Breakfast at Ellenbrae - a Devonshire Tea on the veranda

Breakfast at Ellenbrae – a Devonshire Tea on the veranda

Our last day on the Gibb River Road today. We started the day off with a very nice breakfast at Ellenbrae Homestead with fresh home made scones with jam and cream, washed down with tea/coffee. They really were superb scones and we had an interesting chat about life on the homestead, particularly during the wet season. Anyone travelling along the Gibb River Road should make Ellenbrae a compulsory stop !
Yesterday evening there had been a few heavy looking clouds around when we set up camp and we even had a spot of rain in the early hours. We found out over breakfast that Exmouth was cut off by flooding over the weekend with the main road in and out closed off.
As we continued along the final 100k or so of unsurfaced road the GRR continued to throw up new vistas that took your breath away. The road also gave us the biggest river crossing of the trip so far as we crossed the Pentacost River.
As we approached the crossing we could see a couple of vehicles on the other bank with people milling about, presumably trying to decide if the crossing was safe. There were markers at the side of the crossing with no depth indication on them so all we could do really was trust in the Land Rover and head on in. Even with a willing navigator this isn’t an area of the country you can send someone in on foot to test the depth…
As expected the crossing wasn’t a problem, a bit rough with some fairly large rocks under the water but not too deep. The deepest part was in the middle of the second channel where I could feel the water hitting the bottom of the footwell but nowhere near the point that the Land Rover would have an issue and we kept our feet dry 🙂
It didn’t seem much longer on before we met up with the surfaced road again and pretty soon the Gibb River Road came to an end at a T junction with the Wyndham to Kununarra road.
As we headed into Kununarra it was clear we were heading into heavy rain. Although temperatures were still in the mid 30s it was throwing it down when we booked into the Big4 site for the night. The rain was short lived and the clouds dispersed but the humidity was ridiculous. Sat in the shade we didn’t feel that hot compared to some parts of the trip but the sweat was dripping off us due to the high humidity. It reminded me of Singapore airport when you cone out of the air conditioned terminal and seem to walk into a wall of very hot water vapour.
The camp site was offering a charity fundraiser “Beef and Barra” night for 10 bucks a head so we signed up for that and, after a shower, spent the late evening sat by the lake for the communal get together. We had a really nice evening swapping tales and comparing notes with others on their journeys. The site’s friendly freshwater croc “George” didn’t put in an appearance so I’ll have a wander in the morning. There were some turtles in the water though and a LOT of big catfish around when the excess bread from the meal was thrown into the water.
Tomorrow we’ll continue our journey to Katherine, if it weren’t for the humidity we’d probably stay here another night but the thought of sitting still here during the day doesn’t bear thinking about. We’ll stock up on food and fuel before we leave town though.

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