SUNDAY 22 JULY MANNING GORGE CAMPGROUND
After getting going at a respectable hour, we drove back west along the Gibb, to Galvans Gorge, some 14kms from the Roadhouse. We’d passed the turn off yesterday, but had wanted to push on and get camp set up, before the afternoon rush arrived. Today, we were in the mood to linger…..
From the carpark, we had a walk of just over a km to the Gorge. Like the streams at Charnley River, the one here runs into the NW flowing Isdell River. Yet, just up the road where we were camped, the Manning River water ends up in the Fitzroy system, to the SW.
The walk, along a narrow track, mostly beside a creek, was pretty in its own right. The creek formed a series of little pools, where water lilies grew.
The Gorge itself was scenic, with a plunge pool beneath a water drop large enough to be called a waterfall, rather than rapids.
However, I thought we had been spoiled by our recent experiences, by having lovely places largely to ourselves. Here, there were maybe a dozen other visitors, mostly of the younger, backpacker variety, and the peace of the place was disturbed by the loud yells of those who were climbing up the Gorge walls and jumping off into the pool below. What is it about these types of people that they can’t just peacefully swim, without all the “look at big, brave me” behaviour? Gosh I was becoming a Grinch.
In the way of such visitors, we did not have to wait all that long for them to have been, seen, and then left for the next sight. So I was then able to get some photos and we could enjoy the place to ourselves for a little while.
Adcock Gorge, approximately 20kms further west again, was supposed to be even nicer than Galvans Gorge, but access to it was closed. It was on Mt House Station land, and the owner was fed up with the behaviour of previous visitors. I remember that, on one of our previous visits, despite the clear No Camping signs at both Galvans and Adcock Gorges, a large group had set up camp at Adcock Gorge, then had the effrontery to complain that the mustering activities of station staff were affecting their camp – and proceeded to try to interfere with the muster! It was after that episode that access was closed to all. Familiar story of the selfish few spoiling it for the majority who try to do the right thing. Though I had to say that the selfish few seemed to be in disproportionate numbers in the Kimberley, these days.
On the way back to camp, stopped at the Roadhouse. M and I’d had the foresight to take a washing basket full of our dirty sheets and towels along with us. We put the load through the public access washing machine at the Roadhouse – the $2 charge was reasonable, we thought. Waited for the load to be done, then rigged up a line back at camp to dry these on. I did some other, smaller item, washing, too, in the plastic wash bowl, and hung that out too.
We’d also done some wood gathering on the drive back. Hadn’t done that since we were back at Keep River!
Had a lazy afternoon around camp. The local entertainment was watching the crows investigating around any camps where the people were absent. The Mt Barnett crows had definitely not lost their touch at “doing over” anything accessible that just might contain something edible. On our first stay here, in ’93, we’d watched this happening in the morning, as soon as campers departed to sightsee. I had put all food away in our vehicle, before we went off to walk. But I left out a plastic crate containing inedibles like a roll of tinfoil, mosquito coils, dishwashing sponge and green pot scourers, not thinking the marauding crows would have any interest in those. Believe me, it takes a long time to pick up 10 metres of tinfoil, in tiny pieces, spread over a wide area of campground!
We discussed whether this was an inherited, genetic, trait in these crows, or was a learned ability. We had done a lot of camping in places with crows, but had never seen such thorough and determined raiders anywhere else!
I went to the waterhole for a swim. Figured that if I had to venture into cold water, I would enjoy it more that way, than in a cold shower. It was one hell of a shock to the system, initially, but very pleasant once I acclimatized. M watched on from the bank. Coward!
It was really pleasant to have a night time camp fire again, and to sit around same, after tea, watching the stars and passing satellites.
The lamp was still not working properly. It wasn’t fuel shortage this time. I wondered whether John had put it back together properly, at Mornington?