Leaving Derby the real riding experience begins on the infamous Gibb River Road. And what an experience…..along its 650 km. Creek and river crossings, gorges and vast vistas of mountain ridges of shattered limestone coloured by blue/green algae and rust-red leaching. Heaps of boab trees, with their huge trunks and madly tangled branches. Birds of all descriptions.
Our first overnight stop brings us to Windjana Gorge and the Richenda River. There are hundreds of fresh-water crocs lining the banks of the river, quite oblivious to us strolling metres from them. Apparently they are not aggressive to humans but no-one is taking a dip. Its the dry season now and very hot and the river is low and stagnant in places but a quick glance higher up the banks show evidence of past flooding during the wet seasons, with logs and other detritus caught in the ajoining trees.
We spend most of the afternoon at Tunnel Creek, where the Aboriginal bushranger/freedom fighter, Jandamarra, was executed by the WA Police in the 1890’s
This is a special and beautiful place with the limestone cliffs towering above the river. Vast flocks of corellas squark loudly as they wing overhead into a red-hot sunset.