Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 25: Down the mighty Gibb River Road

Up early today for our next major challenge - the Gibb River Road. 800kms or so of gravel and dirt. We decided to take the easy way into the road (we thought) and cruised up to the first stopping place at Eol Questro. Here we had to cross two rivers, one being the Pentecost River. I was a bit nervous about this but Dick was keen so we gave them a go. While I hate to admit it - he was right and I was wrong. The rivers were excellent practice for what came later. They were both quite deep - over the engine cylinders - and a bit pebbly but we found if we kept the speed up and didnt worry too much about how deep it was we were ok.

A quick look around El Questro - this is the place that offers accommodation for $AUD6-8,000 per night. We weren't overly impressed so topped up our tanks and then headed back over the two rivers again and onto the Gibb.
Next challenge was the real crossing of the Pentecost. When I can I'll post some photos but let's just say it was deep, long and rough - with a reputations for saltie crocs! Dick went first and was going well untill he stalled on a huge rock in the middle. Fortunately he's got long legs and was able to hold the bike up, get it started and forge on to the other side.
My turn - I kept well up to the left hand side of the weir where it was fairly shallow with smailler rocks and did well for a while and then turned into the deeper water and went for it. Helga was great - she pushed on thru with the water coming right up over the front mudguard and me saying "We're going to make it, We're going to make it - and we did!! High fives all round - Dick has a great photo that once we work out how to do it, we'll post on the blog. The practice earlier in the day was invaluable. (Here's one photo -the River Pentecost is deep and wide!!!

Here's another!!!!
And one more!!

After that was the Durak River which, while shorter, was a bit deeper but we managed that ok as well.

We camped that night at Ellenbrae. Interesting. Basically you checked in at the farm house, had a coffee and were told to go that way and pick any spot you like along the Bushmans' Camp Track. We did exactly that and were in real Ocker camping mode for a night. We brewed up some soup and some pasta - both of which were delicious. We tried to add a tin of what I had thought was kind of a corned beef but it turned out to be more like meat paste. It was disgusting. We finished off Dick's bottle of port and - because of where we were in the time zone - found everything went dark just after 6pm. Not much for it then but to go to bed. A great night's sleep for two very tired bunnies. Tomorrow - Ellenbrae to Mt Barnett.


  1. Standing up on the pegs works well for river crossings on smaller bikes. But perhaps that isn't practical on Helga and Olga!
    Bill K

  2. For Salty Crocs Bill, I'd recommend standing on the seat!!...and this big pause in the updates might suggest that Kennif didn't do that!

    Assuming all is still well though Ken, I'm coming over on Wednesday for 10 days so if you need another break, feel free to nip over to the Gold Coast for a nice cup of tea!


  3. Doesn't seem to work Bill. With these big bikes and full loads, standing up makes it more difficult to balance. We have got into the habit of staying seated and keeping the speed up. Seems to work - most times!
    John - the Gold Coast is actually quite a wee way from Perth......