Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 17 - Emma's gorge

Up at 6 again, do I even need to say this anymore??  We left just after 7 and headed to Zebedee hot springs, and man where they warm!  27 degrees celsius, and I sure didn't want to get out when I got in!  We where there early in the morning so when we did have to leave, it was still kinda 'cool' out and it was tough getting out of the warm water.  We had been used to getting into cold water in the gorges, so this was nice treat.  The springs actually close at 12 noon as the rich and famous rent out the springs in the afternoons and have the whole thing to themselves.  The springs have security guards come by at 1200 and kick anyone out and do a search to make sure no one is hiding around to take pictures of the famous.  Supposedly Kylie Minogue (I think) had photos taken of her here topless by a paparazzi that hid in the bushes.   Nicole Kidmann has also been known to rent out the hot springs, among many of the famous.  We then drove to Emma's gorge, another more difficult gorge to get to.  It wasn't so much climbing in or out that was the problem, but all the loose rocks and big boulders that you needed to climb over.  Again, about 3 people stayed back and we where off.  We actually made good time with this walk, getting back about 20 minutes earlier then expected, which was good for this group!  The gorge has 2 waterfalls, although one was barely running, it was more or less just dripping water down!  The other was bigger and almost 80M high!  The water was the coldest I had been in while in Australia, but we found a small hot spring that flowed into the gorge, and I hung out there!! Once I was done with the cold water, I was able to sit on the rocks and sun tan for about 45 minutes before the walk back.  We had lunch back at the bus before heading to the Bungle bungles (I'll call them the BB).  We had a long afternoon of driving ahead of us, it was 200km's to the turn off to the BB then about 2 1/2 hours on rough 4WD road in order to get to camp.  And yup, it was almost exactly 2 1/2 hours!  We had one stop for a pee break, and a stretch, then when we got to our camp - all the group camp sites where full - with about half of them filled with single cars!!!!!!  Can you believe it?  Justin wasn't too impressed but he said, well, I hope no one minds a little company.  So we picked the camp with the smallest car/tent and he got out, asking him if he minded if we set up camp next to him, seeing as he was in a group camp.  The camper got very defensive and after a couple conversations, he stood up and was going to fight him if he pulled the bus in.  Justin got into the bus and was fuming mad - I don't blame him, the camper is the one that is in the fault.  Anyways, we ended up driving back to the visitors center and going to another campsite, in total it was about 30 minutes away - and at this point we are ALL tired and just want to eat.  (So in actual fact it was 3 hours total of driving time, but it should have only been 2 1/2)  Once we got a campsite (which we weren't even supposed to be in that camp ground, but really didn't have any choice) we started a fire and got supper on the go.  At this stage we where all really good at knowing what was needed to be done to set up camp and supper, so we all worked as a team.  We had spagetti bolognese for supper, eating at about 2100 - one of the latest meals this tour, and we where all pretty tired hitting the sac at around 2230, most of us sleeping around the fire to stay warm as you'd be surprised how freakin' cold it gets in the desert at night! 

Zebedee hot springs
Enjoying the warm water
Emma's gorge
In the cool water at Emma's

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