Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

It was a long (bumpy) ride, but we finally made it to Mount Elizabeth on our first day along the Gibb.  We were a little worn down by the time we parked it at our campsite for lunch and when we opened the back of our truck, we were in for a nasty surprise.  Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, was completely covered in red dust.  Our sleeping bags, covered.  Our pillows, discolored.  Our backpacks, filthy.  And even worse, our beer cooler was in utter shambles.  This is still unbelievable.  Somewhere along the rocky road, the lid flew off the cooler and our bottles of beer (yes, we know now that bottles were a poor life decision on our part) had been so shaken up that they were literally half empty and the lids were still on!  Even in the midst of trying to salvage a few drinks, we found that there were bits of dust in our beer bottles.  How in the world that road was rough enough to cause that kind of damage in the back of our vehicle is still beyond us.  Looked like Mom and I really needed to work on our packing skills because what a perfectly good way to lose a 12-pack!

Once we regrouped and embraced the dirt situation, we drove to Warla Gorge about 20km from our campsite.  Up until now, everything had been a relatively predictable unpaved road.  Anddd welcome to our first taste of an off road adventure!  The narrow, rocky, pothole filled path reminded me of some sort of Ford commercial you would see at home.  Only this was the real deal and if something went wrong, nobody was coming to save us.  I took a dip in the gorge.  Mom was too afraid of the possibilities of any freshies, and to tell you the truth I wasn’t use to there being ZE-RO warning signs around.  We were in a proper remote gorge somewhere in The Outback.  Our return drive was even more fun once we had the confidence in ourselves that we could do it.  No white knuckles for me on the way back!

How cool was it to be camping in the Australian Outback?  This was like a bucket list thing that people talk about, but very rarely do you meet a foreigner who’s actually done it.  So far, our trip didn’t seem to be as scary as people make it out to be.  I’m really glad the “remote area – seek local advice before traveling” warnings on the Australian maps didn’t deter us from this experience.

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