North Kimberley Day 32 - Manning Gorge to Saddler Springs (bush camp)

Monday, Jul 23, 2001 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Day 32 - Monday 23/7/01
Start - Manning Gorge
Stop - Saddler Springs (bush camp)
Trip Odometer - 84.8km
Stopped time - 1.52hrs
Moving average - 66.3km/hr
Moving time - 1.16hrs
Max speed - 3.09hrs

Last night was rather cold and it was disappointing to have to get out the polar-fleeces again. Kalumburu was certainly much warmer than this! The day’s have been very warm, but as soon as that sun goes down…

Although we didn’t cover a lot of kilometres today it was a big day. We decided to set off for our walk to the Upper Manning Gorge and Falls quite early, leaving our camps to dismantle on our return – which wasn’t until after lunch.

We met 2 young couples travelling from Perth – Belinda and Jervis from Trigg and Yvette and Ian from Hillarys - it seems impossible to get away from the neighbours! We also recognised a couple we’d chatted to at Drysdale Station and spoke with a Melbourne couple travelling with their 14mth old boy. They were quite interested in our baby back-carrier, as they had carried him on their hip all the way to the gorge – at least an hour walk!

Leah turned 9mths old today and I can hardly believe she is growing up so fast.

After departing camp and picking up a few more supplies from the Barnett River Roadhouse, we headed off again towards Galvans Gorge.

It was totally different to how we remembered it – a real oasis. We swam, found the aboriginal rock paintings and tried to find the water monitor that someone had just seen.

Unfortunately, Adcock Gorge was closed. The whole way along the Kimberley we’ve seen mustering and cattle trucks transporting stock but it was still surprising to find the access track to Adcock blocked by drums saying “No Access – Holding Yards”.

So that makes 2 trips along the Gibb River Road and neither trip have we been able to visit Adcock Gorge.

We recognised a convoy of Toyota Landcruisers heading the other way and selected what we know to be the Sydney TLCC club channel and asked if they were who we thought they were – and sure enough it was. Every time we travel, we always bump into Steve Curtis and Co. from the TLCC. One time we found them in Litchfield Park in NT, another time at Kinchega NP near Broken Hill, this time on the GRR. They had a convoy of 7 vehicles (couldn’t think of anything worse!) but had just turned onto the GRR after having tracked through some great country between Mt Elizabeth and Beverly Springs Stations and up at Bachsten Creek etc. Someone in their convoy had car trouble - the only petrol car in the group had lost oil pressure. So after a chat the Jacka’s finally bounced along (still without shocks) and we continued west.

We were planning to camp at Silent Grove or Bells Creek with a walk to Bells Gorge tomorrow but we all prefer camping privately so when an appealing spot at the right time of day presented itself we stopped – on the RHS just before the crossing of Saddler Springs Creek. We didn’t realise until it was dark that we were just 1km from the Imintji Store (Saddler Springs Roadhouse), which accounted for the large number of dogs barking.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Always working not enough travelling!
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