SATURDAY 14 JULY MORNINGTON WILDERNESS CAMP
I was not imagining things yesterday – last night was definitely warmer! Maybe being that bit closer to the coast had made a difference?
I was up at 7.30am – just because I was wide awake! John slept a bit later.
Before breakfast, I went and put our washing into one of the machines in the ablution block – yes, they even had washing machines! Then went and hung it out after breakfast.
John drove back up the Glenroy road until he was clear of the property boundary, and found a little side track where he could park out of the way and start the generator, to charge up his torch and the camera batteries. Not being able to get a powered site at Fitzroy Crossing had meant these had not been charged for nearly a week. This took a while and he did not get back until about 2.30pm.
In the meantime, M arrived about midday. She had not noticed John on the way in. She set up her camp in the area we’d “kept” near us.
She reported that it was very hard to get a riverside site camp at the popular Bell Gorge. People were setting up a temporary camp at Silent Grove, 11kms away, where the Ranger Base was, then queuing up at 7am to be there when the Ranger put out tags for spots at Bell Gorge that would be vacated that day. If they managed to snare a tag, they moved there. M had not bothered with that, since she only planned to stay a couple of nights.
M had enjoyed Bell Gorge, finding the falls spectacular, but found the track in a bit rough. Given the crowds, she seemed in two minds as to whether it had been worth the effort. They were the first of the brilliant Kimberley waterfalls that she’d seen, so had made a good impression. I knew there would be others even more brilliant to come……
M and I did the Riparian Walk, while John was still gone. She pronounced this campground much more to her liking than those of her past couple of days.
The workshop here had put out a sign that they were out of gas for gas bottle refills! Given the campfire ban, that could become a bit dire for campers!
However, we could still buy a beer at the bar – for $5.50 a can!
The three of us walked up for the evening talk. Got there a little early, to have an expensive beer, and make sure we had seats. The talk was excellent, given by the head resident scientist at the place – all about Mornington and the work of the AWC here. Very impressive.
I was particularly taken with two aspects of their work: the research on establishing the causes of the decline in Gouldian Finch numbers, hence, how to work to bring back the numbers. And the concept that wild dingo populations were significant in controlling feral introduced pests such as pigs and cats. That tallied with our views after our time on Pungalina in 2005.