Saturday 8th September

An alarm was not necessary as, promptly at 5.30, a host of white birds made a noisy fly past of screeching and wing flapping. It was just about dawn. It was time to be up. The white birds gone, the black kites flew into the sky space and flew lazily overhead.

By 7.00 breakfast was over, swags (remembering our rolling technique lesson and fearing to be found wanting) and bags were stowed away and we were off. Windjana returned to its peace and quiet and no one would have known we had been there. We left it to its peace and tranquility and occasional traveller. We were off to Bell Gorge, two hours away. After an hour, we stopped to look over a magnificent range of mountains that had appeared across the valley. This was the Leopold Range.

Over the lip of the road, a kapok tree framed our view. It had yellow flowers and lime coloured pods that apparently provided the stuffing for pillows. I think they would have struggled to make anything but a very small cushion from the few Kapok trees we saw on the whole trip. I guess you have to be committed to be purist about these things!

Back on the bus, we travelled further and eventually took the sign off to Bell Gorge. Having tumbled out of the bus we took a stony path down to the pool at the top of a water fall.

Keith and I set out to find a flat rock in the shade while some took to the water there and others climbed down to the base of the waterfall. We were just passing a rock when a large snake came into view. It was later identified as one of the famous Australian Browns, one of the deadliest snakes in the world……. ho hum! (Or you could read ‘screech’!). It did have a head, but Keith did not quite catch it.

The thinker perched on another rock……

It was a pretty spot.

We left after an hour or so. We had a lunch stop on the road and a late afternoon stopped at another pool where there was an aboriginal painting under a cliff and more swimming took place. I acted as court photographer! Totally disregarding the hullabaloo, a lizard sunbathed on a rock…….

We eventually reached Galvins Gorge our spot for the night. We had collected wood along the road for a camp fire and not long after we arrived, the fire was alight and cooking was on the way. This included ‘damper’ an Australian delicacy cooked Friday with hot ashes from the fire ina Dutch oven.

We were camped around a wonderful old Boab tree that seemed to watch over as the sun sank behind it.

We had it with an excellent ragu with the damper bread to dip in it for supper. Food on the trip has been excellent!

And so to bed – another busy day tomorrow.

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