Saturday, 11 June 2011

Gibb River Road - Day 7

We set off in the morning to get to the Pentecost on low tide as it is a tidal river. Several people we had met said they would help us out if we had troubles. When we arrived at the crossing several cars where there. The crossing was 100+metres long and littered with rocks. There was no riding this crossing, it would be walking all the way. After watching a few cars go through and plotting out a good line we plunged into it, both pushing Mark's bike while looking out for the local salties waiting for a tasty breakfast. Thankfully we didn't see any and made it to the other side, all the while knowing we had to go back and do the same with the other bike.
One of the guys we knew was so kind to offer us a lift back across to the other side so we jumped up onto the bumper of his Hilux and hung on for a bumpy ride. Second time round was even harder with the lactic acid building up in our muscles and our boots full of water. By now we had garnered a bit of an audience and we were greeted with cheers when we finally made it to the other side. We had conquered the Pentecost and felt tired but great! Of course the bikes electrics had got wet so they didn't want to start back up but after 10 mins or so they spluttered back to life and we were on our way to our next destination - El Questro Station. We had to cross the Pentecost again further up river coming into the station but it was a shorter crossing here although very rocky. El Questro is very expensive to stay at. We paid $72 for one night's camping as you also have to purchase a so called 'Wilderness Permit' which is $18 per head. We managed to get a private campsite which means you're completely secluded from other campers and camp right on the river. 
We ran into a German guy, Malte, whom we'd met in Broome. He was now working here and told us they were looking for woofers on the station (woof = workers on organic farms). We thought about this as we otherwise would have to leave the next morning as we were down to our last meal. This way we could stay for free, get accommodation and meals and still have time to explore the place. The next day we moved in to the staff quarters and filled up our empty stomachs with all the good food available. We signed on for a week's work and our job would be to weed their vegetable garden. 
When we returned to our bikes there was a note on there from a British couple, Simon and Sarah that we'd met back at Millstream-Chichester NP. Turns out they had spoken to some people who had come across the Pentecost that day and had asked them if anything exciting happened at the crossing and they had told them about some mad bikers who had walked across the river! They later spotted our bikes parked at the station and left a note inviting us for dinner and cold beers. We gladly accepted and had a great evening with them and hope to see them in Wales next year.

The famous Pentecost River with the Cockburn Ranges in the background

We had some time to watch cars go through

First bike...ready...?

Hitchin' a ride back!

Hanging on for dear life

This was a seriously bumpy ride!

Halfway across with Sanne's bike


It was hard work!

Yay! Didn't end up as croc food!

Whatever is in that spraycan must be very interesting...

Part of the Cockburn Ranges

Crossing the Pentecost...again

Our campspot

Simon and Sarah - such lovely people

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