Canning Stock Route - Durba Springs - A day of rest and exploring the gorge.

Monday, Jun 04, 2007 at 00:00

Mick O

Monday 4th June 07
Durba Springs Rest Day
Canning Stock Route WA

It was a reasonably early rise and a fire soon blazing. I’d soaked a couple of pairs of very dirty jeans in the bucket overnight so once brekky was out of the way, the washing began in earnest. Billies of water heated for the rinsing (needed two as they were that dirty). Scott and Gaby headed out to the Calvert’s and we also farewelled the Kimberly Crew on their way south. After the morning chores were done, the washing hung out etc, we were shocked to find that it was not yet 9 bells. We must have been up earlier than we thought.

Exploring the rocks and caverns on the eastern side of the entry to Durba, we found some rock art of good quality. It was only a hundred metres from our campsite. Later, Hugh and I took the walk into the gorge following its entire length. Beautiful stuff. The high rocky walls gradually narrowed towards the end. There were huge gums, their trunks often tortuously wrapped round boulders or climbing over rocks and cliff edges. There were several, expansive pools of water that we wandered beside until finally reaching the constricted end of the gorge where huge boulders sat jumbled on the floor. We could see the gorge ended in a wall and series of dry water falls.

By trial and effort, we eventually managed to scale the walls and found various levels of rocky pools, stepping up higher and higher along the creek floor. The pools were home to thousands of tiny frogs, most not bigger than a 5 cent piece. It was great stuff. We eventually climbed out onto the rocky plateau above the gorge and walked back through the spinifex. I often spotted a boot print so felt confident that we would be able to clamber down again at the end of the gorge. There were plenty of termite mounds, spinifex , shallow gullies and sharp rills to be traversed before we clambered back down into the gorge via a narrow cleft to emerge only several hundred metres from the camp site. A fantastic walk.

After a quite sit and recover, I fired up the Cobb and got some bread underway. While it was proving, I made some savoury scones for lunch and then a sultana cake once they were on the plate. The last thing in was the loaf of bread. All turned out successfully and we enjoyed a warm scone lunch. I’d offered to cook dinner for us all the previous evening but by 6 bells, it was dark and there was still no sign of our returning Canadians. I cooked and we ate without them. Just as we were getting to the dishes, they arrived in the darkness well after 7:00 p.m. Bloody mad Canadians! A camel infested wilderness and rocky heartbreaker tracks at night....Madness! Second sitting it was then. Bread with butter, spag with chook and the sultana cake for desert. All washed down with my last bottle of St Mary’s cab sav. We sat round the fire and chatted till all hours devouring chocolate and swigging Baileys.



''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903
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