Tête en bas

Down under wandering. Archipelagoes to islands; beaches to deserts; mountains to cities.

Umbrawarra Gorges


  • English: Umbrawarra Gorges
  • Français: Umbrawarra Gorges

As usual, we take our time in the morning, to enjoy the small lake in the campground. Quiet swimming, nap in the sun, relaxation, before going back on the road. Long drives are behind us now. I’m always happy to drive slowly, but it’s better when you have only a 100 kilometers to drive than 500. Specially when you’re driving 90 km/h. If the previous owner of Minma told me to expect around12 liters per 100 km, I’m just over 9, and really happy with that!

We meet again with Jaab and Louise. Spirit is already there, waiting for us, ready to give us all is comfort. We spent an other nice time chatting, and learning a couple of useful information about the bus. We have a 500 litters tank of fresh water. Should be alright. Jaab also told me that they have a 500 litters grey water tank, and a tank almost the same size for the fuel. Weight variation of the Spirit can be quiet impressive!

And Hripsimé told me that neither Jaab or Louise have ever slept in a swag. She’s australian, he’s been living in Australia for 10 years, it’s time that a french quebecer help them to discover a new way of life! I offer them to experience the swag for the next few days, and they accept with pleasure. Not only the experience, they also think about the time they will save not building and packing the tent.

I won’t have a swag for the next few days, but my intention is not to sleep inside the bus. You don’t really need a swag to sleep on a terrace. I don’t feel like I want to tell bye to my stars yet.

But we did say good bye to Jaap and Louise the next morning, ending up with a giant bus just for us. My old “Pourquoi Pas ?” would have fit just in the trailer…

We took the first day relax, but the next day, we’re heading to Umbrawarra Gorges. It was just a little dot on the map. Dot I only see because I was checking what was close to the place where the bus was park, so that we can have one day trip. Seems that it’s beautiful. We will see.

Access to the gorges is via a non sealed road, but still accessible for 2WD vehicle. At least, that what they say… 10 minutes after leaving the main road, a river crosses the road. I stop the engine. Walk a little bit in the water. It’s not that wide, but I do have water to the knee. Seems a little bit to deep for a normal car. I hesitate, looking Minma. For what I know, the only risk is to drown the engine. In this case, you just have to wait until the car dry. Yes, but if the engine stop while in the water… well, it’s going to be more complicate to dry the car! We’ll have to wait until the next 4WD to save us. Why not… let’s take the risk and give it a try. With a little bit of speed, it should be okay… I ask Hripsimé, on the other side of the river, to immortalize the moment.

Minma cross the river without any problem, and start climbing the other side. The back whipper starts with no reason. Engine start coughing. Cough again. More. I stop the car, put in on neutral, press the gas trying to wake it. Pof pof pof. Silence. The car is down. I open the engine, have a look. It’s hot and wet inside.

It’s not a problem. I trust Minma. We wait for a little while. Ten minutes later, I start the engine again. Little bit of coughing again, but the engine start again. Quietly. Press the gas. Minma is running again. She’s happy of what she just did. I don’t tell her that we’ll have to do the same thing on the way back. Not yet. It will be a surprise for later. The back whipper still works. He finally decides to stop 15 minutes later.

We’re finally at the gorges. There’s a van on the campground. That’s all. We start walking. The place is gorgeous. Like everywhere in this part of Australia, it’s an amazing mix of colors. Orange and red of the rocks, green of the trees, blue of the sky. Here, you can also add the pink and purple of some stones, and the water, with it’s muddy green to amazing turquoise.

We meet a old couple at some point. The van owner. That’s all. We have the gorges all for ourselves. We just have to share them with the locals.

We’re really happy. The place worth the detour and the adventure. The river is still waiting for us on the way back. Taking some speed, crossing with no problem, Minma doesn’t stop. Still running. Well… maybe… pof pof pof… no, she asks for an other break.

Ten minutes later, she’s on again. The back window will be perfectly clean. We arrive in Pine Creek, thinking we could find a grocery to buy some more food, but the only place where we can find something has two broccolis, two lettuce, and one sweat potatoes. We’ll have to find an other solution.

Back to the bus a little bit later, Boris and Zilla are waiting for us!

One Response to “Umbrawarra Gorges

  1. July 31st, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    La Feuille says:

    plusieurs coms en un seul.
    D’abord esthétique : bien jolies ces gorges je trouve moi aussi. La grosse bête qui se promène sur les rochers est impressionnante : lézard de feu capable de disparaître dans l’interstice ?
    Quant aux 500 l d’eau potable, c’est exactement la réserve tampon qu’on a dans la cave à la maison. Ça couvre largement les besoins quotidiens de gros gaspilleurs d’eau, sauf si l’on doit arroser un champ de poireaux et quelques dizaines d’arbustes !
    bonne suite de zexploration. Eviter de traverser une rivière lorsque la voiture n’a pas pied !

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