Yay finally back in WA (West Australia)
after too many years, it's good to be back.
Now WA also stands for Wait Awhile
because it takes so long to get stuff over here, but I now
have another expansion to the acronym, Windy All the time.
Man can it be windy here, and that
does to some extent take some of the fun out of camping in
these great places, but we'll struggle on through, and it's
good to be back.
And in other news...I've decided to
change the chronicle format a bit, specifically to make it
a more "blog" style whereby I add short entries
on a regular basis, rather than the entire thing at once.
I've done this before and swapped back
again but times have changed, it seems that I'm just too busy
with other things to format a full chronicle every month or
so and therefore it's not getting done (as I'm sure you've
I actually dislike the normal "bottom
up" blog format because the flow is disjointed, so the
look will stay the same (ie you read from top to bottom) and
there will be links to take you straight to the latest entries.
So how will the mailing list work?
I'm not sure yet, maybe I'll send a notification when I wrap
up an issue and start a new one. Maybe I should set up an
RSS feed, some people have asked for that although I'm not
sure I have the time to figure out how to do that.
All comments welcome.
Till next time then, and remember,
Don't Dream it, Be it!
Mon 23 Aug 2010
Drive through Kununurra and camp at the toilet
paper ridden rest area 12k to the west of town. This is a very popular
spot with the backpackers, it's deserted through the day but late
afternoon (presumably after work) we are surrounded by campervans
of every description.
Tue 24 Aug
We spend just about all day shopping and packing
what we buy into every nook and cranny. We've just spent about $900
on food and have four fridges (three in the truck and one in the
car) running to handle all the meat, fruit and veggies. Even our
solar system can't keep up with this so we'll have to run the generator
a bit until stocks diminish and we can start turning fridges off.
Wed 25 Aug
My it's warm, 39°C and 85% humidity. We don't
mind, that's a bit over the top but about right for us, but the
fridges are struggling.
We spend half our time juggling stuff between
the fridges in an attempt to get the main freezer down to the right
Naturally with about $400 worth of meat we have
an interest in getting things cold, but of more importance is the
beer, and I'm happy to report that I still manage to partake of
a cold beverage in the evening.
Thu 26 Aug
We pull into a lookout overlooking the Carr Boyd
Range on an old section of the highway just north of the Doon Doon
Our campsite at the lookout.
The Carr Boyd range at sunset
Note the solar panel next to the car, that's helping
to keep the car's fridge running.
Sat 28 Aug
It's off to the Ord River today,where we'll camp
for a couple of days. This is the take off point for the Bungle
Bungles and originally I planned to go into the national park for
a week or so with the car.
But now I'm here I couldn't be bothered. I have
been in there twice before after all.
Ord River campsite.
Tue 31 Aug
While having breakfast I see an old guy wondering
around but don;t take much notice. As we leave the camp though I
drive past him and his old caravan and he looks vaguely familiar.
I stop and ask if I know him.
"Maybe" he answers.
"Then who are you?"
It turns out he's John Webb, a bloke we've camped
with a couple of times over the years but he's sold "Old Yella"
(his motorhome) and bought a caravan.
He's a nice old bloke and we chat for a while
but then it's off on the road.
It's only 100k into Halls Creek and a further
15 out to Carolyn Pool where we plan to camp. The 100k goes well
and we're in town in no time, then it takes over an hour to do the
The road is so badly corrugated that I spend most
of the trip at around 10kph wondering if the local council can afford
a grader. And then I see two, blades up and heading for town like
a dog shot in the arse. It must be getting close to lunch time.
Carolyn Pool campsite.
Fri 3 Sep
It's our anniversary today, no not our wedding
anniversary that's on the...actually I'm not sure, it's the first
anniversary of being back on the road in Wothahellizat Mk2.
Yep, this time last year we were heading down
the track from our land at Gin Gin, 7317 kilometres away. Today
we're heading off from Carolyn Pool and out of Halls Creek.
But before we leave town there's the matter of
getting some water and as the cemetery is on the way into town that's
the first place to look.
Sure enough there's a tap (there usually is in
cemeteries) so we fill up.
We leave town but only get as far as the Tanami
road turnoff about 10k out of town. That will do for today.
Late at night it rains and I fall asleep listening
to the patter on the roof. How good is that?
Tue 7 Sep
I awake to Chris's howls of anguish. It seems
that the rain found its way inside due to one of the rainwater collection
pipes being blocked.
And of course the water came in directly over
the linen closet.
Result, every stitch of clothing and bedding we
own is saturated. And the weather still looks foul so how on earth
are we going to dry everything?
We're not sure but make a start anyway. Fortunately
within an hour or so the sun comes out and a stiff breeze pops up,
perfect drying conditions.
I rig up some clothes lines and we get the mangle
10 hours later we're done, everything
is washed dried and put away. What a drama and a waste of a day,
thank goodness we have the mangle (ringer), it's been a Godsend
over the years and never more so than today.
Fri 10 Sep
We planned to go into the RAAF quarry to camp
but the road is so terrible we pack it in and drive another 50k
along the highway to "The Lake".
We've been here before but Chris doesn't remember
so it's like a new place (for her at least). Last time though we
camped outside the fence and therefore not very close to the water.
This time we drive through one of the gates and park right next
to the lake (really just a dam).
Tue 14 Sep
We've just heard that there's no water in the
RAAF quarry, so are we glad we didn't persevere on the crappy road
to get there.
We heard this from Matt and Robyn, a nice couple
camping across the other side of the lake.
Matt is an old-army-truck freak and apparently
he spotted Wothahellizat outside Kununurra a few weeks ago but couldn't
turn around so he was rapt to see it parked here when he arrived.
Two truckies drop in as well today. They've been
delivering gravel to the nearby road works and saw the truck from
the highway. "There's got to be someone interesting in that"
they said and dropped in to see.
They were wrong but we talked for some time over
a few beers anyway.
Some of the locals.
Don't you hate it when you just can't quite reach?
Friar birds I think.
Fri 17 Sep
We drive into Derby today and realise that it's
exactly 8 years since we were here the first time, to the day.
After shopping and refueling we drive out to the
cemetery to fill up with water.
This done we leave, but instead of turning left
to retrace our steps Chris turns right and heads down the dirt road.
It soon becomes obvious that this is a sandy track to nowhere so
she goes ahead to see what gives.
She finds a track leading to the right, it's narrow
and even sandier but at least it's heading in the direction of the
highway. After some pruning of the local vegetation the truck pops
out in a semi-rural area of houses. We continue on the road until
meeting a T-intersection at which point we turn left and head down
the highway, looking for a camp site.
Before long we find a good spot and pull in. Once
settled we get the maps out, things just don't quite seem right,
for example we're facing west and parallel with the road, but the
road should be running north-south.
Also we've done enough kilometres to have passed
the prison boab tree but there's been no sign of it, an aboriginal
community was on the left where it should have been on the right,
plus there isn't much traffic for a main highway.
No matter, this is a nice spot with a small lake
and a rock feature, we'll stay for a few days.
Sat 18 Sep
Chris goes into town to buy a newspaper. She returns
with the answer to yesterday's mystery, we're on the Gibb River
Road, It runs east-west and that explains all the things we couldn't
figure out yesterday.
Somehow while negotiating the sandy tracks we
lost track of things (it was overcast at the time so couldn't get
an idea of direction from the sun).
Tue 21 Sep
What a pleasant spot, at sunset we have 15 wallabies
around the lake and in front of the truck. Plus the spoonbills and
other wading birds.
Fri 24 Sep
We drive into Broome, we don't have anything to
do here except pick up our mail so I leave the truck on the highway
and we scoot into town with the car.
The mail is not there, bummer, now what will we
do? It's a long weekend so there's no chance of it arriving until
at least Tuesday but even then I wouldn't hold my breath.
We move out to a rest area on the southern side
of the Roebuck plain for the night to decide what to do.
At about 3:30AM there's a hell of a racket, some
idiots are doing donuts in the gravel. It doesn't affect us but
there's campers on either side that are getting showered with dust
and presumably stones.
More importantly if the idiots lose control they
could easily run over one of the tents. I guess we were all young
louts at some stage, but why does the human race have to have so
Sat 25 Sep
We've decided to go down to Barn Hill, we planned
to stay there anyway and if we have to wait for mail that's about
as good a place as one can imagine to do so.
We'll just have to drive back up to Broome (240k
round trip) when the mail finally arrives.
We pull into the office area and someone yells
out from a caravan, "Have those panels fallen off yet?".
It seems he was camping here 8 years ago (in fact
every year for the last 18 years) and we talked at length about
the VHB double-sided tape I used for the aluminium panels.
Things are pretty much the same around here, they've
extended the bush camping area a bit and put in a new dunny block
but that's about it.
Our site at Barn Hill.
Th ehot water system for and shower block.
Sun 26 Sep
We find a fantastic bug in the lounge room. He
has really neat colours and fans his backside out to frighten us
off if we get too close.
Check out the colours on this little fellow.
Ooo, I'm scared.
Late in the afternoon I go for a wander along
the cliffs then down onto the beach.
There are some really nice rock formations around here.
There's a lot of tracks in the sand, mostly from
fellow campers but some from another species that travels with its
home. Hermit crabs.
Hermit crab tracks.
Tue 28 Sep
This afternoon I go back down to the beach to
photograph the hermit crabs. What cute little critters, if I poke
them a bit they retreat into their shell, only to re-emerge few
Thu 30 Sep
For days now we've been trying to track the registered
mail that was supposed to be in Broome last Friday. The Aus Post
tracking system is pretty useless for this purpose because the items
don't get scanned until they arrive.
Finally this morning I see that the parcel has
landed, according to the AP web site that is. But with a 240k drive
in store I don't trust that so I ring them. Yep it's there I'm told,
but I don't trust that either and ask them to get in touch with
the post office and have someone actually pick it up and tell me
the sender's address.
Five minutes later I have confirmation, we shut
up shop and head into town.
On arrival I front the counter. The woman appears
flustered probably because this particular post office deals with
about 10,000 tourists a day asking for mail.
She checks the computer, "Nope, it's not
Not so bloody fast, I've been told that someone
here actually sighted the item. Who? I didn't ask (note to self,
next time ask), but I'm not leaving the room without my parcel.
She looks pissed but tough luck. To be fair she
probably handles a dozen people every day who insist their article
is here just because "it should be", but someone here
as sighted my item and I plan to have it.
Two minutes later she returns with my parcel and
a smile on her face.
Sat 2 Oct
Matt and Robyn (the couple we met at The Lake)
have been here for a couple of days but they are off today. We should
be as well but have a slack attack. We'll leave tomorrow.
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