Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans – a saying that more often than not seems to be appropriate ! Our plans around the Gibb River Road and how, with the road opening early this year, we’d get the benefit, went out of the window today.
Our first stop this morning was at the info centre in Derby as it was shut yesterday afternoon when we got there. We picked up a current map of the road with details of the different “attractions” along it and had a chat with the person behind the counter. She pointed out that although the road itself was open most of the off shoots are still closed.
Windjana, our intended first destination, is open but the other routes are still closed with no firm opening date. After some deliberation we decided to carry on as planned to Windjana Gorge for tonight.
So, having topped up the fuel tanks yet again we finally set off down the Gibb River Road. The road itself, at least as far as the Windjana turnoff is easy going with most of it being a single lane of Tarmac in the middle of a 2 lane unsurfaced road. It was only when there was traffic coming the other way that you had to drive onto the unsurfaced part. There were some long stretches of gravel road but all in pretty good condition with very little in the way of corrugations or holes.
We arrived at the gorge in the early afternoon and set up camp. It was too hot to consider walking into the gorge this afternoon so we chilled out, reading books and I managed to get a few decent photos of the local wildlife.
Tomorrow we’ll aim to get up at sunrise and walk into the gorge before it gets too hot. Hopefully we’ll get to see some of the crocs. With the rest of the “attractions” along the GRR still closed we’ve decided we’ll take a long side trip to the Bungle Bungles, a national park that we didn’t expect to fit into our route.
From there we can either continue north to the end of the GRR or double back to complete our journey along the road if the side routes are open by then. It’ll be a real disappointment if we don’t complete the GRR but hanging around waiting for them to open any more than a week will see us with less time around Alice and Mount Dare. It’s probably going to take a couple of days to Bungle Bungle so at least 2 days back and a day or so there. We really want to be in Alice early in May if we can but for the moment at least the decision can be put on hold until we have more info.
Our change of plan does mean we’ll have more internet access than anticipated at least for the next couple of days. Currently we have no phone service at all so this won’t get published to the web site until tomorrow sometime when we get on the Great Northern Highway through Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek.