Day 77: 14 August – Stranded in the Kennedy Range

Author: Mrs A

Distance driven: 230 km

We awoke to drizzle and low cloud, and set about packing and hitching up to the car ready to move on. After a quick visit to the Asian grocer for a few ingredients and the camping store for a replacement gas bottle, we headed inland, first to Gascoyne Junction and then across to the Kennedy Range National Park.

The Kennedy Range is about 160km from the coast, and rises up out of the flat desert region. Like many of the other gorges we have visited, these hills are formed with layers of sandstone and shale, formed from an uplifted ancient sea bed. Apparently there are marine fossils to be found in the sandstone.

The rain followed us the whole way inland, the landscape looking quite surreal with pools appearing beside the road and flocks of birds going crazy for the water. The area we are in is considered arid and very rarely experiences rain outside of the November-March period. Lucky us! As we drove along the red roads into the campground the cloud lifted and the sun shone on the ranges – they looked spectacular with dramatic skies all around.

We found ourselves a good spot right near where the walks start and settled in to make lunch. Before we knew it the clouds had closed in and we were in for a very wet afternoon. We didn’t emerge from the mobile apartment for more than five minutes, enjoying an afternoon of reading and basically relaxing with the sound of the rain on the roof.

At around 5.30pm we had a knock at the door. One of the volunteer campground hosts came round to let us know that she’d just got off the radio with the National Parks office, and they had advised her that all roads in and out of the ranges have been closed due to the rain. We are stranded – couldn’t leave if we wanted to! Apparently the roads are shut after as little as 4mm of rain, and we have had much more than that. We are not planning to leave until Wednesday, so hopefully they dry out tomorrow. The forecast is for increasing sunshine, which is just as well as we now have one day to do all the walks and make up for today’s laziness!

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