The morning was still and quiet. The horse riders had left for their jog through the countryside as we were having tea and planning our day.
Today we continue along the road everyone talks about. We’ve heard about the corrugations, the dust, the river crossing.
I think the our drivers Leyland Brothers are excited to get going
We leave and immediately get stuck behind a bus. Oh no more dust. But at the end of the 16 km into El Questro he turned right towards Kunanurra and we turned left towards Derby.
Todays drive us about 5 hours. Not that the distance is great. It’s the dusty bumpy road!
We planned a stop at Ellenbrae Station. The people here have cleverly put on a Devonshire Tea. Yes …….scones, jam and cream on the Gibb River Rd.
The turn off to their property is 5km. Yes 5km of anticipation along a very rough rough road. But then. There it is.
A green oasis is surrounded by red dusty grassy scrub.
The sign welcomes us and we make our way to the shed / cafe open to the lush green gardens scattered with tables and chairs under the trees.
There is plenty to look at as we wait for our Devonshire tea.
We’d love our grandsons here with us on this trip. So many things to do. Crocodile huntings, swimming in gorges, fishing, sandpits, rocks, machinery! Boy heaven.
We bumped along the GRR for another hour or two. Dust, mud holes, river crossings.
The Pentecost River was rocky and the tide was down. The Durack River was small and rocky.
The road into our overnight stay at Mt Elizabeth was both surprising and fun.
Our ensuite cabin was actually old miners donga’s now fitted with air con! Small and stuffy when we entered the aircon went in so we headed to the lush garden to enjoy the last of the afternoon We stayed there while drama unfolded. Jill wanted wifi internet. Not possible unless you pay. That still didn’t work so as Jill claimed she had something she needed to do had been so nice to the hostess Chantelle she whispered’ you can use the owner’s internet but don’t tell anyone and only for a few minutes!’
As it turned out it was lucky. We had an urgent email from our travel agent. Our Horizontal Falls trip and overnight stay on the houseboat is cancelled! There was a bad jet boat accident about a week ago. All trips were cancelled until 10. We were to go on the 11th but now it’s been put off until further We have been offered an extra night in Broome and flight up to Cape Leveque with a visit to the Pearl farm for lunch and a flight over the falls. We’ve taken that but we’re sad as we miss the night on the boat. We didn’t really mind missing the jet boat.
With drama over it’s time for a drink. Lucky we brought some as there is no alcohol on sale here. Time for dinner. It’s a shared table which gave us a chance to meet other travellers. Always a good idea as you meet some interesting people and get some great tips.
Next to us were two men marine engineers from Perth. They had worked in many interesting places overseas. They were on a big trip from aperture across the Nullarbor and then straight up the centre of Australia
Dinner was prepared by Patrice. Home style cooking. A big rissole with a green pepper sauce and a bowl of veggies. Delicious. First night I haven’t had fish. Dessert as well. Cream caramel. Needless to say the new managers of Mt Elizabeth Station are former restaurant owners. They are busy preparing the rooms. There are 8 with ensuite and the same with shared bathrooms. The rest is camping.
We went back to our donga to find a frog in the toilet, and the aircon didn’t work. Lucky there was a large window with screens as it would have been too cold with air con on in this small bedroom!
We were initially disappointed but it was clean, friendly with a good meal provided. A fine overnight stay on the Gibb RR. But not a place with waterholes and great walks.