Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Back from the West and still in one piece (Episode 2)

After leaving Turkey Creek we travelled north ready to drive in the Gibb River Road to the El Questro area - looking forward to seeing various gorges, waterholes etc. All was supposed to be very beautiful. We got to the turn off, knew it would be dirt road but the map indicated major unsealed which usually meant reasonable condition. In we went, hoping it would be fine for our poor old van. After the first km we were worried, the corrogations were terrible!!! What should we do, maybe it gets better. We continued for almost 10 km, some bits were better but mostly just the same. Len was even worried for the Prado and it is 4 WD. We stopped again and made the decision, we would turn back. If we went in it was 50 km, 100 km round trip (OF THIS!!!) It wasn't worth damaging everything so back we went. We stopped at the turn off and looked in the van and things were being thrown about, a door broken, oven door off etc. We were glad we didn't continue. (Left is a picture of our trusty van and Prado - before Gibb River Road)

We then decided to drive up to Wyndham, the most northerly town in WA although apparently not much to see or do there. People were right, very small, quiet, but it does have a port and the meeting of 5 rivers. There is a good lookout to go up and see the whole area, but unfortunately on this day it was very hazy, think it might have been some of the dust from east drifting across. (Right is Wyndham)

We spoke to the local tourist lady and she was gobsmacked when we told her we went in the Gibb River Road with our van, she reckons she wouldn't take her 4 WD in there. Apparently it gets graded and is often quite good, but it is now the wrong end of the tourist season, we copped the worst. She suggested staying at Parry Creek farm so we drove a few km south of Wyndham and drove in to there. A beautiful little oasis, lovely pool, its own lagoon and good ammenities. We stayed overnight and also checked out the dreamtime statues, giant croc, big boab and look out in Wyndham.

On the second day before we left we drove in to Marglu Lagoon, near Parry Creek. If we had gone to El Questro we probably wouldn't have seen this and we are so pleased we did. We have never seen such a huge number of birds in one place. There were nearly 50 brolgas, pelicans, magpie geese, egrets, whistling ducks, and numerous others. We also spotted a couple of decent sized saltwater crocs. One which had a very foolish bird walking close to the sharp end. We sat for
about an hour, enjoying the sights and sounds. It was like we were in their world but they didn't notice or at least didn't care. A great experience.

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