When the landscape is dominated by Anthills and Boab Trees, you know you’ve reached the stunning Kimberleys.
These bottle shaped trees are green and leafy in the wet season, and drop their leaves once the dry arrives. This year they didn’t seem to be sure what season it was.
Before commencing the Gibb we drove to Derby and set up our tent for a trial run in a caravan park. We had this marvellous idea that a test run in a town before we actually commenced the Gibb would give us a chance to recognise any obvious gaps in our equipment allowing us a chance to shop for any items obviously missing.
Meeting a couple of fellow travellers completing the Gibb having started at the Eastern Kununurra end assisted with us identifying the gaps. These were as follows:
1. We’d need a tarp for under the tent, particularly at Windjana, and possible at Manning campground. Both were apparently massed with burrs and prickles, and we’d be sure to puncture our air beds without some added underfloor protection.
2. Make sure we carried a small broom and dustpan with us for brushing out the inside of the tent, and for brushing the debris off the outside when packing up.
3. Make sure we have a warm wool blanket for under our mattresses as the nights are freezing, and the cold air comes up through the mattresses.
4. Mornington Wilderness Camp was the highlight of this couples trip. As limited numbers are allowed in at Mornington, we should phone and try to arrange at least a couple of nights there, and prioritise this in our schedule above all else – these sentiments were reflected in the comments of other travellers the whole length of the Gibb.
So, what did we do – we woke up around 6am on the day of commencement on the Gibb river, eager to get started, and three hours before the shops opened. Nah!! we decided we’d manage without the tarp, without the small broom, without the wool blanket, and without phoning to book into Mornington……… A decision we later regretted!
By 7.10am we were on our way.