Well, a westerly wind would have alliterated better but .. the southerly wind got stronger as the night progressed, and I started leaping about checking guys ropes, dealing with a raid by feral cats, probably, on our muesli, and dousing the fire in which embers were still smouldering. [Note: the firepit was very deep and well constructed but I wanted to be super-careful.] The morning brought no relief from the wind, and the temperature didn’t get above 13C; it was cold.
A short drive took us to the Trephina Gorge area, followed by a tricky short 4WD section into the John Hayes Rockhole. We pumped for the “Chain of Ponds” walk (3.5kms, 1.5hrs) which took us above the gorge/waterhole, with great views towards Mordor Pound (yes, truly, Mordor). We dropped into the gorge itself, and scrambled down the beautiful gorge with beds of smooth rock interspersed with rock walls (some high), and in some places the gorge walls formed room-like spaces. It was a brilliant walk, and the colours and types of rock were incredible – shading from deep purples and black (basalts) through to yellows/reds (sandstones). We took time to sit and enjoy our surroundings.
Our next stop was a beautiful 300 year-old ghost gum, which just had to be hugged and stroked (as you do).
We reached Trephina Gorge itself, and opted for the short 1km Gorge Walk, that included some great views, and a selection of fine Indigenous rock paintings. The River Red Gums were impressive, but treated with much respect, as they have a nasty habit of shedding limbs with no warning.
Well, so much for having an “easy day” as we returned to Ross River, knackered!
Bruce cooked a brilliant Italian meal – a tomato-based chickpea and prawn sauce on tube pasta – delicious, and accompanied by an excellent red wine, given to us by Graham. Another campfire rounded off a wonderful day and our stay at Ross River.