Thursday, July 22, 2010

El Questro - Wednesday 23rd June

I found this to be a nicely paced day. Up early and out to Chamberlain Gorge by 7:30am. Then a swim in the thermal pools, lunch in the restaurant, then the rest of the arvo to ourselves.

This was the sort of cabin that we all had - Queen bed, two singles and an en-suite. A tiled en-suite. It was a bit of a hike to the bar, etc, but such a joy to wake up to the birds, go to the door and see the sun come up against the backdrop of that typical Kimberley hillside.

I think I have said before, that the guides we had were knowledgeable, articulate and very personable. Dale was our National Parks chap. Kathy was our skipper, and Christina was on her first cruise, being on a Working Holiday from Germany. The bacon and egg sambo I could have done without. Champagne is not my poisson of choice. But I hoed into them both, and washed it down with good strong cawfee.

And how about drifting down here early in the morning? Just fabulous. I know I said that Geike Gorge was my favourite but I suspect that was because it was first. This was gorgeous, too. Every so often there was debris from the Wet up high somewhere, but it was harder to see the damage done by the Wet Season in this gorge. The reflections were a knockout, but I cannot show you ALL of them!

At one point, the engine was cut and we were given pellets to hold over the edge for the fish. They would shoot water and you would get such a surprise that you would drop it. Very effective. Some of the fish were very large - especially the barramundi. My photos of that were useless. Go see what Diane managed.

We did not see many marsupials at all, but this rock wallaby was a treasure. He even performed for me! All the cruise 'boats' were this sort of flat-bottomed craft.

We then went over to Zebbeddee Springs before it closed at noon so the big-wigs from El Questro Homestead could have exclusive use. I guess if you pay a coupla thousand a night you can expect that. The water comes from deep within the earth and is 32C all year round. The vegetation is mostly Livistona Palms, Wild Mango and Swamp Bloodwoods.

And to close, the flower after which our bus was named: The Kimberley Rose.


Joan Elizabeth said...

I stayed in a tent-cabin like that in Yosemite. At least you didn't have to worry about bears attacking in the night. Floating down that gorge would be delightful.

Ann said...

So that's El Questro, never got there (would have been camping anyway) think we were running late and ended up somewhere else. Didn't realise Diane had done that trip.

Fantastic wallaby shot. Well done!

I'm really interested to see what sort of accommodation we get in the desert. Its an expensive trip but I think they can pretty much charge what they like out there and from what I've heard "best available" at William Creek is a donga with shared facilities.

diane said...

That was a fabulous part of the trip, I loved Kathy's sense of humour especially with the boat safety drill. I did get the fish but couldn't manage a rock wallaby.I love your shot of the blue reflection on the water.

Julie said...

I slept in a cattle pen out the back of the William Creek pub in a swag on a tarpoline. Good spot to watch the sun come up. You have never seen so much junk on the ceiling until you drink at the WC bar.

Self Sagacity said...

Gorgeous photos Julie. Just amazing how you've captured everything here, I enjoyed the post very much.