|Posted on July 19, 2016 at 2:50 AM|
G’day, hello and welcome to radio K.B.C (Kovarskis Broad Casting). This is C.B.K. (Cheryl, Bob Kovarkis) coming to you live from the beautiful Kimberly Region of North West Australia.
Yes, the weather is warm, but we again have had a couple of days of rain which closed part of our road just for a few hours, but we are rolling again.
News from the town of Broome: Much history in this little town we didn’t know much about. Famous for its PEARLS, it also highlighted the fact how mankind raised its ugly head in greed as they use to capture the aborigines of the wide surrounding areas, march them in chains across this land, stopping in jailhouses or even, the old BOAB PRISON TREE til they reached Broome, then forced them to dive for pearls. As we know, many hundreds of people died diving for these pearls, but it was also where the original DECOMPRESSION CHAMBER was built…. Out of necessity, cause they were losing too many men to the dreaded BENDS.
Another noteworthy bit of history was the Japanese BOMBING of Broome. We actually got to speak with an old aboriginal grandmother who remembers as a child, seeing the planes come over that day. Must have been scary to say the least. Yes, Broome has a lot of history, as well as that beautiful Cable beach, which was closed the day we were there due to a wayward croc claiming his ownership rights. We also learnt this beach is man made, (they bring the sand in to keep it like this~ bit of useless information there for you).
Just for a different night out, we went to the stock car races which was right next to the Broome caravan park we were staying at. Feel sorry for the campers who are not into the racing, cause the sound was far louder in camp than it was at the race track.
Every one said to us, “Oh, you must go to Cape Laveque”, so on we trundled up the horrible corrugated road, finally reaching this ‘must-see’ place. We drove up where there was a reception, somewhere you could eat and camp, (if you booked in ahead), but we were still a bit biffed by this supposed ‘might and awe’ we had expected to see. Well, seems you have to go down the hill to the beach to see the cliffs which, at sunset, have a lovely red glow, and hopefully the tide is out so you can take your dinner down there to enjoy the view. We were surprised to learn that the campsite is on top of the cliffs, so doesn’t overlook anything except the water, flat water at that, and if you wanted to even just walk down the hill to see the cliffs, they charge you $5- per person for the pleasure, more if you choose to take the car, (it is a bit of a hike). But considering it is not even sunset, and it was just like many other cliffs we had seen, we thought $5- a head was a bit rich and headed off to another campsite we saw up the road. If ever you go there, GUMBANON is a stunning bush camp. Has flush toilets and showers, but the views were stunning. Right on the water edge, looking out across the archipelago and with a bay to the left of us, it kept us happy and peaceful for hours as the tides continuously changed, showing off water at full tide right up to our shores, then down to another world of sand banks, stony bays and rock islands,…. Of-course, the mandatory sunset and sunrise which we didn’t have to move for at all, it was all right there in front of us. Yep, liked this place, even had Fish Eagles over head and Dolphins swimming in front of us a couple of times checking out the fish feed. We had a paddle in the water, but always on the lookout for those crocs we kept hearing about. One of the aborigine guys there said they don’t see crocs here much. This is also where we chatted with that other grandmother I mentioned earlier.
Pounding across that horrible road again we made our way to Derby. This was where Gail took the opportunity to take in a tour over the HORIZONTAL FALLS. (at about $745. EACH for a 6 hour tour, ~ she went alone). Am sure it was worth it, she first was taken by sea plane to Talbot bay and the waiting speed boats which run in and out of the falls a few times, before having lunch on yet another boat, swimming in a caged area, where the sharks like to watch the entertainment for a while, then, maybe another burst through the 2 falls then back into the sea plane and home. Actually, it really does look impressive, and now that I understand how it works it makes far more sense to me. They are not waterfalls in the term that we know them, … it is just that if you imagine 2 mountains next to each other, each of those mountains has a narrow pass to travel through, now instead of driving through, it is the water that is passing through it, but, the up side is, that as the tide changes, it can’t pass through the opening quick enough, so gets a back log of water on one side, so as that side of water rises, and can only let a small amount through at any one time, the rush of water is great, but the level on this side of the mountain, is way way down, hence it looks like a water fall. OK, suppose that is as clear as mud, but I tried. Photos look great, as does the video she took. (the ones that were still enough to see anyway).
This was also a good chance for us to pay a visit to the local doctor at the hospital. Bob’s TONSILS had been giving him (and the rest of us) grief for a couple of weeks now. They weren’t getting better as usual, in fact getting much worse with his ears also getting sore, (he was becoming like a bear with a sore head), so the good doctor gave him some antibiotics to kill the infection and we were able to take on the next 2 weeks up the Gibb River without fear of needing the flying doctor or something stupid like that. (LOL) But first, we took time to visit that old Boab Prison Tree that I mentioned earlier, look at the Jetty which is well known for something, not sure what, but I did see some colourful crabs and mud skipper fish on the rocks and sand below.!!
Our last night we were told about an aborigine COROBORREE, which was really now called a festival. Apparently the different tribes have been coming together to this ‘festival’ for about 19 years. Now as much as it was interesting to see their dance interpretations, their dress and stories, you would think that in 19 years, they might of got it a little bit more organised. Well no, organisation was not their strong point, so getting something to eat or drink was a challenge, but even the dancing was only organised about 3 days previously, so it was a bit hit and miss. Don’t get me wrong, it was interesting to see the short start-stop-start again dances, but after the first 2 hours we thought we had seen enough to get the general idea. The good part was that earlier in the day, they had a guy there teaching kids how to play the didgeridoo and how to create those paintings that the aborigine are famous for. The show was not something you get see much, so we felt fortunate to be there at the time to see it all.
Onto the GIBB RIVER ROAD and we bounced and pounded our way over the corrugations from one set of GORGES to another. Have to admit, some pretty awesome gorges.!! We particularly liked TUNNEL CREEK where you make your way through the channel/tunnel, climbing over and squeezing through boulders, then walking over the pebbly sand and in the water, it was really pretty to see the changing formations, and even though we knew the bats were there, we didn’t see much of them, Bob and Gail saw a couple right up at the end. This Tunnel creek was right next to Windjana gorge, (and an old ruin of one of those police lock up cells). The reason we like Windjana gorge, apart from the fact it was a simple easy walk, there were lots of crocs to be seen, but the highlight for me, was seeing the ARCHER FISH there. These are the fish who spurt a shot of water up to the overhanging trees to catch the bugs sitting on the leaves above. Impressive work and good enough to win first prize in archery at any Olympic event.!! Not to be out-done, one of the crocs woke everyone up with a couple of loud snaps as he caught something for lunch. Great lesson for the kids around at the time.!!
Bell gorge was stunning once you reached the top. It had a lovely pool which Bob and Gail had a swim in, then that pool overflows into a a beautiful waterfall, where at the bottom, has another set of pools where many people where swimming and diving into. Now we have seen a few gorges, Adcock we thought was better than Galvan, although Galvan had a bit of aborigine rock art to see,… swimming holes in both these places, but I thing MANNING GORGE takes the cake for wow factor. Only about 2.5kms to get to the falls, but some of the steep climbs over the rocks and boulders were a bit much for Gail, so me and Bob went on alone. Once there, it was just a showpiece, a big gorge and swimming hole, lots of people jumping off the ledges at the falls, and yes even Bob was brave enough to step up to the next highest level and jump from there,… could see he wanted to, but not being great with heights, it tested him for quite a while,.. but finally YES, he braved the climb and jumped off from the higher level. Good one ya Bob, well done,!! (I can say this cause I personally do not even go in for the swimming….. no no, me and water are not known as the best of friends, so I am really happy to be photographer at these times ~ yes you can call me a whoose, I know it, I know my strong points AND my weak points). As it happened, Gail hurt her knee somehow during her walk back, nothing too serious, no fall or anything, but the old knee locks up a bit and once she got the swelling down, she is walking again ok, but definitely restricting her bush hikes.
Home Valley Station was a nice place to chill for a couple of days, and now we are at EL QUESTRO, (another one of those ‘must see’ places). Well, considering how expensive it was at Home Valley, and here at El Questro being even more expensive, we decided it was worth it for us to drive the 100kms into Kununarra to pick up a few drink supplies, as we had run out couple of days ago. Luckily, this part of the Gibb road was all bitumen, (not that we knew that at the time…. ) but it also gave me a chance to see if I had any emails waiting for us and touch base with home,… even though it was ever so briefly.
So, he I sit in the camp kitchen with the only power point I can find writing about our little jaunt up Gibb river Road to you all. Today there is a fundraising event taking place to raise money for the Royal Flying Doctors….. nice to find good old cornflake crackles,.. and a sausage sizzle. HM mm.
So, what to see at El Questro,~ gorges of-course, and plenty of them. Fair to say we have walked, climbed, scaled and slid quite a few kilometres in the past few days. Each gorge is different and unique in it’s own way. The Zebedee warm pools is a relaxing little place nestled in under the towering palms, high orange cliffs and the many different trees, it is only open to public from 7 am til noon, so when I say it is a relaxing little place to bask in the warm water of the flowing creek, it would be, if there was not a bus load of other people waiting to jump in there with you. So we didn’t get in at all, but can see how peaceful it would be to relax there by yourself.
El Questro gorge had us following and crossing the creek/river path many times, it took us to a pool which was the half way point, if you wanted to continue after that you first had to get through the chest high water, clamber over a huge boulder then take on what ever lay ahead. We were happy with what we had seen, ate our orange and headed back again. To get to this gorge there was also a fair size water crossing to drive through…. Not deep, but fun to do and the elephant on the side of our car looks like he’s heading to a waterhole for a drink.!! Gail, still not able to partake in these gorge walks, chose to take the 20 min chopper flight over the top of the gorges, so I am sure she had just as much fun as we did.!!
The final gorge we did, was Emma Gorge, again boulders rocks and water to negotiate, and yet another pool at the end. What kept me intrigued was the waves and shapes in some of the rocks, looks just like the beach sand waves, but in the rock… and also another kind of palm that we had not seen before. This one was really interesting cause the fronds go continuously round like a spiral up the trunk. One thing I have learnt, there is a multitude of different types of palms here, and It is amazing how relaxed you feel just by being surrounded by palms, .. you really have the feeling of being on holiday in a tropical resort. Emma gorge changed dramatically back in 1950 when a huge cyclone sent a torrent of water down the river ripping out a host of palm trees and destroying the resort leaving it covered in sand and rumble.
Last thing to do here is drive up the 4 wheel drive tracks to the lookouts on top, then we are out of here tomorrow, stopping off at Wyndam before crossing the border back into Northern Territory.
So, not much more to tell right now, and this blog has become bigger than war and peace, so I better sign off.
Til then, this is B.C.K (Bob Cheryl Kovarskis) signing off for radio K.B.C…….. be sure to tune in to the NEXT EXCITING EPISODE OF…. The DARWIN DASH!!
CK…. Over and out.