SATURDAY 21 JULY CHARNLEY RIVER TO MANNING GORGE CAMP 100kms
We were packed up and away from the Charnley camp in good time.
Traversed the 40-something kms back to the Gibb – cautiously. Then, east on the Gibb, it was 50kms to the Kupingarri Community, set back a little distance from the road.
The Gibb River Road was so good, these days, compared to what it was like in the early 90’s. The drivers doing stupid things, mentioned earlier, were far more of a hazard than anything the road presented!
Mt Barnett Roadhouse was the community store for Kupingarri, and also served the needs of travellers. I suspected just about every Gibb traveller called in here – for fuel, supplies, some to pay the camp fees for the Manning Gorge camp ground, accessed from here.
We refuelled Truck – $1.94cpl. Did some shopping at the store – csabai sausage, frozen chicken drumsticks, sausages, peanut butter, a couple of apples – at $1 each!
At the public phone, I called son. He seemed alright.
Booked into the campground – for $12.50 a person; unpowered of course. Then it was through the gate to drive the 7kms down the track to the large campground by the Manning River.
I think most people who drive the Gibb stay here, even if they don’t do the walk to the Gorge. It was a pleasant place in its own right, by a lovely large pool in the river – safe, albeit freezing, swimming.
A new amenities block had recently been built in the camp ground – with flushing toilets and cold (very cold) showers. We were told that the community had hired new, non-indigenous managers, so I hoped the standard of upkeep would be more consistent than we’d found on previous visits, and heard some horror stories about.
We found a good place to set up camp – away from the foot and vehicle traffic, and more crowded spots by the river.
This was such a scenic place, with a number of really large boabs scattered about, and plenty of other shade trees. Wet season floods caused some changes from year to year. Now, there was lots of sand alongside the river, dumped by the big floods of earlier in the year. One day, they’d had about 170mm of rain in a few hours, and the rivers came up, big time.
After we’d set up the camp, John went back to the Roadhouse with the wheel he’d taken off at Charnley. He was able to get a new tube, and got the old one patched – in case it was needed further on. There was just a little rubbed patch on the tube, again. The fact that this had happened now on both left hand side wheels was suggestive – maybe confirming the idea that it was a big boulder run over in the Fletcher Creek that caused the problems.
The tyre work cost $70.
Went for a wander around the campground and environs, taking photos.