After leaving the Bungle Bungle National Park we travelled further down the Great Northern Highway and came upon this delightful spot by sheer accident.  Mary Pool is a popular campsite and it's not surprising.   It provided a very welcome and relaxing break in the middle of a very hot day.

lunch stop by Mary Pool

The long straight road which leads into "The Valley of the Kings"

We tore ourselves away from Mary Pool and drove further south towards Geike Gorge.  The countryside we travelled through was very flat and the road was dead straight for many kilometres.  This particular straight stretch  was over 30 kilometres long.  There were occasional surprises however.  The two hills on either side of this road were the entrance to a quite extraordinatry valley.  I've never been to Egypt but it reminded me strongly of the Valley of the Kings even to the pyramid of Cheops which in this case was a hill shaped exactly like a pyramid rearing up from the flat floor of the valley.

I'm afraid that Geike Gorge was a bit of a disappointment.  Perhaps it was the vast numbers of tourists that put us both off.  As Geike is accessible off a tarred road it is very popular with people who don't have 4 wheel drive vehicles and also there are many tour buses for people on day trips.  We did see our first freshwater crocodiles here but they were too far away to get a decent photograph.

Geike Gorge.

Prison Boab Tree at Derby.

Boab trees abound in this part of the world and the larger ones were used as prison trees. This one just outside of Derby, was used in the late 1800's when the police had to move prisoners, mostly aboriginals over great distances.  I was told that up to 17 prisoners in chains have been held overnight inside this particular tree.