Wednesday, November 24, 2010

El Questro gorge

After following Andreas & Jessica about the day before we opted to make it a formal arrangement & be hiking buddies for the day. Today we would attempt one of the toughest gorges in the area being El Questro gorge. It was rated as a class 6 with some free climbing required to get to the final pool 

1 hour into the walk and up to this point the gorge was fairly easy going with just large rocks in the way. Andreas, Troy & myself were all perched on a small ledge trying to help one another up a rock ledge just in the foreground ( above)when it all turned bad. Dominoes doesn't quite explain it but we had Jessica in the background filming the event. After a few seconds had passed we figured no one was injured even though I tried to gouge out Troys eye while trying to get a hold of something to stop myself from falling. We reviewed the footage & had a good laugh. It could have been far worse. At this point Troy opted out of the hike fearing a injury at this stage could put an end to the rest of his trip and the hope of a surf later on down the trail. The final solution to the accent was to wedge yourself with your back to the wall & your feet on the opposite wall & inch up the 2 meter gap to the top & clamber over the lip.

1 hour walk back to the car park. He was cool with it. At least the car had cold drinks in the freezer waiting for him

More of the same. Large boulder fields to negotiate.  Up top it would have been nudging 40 degrees down here it was high 20s.

2 hours after we left the car park we made the final plunge pool. It wasn't the highlight of the gorge, in the end that was the journey to the pool itself but it was still a great reward to cool down after an awesome hike

We could
A: opt to try & scale down the 2mtr gap that caused us all the grief on the way up
B: jump off the opposite side into a very deep pool ...... Here Andreas showing us his style....  I reckon he would have been good at the 100mtr hurdles back in high school 

Yea  Yea... and here is my effort... The hills are alive to the sound of music! or should I have an umbrella in my hand ... Marry Poppins maybe? Add you comments here!

What a rush... Awesome way to finish the gorge

At this point Troy was absolutely stoked that he had survived the days adventure. To make it better a bus load of backpackers had arrived so things were looking up for the big fella.  

After much coaching from Andreas, Jessica & myself Troy plucked up the courage to go over find out what they had been up to.  Andreas was kind enough to take the shot... Its not half sus when you just walk up to a bunch of girls in bikinis & take there photo without asking.. He just played the German tourist ... cant speak english do you speak German....Nice guy trying to help out a mate he had only just meet the day before. As it turned out Its not all about having a crack. We found out yet again that Karrajini is a must do if your in the area as we will be later in the trip

Some of the local lads were attending a Kimberly footy camp that was being hosted at ElQuestro. After a full days training they hit the smorgasbord dinner pretty hard. Being the last BBQ of the season  it was time to clear out the freezer . Tonights selection was roo, croc, buffalo and barra. The chef did an awesome job on the BBQ with plenty to go around.

That night we had a local ranger pull out his 6 guitars & put on one hell of a show for us all. It was a combination of bluegrass & hard core blues... Fark could he play... in the end the only thing that stopped him was he only had 2 or 3 strings left on each instrument. People would pay big bucks to go & see a lesser skilled musician put out a few tunes and we had it all for free. All that hard work earnt the guy a few drinks at the end of the night but what a magnificent show.. Definately worth scheduling your trip up here for the weekend BBQ & blues.

The next day It was Tanya's Birthday. Being a Sunday it was our traditional pancake breakfast. Andreas & Jessica joined us for one final meal before they hit the road. It was their honeymoon & they only had 2 weeks left before they had to head back to Darwin & fly home.

Sorry no candles but we did have party hats & whistles & maple syrup.. come on what else do you need?

Today was packup & move on time. Our scheduled 1 night stop turned into 3 nights of memory's that will be hard to beat.  If this is how good the start of the Gibb is I can't wait to see the rest of it!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

First stop El Questro

That afternoon we made it to El Questro resort.
Crossing the upper reaches of the Pentacost river Above 

Livin it up! no I don't have a drinking problem

Any moment Kiley is sure to appear. I have a feeling in my bones. It turns out the chopper was flying people out to fish for Barra on some billabongs in the area. They fished well was the story around the bar that night. No road access only by air... When I win lotto

Imagine the thoughts going through this guys head when he woke up to this! We could hear the bull scratching the ground looking for food the evening before. I'm glad it was him & not us

Today we decided to take in a few gorges in the area . With limited time on our hands we decided on Emma gorge and Zebedee hot springs on recommendation of the staff at El Questro. Emma gorge was a 1k walk in taking about 45 minutes. Enroute I nearly stepped on this little fella. He looked to have just pounced on something as his gullet was full. I ran screaming back to Troy yelling Snake Snake... After drumming into Troy snake safety 101 he wasn't impressed. Stand still & let them pass... hmmm all good in theory. We turned back & after all the song & dance I made the snake was still hanging around. I reckon he wanted an encore

Checking out the main pool

The main pool had the most awesome rain droplet waterfall. There was also natural hot springs seeping up underfoot. You could pick your preferred water temp by moving a little to the left  or a little to the right once you found one. It was very popular & at the end of the session we had several groups enjoying the water.

Another plunge pool just down from the main water fall.

The next spot was Zebedee hot springs. The pools aren't very big. The car park has spots for maybe 10 vehicles & at which point it states that if the car park is full so are the springs please come back later. 

We were fortunate enough to share it with only one other group being a couple from Germany. The springs close after midday to allow tour groups to use them & restrict the impact on the springs. I wouldn't rate them in the mid afternoon heat but for a morning dip it was pleasant.

Yea baby !

Below Rock art ElQuestro style

 A thunder head builds in the distance

and dissipates just as quickly

That night we hit it hard with the local workers at Elquestro. Most only had a few days to go before the end of season so the place was party central. This one interesting character near the bar caught my attention & after a few beers & thought I would have a chat & get his story. Turns out Buddy built most of this place with his bare hands.  You name it the guy had a story for just about everything. A bit like old man Simpson with a bit more reality to the tale. Turns out Buddys favorite past time is cornering unsuspecting travelers at the bar for a yarn. He's a bit like an old Croc. He sits on his rest waiting , curiosity gets the better of you so you get closer & closer . Before you know it he's got you. Well worth a chat to the old boy if ever your up this way

Io Io its off to the Gibb we go

Guys meet Geoff. After a evening of picking mangoe's we sat about & talked shop. Geoff had work to do at a Telstra site on the Mitchel Plateau and one another at a location near Kalumburu. All things going to plan Monday night should see us having dinner on the banks of the Carson river.

Next day we headed down the Highway to Wyndham. The landscape was more of this over every crest & bend. Very spectacular

One of the many spectacular views from the five rivers lookout.

A quick Barra burger & beer for lunch at the only local in town & it was off to start the Gibb

At the turn off. Was my rig & gear tough enough to survive the Gibb? Only time will tell

I love the 2nd line "4 wheel drive is RECOMMENDED" hmmm

and then some.....