We awoke early, as one would expect after such an early night at Windjana, and lay in bed until it was light. Paul was getting to be a dab hand at dropping the tent by this stage, so after a quick cuppa and a bowl of yogurt and fruit, we were packed up and on our way.
The roads at this stage of our trip although dusty were quite good, and the corrugations moderate.
Some gorgeous rock formations as we drove through the Napier ranges, with this one resembling Queen Victoria’s Head being so notable that there’s even a road sign advising it’s coming up.
A couple of small creek crossings and we arrived at Silent Grove Camp Ground just before 9.30am.
We found ourselves a lovely little camp site, with it’s own table, bench seats and shrubs surrounding our little area, making it quite private. Within no time at all the camp was set up, a cuppa made, and Paul had his air bed spread out on the table searching for the leak. A bit of soapy water helped locate the smallest of pin prick holes, so it was an easy repair job, although he had to wait two hours before he could bond the patch to the mattress. I’m pleased to say the repair was successful, and there were no more deflated air mattresses for the rest of the trip.
Lunch out of the way, we headed for Bells Gorge, which is known to be up there with the best of the Gibb River Road Gorges. It didn’t disappoint.
It’s a relatively easy walk to the top area from where the falls start their decent.
Then the walk gets a lot more difficult, especially if you’re vertically challenged, like I am. There’s a lot of rock scrambling, but with Paul’s help, and the help of my bush walking stick we both managed to get down to the bottom pool. Wearing my trusty walking boots helped too. Paul is still fit and agile, and manages so easily. I’ve never been much of a mountain goat, so I struggle a bit. I’m so grateful for Paul’s patience and assistance, without which I couldn’t even contemplate doing these walks.
It was absolutely awesome with the noise of the falls thundering so close to where we were swimming. We tried to swim under the falls, but the force was to strong for us to get behind the water curtain. It was fun trying though.
After our swim we re-traced our footsteps, and being uphill on the way back a lot of the fear of slipping was removed, so it was a little easier than the trek in. Back to camp for dinner and another early night – this time we were tired and ready for it. Bell Gorge – what a pleasure! If we hadn’t needed to repair the air mattress it would have been easy to spend those additional two hours at the gorge. Apart from that, if I was re-doing the Gibb, I wouldn’t change a thing. It was perfect!