Bye bye El Questro
We had such a great time
Day 24 – Monday 23rd
July – El Questro to King Edward River Campsite on the Mitchell Plateau
We left El Questro at 9.30 am after packing up and refueling and filling the camper trailer with water. We were considering making the long detour to the Mitchell Falls after taking to people in the Zebedee Springs who said that it was absolutely spectacular and the road up there had just been graded and was in good condition. So, after reading up the Mitchell Falls we decided we should go. Just passed the turnoff for Home Valley Station at the top of a hill, all of a sudden we had a couple of bars of Telstra mobile connection! We turned off the road and joined a small gang of 4 others, standing in the middle of a rocky outcrop with heads in ipads and smart phones, absorbing the latest news and catching up on text messages and emails. The most exciting thing that we found out was that that Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France! We limited ourselves to a 10 minute stop to catch up with the world before we got on our way again.
We had a quick stop for tea and scone s(how civilized) at the Ellenbrae station before taking the turning off the Gibb River Road up the Drysdale River Station. Depending on the state of the road we had a couple of options for leaving the trailer and just taking the car up. As we had no tent we thought we might make a shelter for ourselves using a tarp and all huddle up in sleeping bags together to keep warm, as the nights are quite cool up here. The road to Drysdale River Station was in good condition and the report from the station was that grading was currently in progress on the road north to Kalumburu but only the first 15 or so kms had been finished. But they reckoned that it would be no problem to take an off road camper trailer up to at least the King Edward River campsite and we could leave the trailer at the campsite before the falls if necessary. So we kept going on the long, straight gravel road. There were quite long stretches of decent corrugations and some rough rocky patches, several small water crossings but all in all it
was OK. We drove for 2 hours from Drysdale River until we reached the turnoff to the Mitchell Falls National Park. From there it was another 95kms to the falls but only 15kms to the King Edward River campsite where we would stay the night. It had been a long day’s driving and all of it had been on unsealed roads, where you cannot take your eyes off the road for one second, in case you miss the next obstacle, rock, pothole or dip. The last 10ks were the worst on the road but we arrived at the campsite in one piece about half an hour before sunset.
The campsite was in a magnificent spot on the King Edward River, just over a gorgeous water crossing, and the evening light made for beautiful photos of the water, gum trees and various birds flying past. We shared the campsite with various campers and a herd of cattle with long horns. Luckily they seemed to be used to a herd of tents and humans and didn’t bat an eyelid at us, lazily munching their grass and watching on with amusement. Dinner was pasta with smoked salmon and sweetcorn, eaten round the
Telstra reception at the top of a hill
iPhones and iPads out everyone and check your email!
campfire. We still hadn’t made a decision on whether to leave the trailer at the campsite and head to the Falls tomorrow with just the car and our sleeping gear, however other campers who had just got back from the falls said that we had driven the worst of the road and most of the drive to the Mitchell Plateau was OK. So we decided to sleep on it and see what we felt like tomorrow.
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