Saturday, July 7, 2012

Gibb River Road

When we were in Derby we drove along the Gibb River Road to Windjana Gorge
and Tunnel Creek. That was at one end of the Gibb River Road. We are now
at the opposite end and decided to drive in a hundred kilometres or so to
experience it as we had decided not to drive the full distance. The first
task of the day was to lower the tyre pressure in preparation to travel on
the corrugated gravel road. There is only one fuel outlet in Wyndham and we
had to wait our turn to use the tyre gauge. Two young Aboriginal children
were busy trying to pump up the tyre of their bike, without much success.
Peter tried to help them out, but the tyre clearly had a puncture as it
wouldn't hold the pressure.

We thought the children were boys but they said that their names were
Michelle and Mahlia so they must have been girls. They wanted to know if we
were going fishing as they love fishing and when we said no they asked if we
were going to take photos. We agreed to this and they promptly asked if
they could come with us. Just imagine it. I don't think they intended
going home to ask for permission, they would have been in the back of the
car ready to go. They were most disappointed when we said we couldn't take
them with us. They were really chatty and quite persuasive.

Our trip took us fifty kilometres on the bitumen back to the beginning of
the Gibb River Road. This road runs alongside the Cockburn Range. This
range appears as orange cliffs with fortress like cliffs at the top.
Apparently they rise about 600 metres above the surrounding plains.

Articles written concerning the Gibb River Road gauge the condition of the
road by when the grader last went through. There are road works widening
the beginning of the road and this is orange dust. From there we met the
grader working a section of five kilometres. Once past him the road
deteriorated to corrugated gravel with heaps of dust - so much so that if a
vehicle came towards us we literally had to stop to let the dust settle. We
planned to only travel about a hundred kilometres but could imagine how
dusty everything would be if we were travelling the full distance of the

It is the July school holidays and the most popular time to travel this area
so there was a reasonable amount of traffic in both directions. All vehicles
were 4wd but some had camper trailers and we saw at least two outback
caravans. We were really pleased that we didn't have our caravan and could
only imagine the dust it would have acquired.

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