Dawn light fades the stars quite early here, so we are waking before 5am. This morning a bird chorus filled the skies around our leafy campsite by the Pentecost River at ElQ. There were little whistling birds, perhaps honeyeaters, plus ravens, corellas, doves and pigeons, and others. The cheeky bowerbirds who stole our packet of muesli yesterday were silent in their guilt! We rose early and packed up, heading out to Zebedee Springs for a walk through a Livingstonia forest to the hot water pools. Although we were there before 7:30am we were greeted by an adventure tour bus and about 4 other 4WD vehicles. The forest is stunning, following the creek line, while dry savanna woodland stretches away beyond it towards the escarpment. First we met a couple of double-bar finches ….
and soon reached the pools, small and exquisitely lovely!
A space became available under the waterfall, deliciously warm, so S jumped in …. not literally, some rocks are sharp and others are slippery!
Then we lounged about for half an hour, soaking up the minerally water … and wondered just a little about why people love to chat in hot springs … each group deep in conversation and exclamation which was fortunately almost drowned out by the sound of falling water. I am sure Roman baths were also a centre of hot gossip 🙂
We drove back out onto the Gibb River Road and made our way through the main Pentecost River crossing, very small and low today. Our visit to Home Valley Station was short and sweet, for I managed to buy 15 mins of internet and got one post out … day 7 …. day 6 will have to come later. Now we are another 100km further west at Ellenbrae, further from a big tourist resort you cannot imagine …. although the manager will come down to the campsite at 4pm and light the donkey stove so we have hot water for showers. Had a great swim in a pandanus-lined billabong …. and S is happily sketching the quinine trees we are camping under. There are only two families and three couples camping here tonight, quite a relief after ElQ!!!!
Barking Owls in large tree at Ellenbrae Homestead