Nice and flat, easy to level the caravan and the views, well they were incredible and we were the only ones here. It seemed too good to be true. The trip in had been an adventure as we negotiated the muddy track, water across the track in places and rocks and ditches that jostled the car and caravan with bone rattling intensity. I opted to walk the last few hundred meters into the Warren Gorge where we planned to spend the night. We left home, mid-July, with no plans to head off the beaten track. However, with time we have become more daring pushing our vehicle and caravan beyond sealed roads onto dirt tracks in some remote corners of the outback.
Our campsite at Warren Gorge
It was breezy when we arrived which we considered usual for the time of day, late afternoon in the ranges. As we prepared our tea it was difficult to believe it was us and the elements for miles and miles of rough terrain. Mind you, we were also the only ones that were sitting in the middle of what could have been an oil painting. One of the old master landscape paintings that adorn old art gallery walls.
As campsites go it was isolated, the caravan has a 12V battery that runs the lights and water pump, we carry our own water which was a blessing as there was no potable water on site. This was camping at its best. We had all we needed for a quiet few days and settled in for a wilderness experience.
We had travelled much of the vast desert country that stretches interminably each side of the Flinders Ranges but to now be immersed in some of the oldest geological formations on the planet was humbling and our sense of isolation daunting. How insignificant we felt.
Warren Gorge is a gorgeous little gorge with beautiful coloured rock formations which glow pink in the fading sunlight. The jagged rock formations looked like they could dislodge with little force and if we were to venture onto the walkway it would be with care and attention to remaining on signposted tracks. Below us ran a small stream and a walking track on the other side and up the mountainside a great stand of pine trees stood angled to the sky. Throughout the ranges we were told that the area is home to rock wallabies but we saw not a single one.
Before dawn we woke to winds howling through the two gaps between which we camped. We lay in bed feeling the wind jostling the caravan and wondering whether we would make it out of the gorge before the foreboding skies opened and locked us in for who knew how long. Without a 4WD in, what could quickly become muddy conditions , our foolhardiness would cost us dearly if we were stranded in Warren Gorge for any length of time. Alone that thought was enough to get us vertical and moving in record time.
Nature challenging our audacity to take her lightly
Breakfasted, we decamped and skedaddled towards sturdier ground hoping to escape the threat of rising river waters and water across the only road in. On the way out we met the ranger and told him our concern. He laughed and agreed the conditions do change very quickly in the mountains but this time we would have been quite safe. Strong gusts were forecast for the early part of the day only and temperatures were set to rise later in the day.
Overnight our blissful haven of quietude had become a seething swirl of gusting gales that treacherously kicked dust and forest debris about. We were safe and soon on our way to the next overnight stop in the ranges