Monday, September 3, 2018

To El Questro -- 6 Sep 2018

Woke up after a sound night's sleep sore and sorry!  I had to struggle to find my feel which I discovered were badly blistered from yesterday's expedition.  Shower brightened me somewhat, but the walk down to the mess tent for breakfast was slow and agonising.  Eventually I packed the car, hauled myself into the driver's seat, and headed off.

First stop was the aboriginal community of Warnum just down Highway 1 a few km.  Needed over half a tank of diesel there at $1.98 a litre.  Top dollar for the trip.  They have an art centre in the township comprising a gallery and several houses used by artists to produce their work.  Side by side were similar paintings by different artists -- one asking $350, the next one over $3000.  I couldn't see the price difference reflected in the art I must say.  I didn't buy anything.  

The surrounding country changed notably now.  Moved from the flat Savannah plains into hill country.  The long straight stretches of road disappeared as the highway wound its way between hills and ranges.  Top quality road surface still.  A couple of hour's drive brought me to the Kununurra turn off; I continued on towards Wyndham until I reached the Gibb River Road turn off.  Twenty minutes along the Gibb one arrives at the entrance to El Questro wilderness park.  Reaching the station HQ involved a couple of water crossings and some pretty corrugated road.  Had a light lunch there, did my initial book in, and had a go at 4WD to one of the lookouts.  I chickened out on the Pentecost
River crossing...  The water part was OK, but 100 metres of riverbed rocks was too much.  If I was ever going to do a tyre in, it was there!  I am getting good at reversing out of tight spots!

Drove back to the Gemma Gorge resort which is part of El Questro where my "deluxe" cabin awaited me.  Mounted on a raised platform, the tent-cabin is powered, has a fan and complimentary tea/coffee etc.. As well as a full ensuite, double bed and 2 singles.  Spacious and comfortable.  I would describe El Questro as the Noosa of the Kimberleys.  Over-rated, over-priced and snobbish.  I was told at check in that if I wished to have dinner in the restaurant, a booking was essential.  So I booked for 6.30.  Total occupants of the dining room ..4 tables.  Menu sir .. I ordered the roast chicken breast.  "And for entree sir??"  No entree.  Drinks.  Yes, a XXXX Gold thanks.  "And would sort be considering the recommend wine for his meal??"  No telling me it was a Shiraz at $32 a glass;  I could read the menu!  She huffed off and made me wait 40 minutes for my chicken.  The bill had a prominent space for "gratuity" ... None added.  I wonder how these places train their backpacker staff to be so snobbish in such a short period of time??  

Back in my cabin/tent with the fan on (it was 39C today) I have enjoyed a cool shower and will not be long out of bed.  I hope tomorrow finds me a little more mobile than I have been today.

Not many photos today, but they are here.
Pics to follow.

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