Dust is engulfing us on the Gibb River Road, two poor wet seasons has dried out many of the small rivers and red dust coats everything in sight as well as the inside of our car. It is all part of the experience and seeing the sun’s rays through the thick dust haze is quite beautiful.
We have been on the road for two weeks and are settling into a rhythm of camping and travelling. The kids have adjusted to their swags and can set them up by themselves although Bailey needs a little help. The enjoy going to sleep watching the stars and some nights watching the campfire smouldering away. Although the days are hot and often well above 30 degrees, the nights are still cool and as soon as the sun sets we get some reprieve.
Mount Barnett Roadhouse is a busy hub on the Gibb River Road and as it was Ashley’s birthday, we celebrated with a dine-in lunch. I couldn’t make or buy a cake so we indulged in ice creams at the roadhouse and later that night, Austin chargrilled a marshmallow (his favourite way of eating them) and Ashley blew out the flames.
It was nice to spend the day at Mount Barnett, swimming at the river and taking the bikes for a spin downstream and setting up our own little rope swing.
Manning Gorge is an hour hike from the campsite and we had to pull the little tinny across the river to access the walk trail. We left early to avoid the heat and were ready for a swim once we finished the 2.5km walk in. The waterfall was still running and the large swimming hole was superb, it had nice clean and cool water with awesome ledges to leap off. The boys had all sorts of height to start from, plunging of the cliffs into the deep water below. Austin, as usual made his way to the highest point and leapt off. At about 8-10 metres high, only a few brave souls jumped with Ashley and I choosing to jump from the next lower ledge. Hungry as ever, the boys demolished all the food we had and we began the hot hour walk back to camp and a swim in the river. The couple of nights passed quickly and it was time to pack up in the heat and make our way to Mount Elizabeth.