to Halls Creek Western Australia
After a brief refuelling and resupply stop at Kununurra
we headed for Wyndham, 105km north west.
Looking for a place to camp overnight, we settled
on The Grotto, 45km out of Wyndham, and set up the caravan on the edge
of cliffs, overlooking the gorge.
We enjoyed a commanding view over the surrounding
Kimberleys and our elevation provided a welcome breeze.
Best of all we had it to ourselves !!
The night sky was pitch black and studded with stars
from corner to corner...the cloudy trail of the Milky Way weaving across
it...a sight we rarely got to saviour in the City.
The next day we ambled down to view the Grotto.
Reached by 140 stone steps, The Grotto is a pool at
the base of a 90 metre waterfall (that runs only in the wet season) and
is a popular swimming hole for locals.
Unfortunately, at the time of our visit the water
level and quality wasn't favourable for swimming but the Grotto was a
pretty sight nevertheless.
Apparently it's a popular haunt for swimming lizards too, presumably water
monitors, and we were lucky enough to find one rather docile specimen
sunning itself on a rock in the pool.
Taken by the rugged beauty of the area...and the absence of other residents...we
stayed on at the Grotto for two days...resting up before a quick look
at Wyndham and our haul to the West.
Although I had visited Wyndham in 1984, and once described
it as 'the asshole of Australia', Anita had not seen it and so we decided
it was worth a look over.
Perhaps because this time there was no road work in
progress...and more to the point...the four wheel drive and van weren't
covered by wet tar...
...my impression was different.
Perhaps, too, my perspective may have matured a little
over the years !!
Wyndham is a relatively old Western Australian settlement,
established a bit after the mid 1800's, and has developed two distinct
identities - a township, Wyndham Three Mile, and several kilometres away,
Wyndham Port is located on Cambridge Gulf and has
retained some of its historic buildings, including the Port Post Office,
Durack's Store, the old Court House and Anthon's Landing.
We saw a sign to 'Five Rivers Lookout', and decided
At the foot of the road to the Lookout a sign indicated
that caravans were not permitted... so we unhitched before proceeding
to the top...wisely.
The road was quite steep and climbed for three or
four kilometres...but the sweeping views from the top (the peak of the
Bastion Range) was well worth the effort.
Although we didn't, from this
vantage point it is possible to see the Forrest, Pentacost, King, Durack
and Ord Rivers combine into one.
We did, however, get spectacular
views of the mudflats around the northern base of the Bastion Range, Cambridge
Gulf and the Kimberleys to the west of Wyndham.