at 5 or 6am, doing big difficult walks, big swims, long drives, some choose to camp (the ultra-hardy) and others choose the lodges (still not for the faint-hearted).

On to the roadhouse yet again to fuel up and get some supplies before moving on to our campsite.

This time we chose a site right next to the Gibb River.  The river crossing itself was fun – pretty deep – and the floodplain a scene of destruction with tons of tress knocked down with the force of the floodwater.   We arrived at close to 3 o’clock so we were getting anxious to set up camp for the night.  Brad pulled off the road and, in his eagerness to find the best spot, quickly ploughed into soft sand and promptly got us stuck.   Oh god, it will be getting dark soon and we need to get the dinner on the go….

Knowing that I was twitchy about the time, he went into panic mode, franticly digging sand away from the tyres, stuffing branches and bits of bush underneath the rubber to try to get us out.  I could read his mind, thinking "I had better get us out of this mess or she will be a nightmare and everyone will get stressed".  So poor Brad repeated the rigmarole of the sand-digging and revving of the engine until we were back closer to the road and on firmer footing.  Hallelujah!

Back on track, we all got to work collecting firewood, getting dinner ready, and helping Brad put up the tent.  Just the 6-man tonight – too much effort to put both tents up for 1 night. 

Another 2 vehicles pulled up late in the day and set up camp a few hundred yards away from us on the other side of the road, and like a true Aussies promptly disturbed the peace by getting out their chain saw to gather their wood!   

I whipped up a spaghetti Bolognese which tasted amazing after a big day, and again we congratulated ourselves on a fun camping night properly in the bush (almost) on our own.
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