We drove 59km south on the Kalumburu rd turned left and were back on the Gibb. It was then 178km to Home Valley Station. We bypassed the enticing sign out on the road for scones with jam and cream at Ellenbrae Station only because Leah Fox promised she would pull out there oven and bake some for us at Home Valley. They have an oven!
The road along this part was much drier and the scenery relatively undramatic until we approached the majestic Cockburn Ranges. Even the crossing of the mighty Durack River was a touch of a disappointment; it was wide but not deep.
The Cockburn Ranges on the other hand were not. These are really spectacular, they look like someone has just pushed up the middle of the mountains, and the red glow of the afternoon sun on them was magnificent.
On the top of a hill just prior to Home Valley our phones started beeping with the messages of the last two weeks, coverage at last. So we took the opportunity to make a few calls and download emails. My father could perfectly describe the view as he too had used this lookout to reconnect with the greater world.
Home Valley Station I think is owned by the Indigenous Land Corporation, and as well as running as a station it has on site training academy for Indigenous people of the area in hospitality and other stuff. This station and El Questro are much easier to access than the other stations and are much more commercialised. It also had a pool, and a big kid’s playground… good-bye kids, hello serenity.
That night while taking photos of the moon, Tom spotted a frog. On closer inspection, we thought it might be a toad so we caught it in a bucket, and then two tiny ones. Neither Tom nor I had seen a cane toad before so were not positive so I went in search of a Queensland number plate so they could confirm that our species identification was correct. It was, and they showed us the special crate to put the cane toads in, and twice weekly they are euthanized. The cane toads arrived into the Kimberley a year or two ago and there is an effort to stop them getting worse.