When I started this blog, just over two and a half years ago, I thought it would be a good way for friends to keep track of where I was and what I was up to, but I have been out of range of mobile coverage for so long at a time, that it makes it all a bit of a waste of time. It's now over three months since I last posted and the thought of having to update all that time is a bit off-putting.
Added to that, recently I have been going over territory which I have previously travelled, so there is not a lot new to report. This is mainly due to the fact that prior to this I had been travelling fairly fast and only stopping for a day or two, but more recently I have been reeeaaallly taking my time and spending a week or more at each stop so that I can really appreciate what I am experiencing.
To bring you up to date, when I reached Alice Springs in mid-May, I re-stocked and headed up the Tanami Track, same as last year. AGAIN, I left it too late in the year and there were some really cold nights. My Tip: If you're going to travel through the inland desert areas, do it well before the end of April otherwise the cold nights can take some of the fun out of it. I reported my experiences and posted photo's of the Tanami last year, so nothing really new to report there.
After reaching Hall's Creek and refuelling, I headed up to Wyndham and down the Gibb River Road again, as I did two years ago, but this time I took more time and made more stops. There was more water in the rivers and gorges than two years ago, but the road was not as good due to a very long and very severe wet season. Once again I couldn't get up to Mitchell Falls as the Kalumburu road was still closed and it looks like it won't be open at all this year.
Down to Derby (I left Tunnel Creek and Windjana Gorge for another trip), but I did go into the "RAAF Boab Quarry". I have notice this before in the Camps5 book and decided to check it out. What a great spot. The very old, eroded rock formations give a feeling of a ruined city and the water in the quarry is at least 30 or 40 feet deep. It's only 11 kms off the bitumen and well worth a visit.
Now it is the beginning of August and the weather is absolutely beautiful. About 13 or 14 degC at night which means it is great to snuggle under the doona, but it is 31 or 32 degC every day and not a cloud in the sky. Plenty of sun for both the solar panels and the black-bag water heater for the shower. I see on the weather forecast each night about torrential rain in Qld and Perth and temperatures down to freezing in the southern states and my heart goes out to you - NOT. I'm too busy enjoying myself.
I headed south after fuelling up at Broome. What a tourist-trap that place is. Everything is twice as expensive as it should be and the main customer-service attitude seems to be "if you don't like it, then bugger off". I stayed in the caravan park for a couple of nights. $45 dollars a night for a pretty ordinary site - and $19 for a pizza in town - No tight-arse Tuesday up her, either.
Stayed at Goldwire for a few nights. This would have to be one of the best free camps going. Not much to see or do, and no water which is pretty standard for WA rest areas, but it is huge and you can get a nice secluded, shady spot to set up for a few days. Just south of here I saw what must have been the end of a holiday for someone. This 5th Wheeler had obviously been set up (the legs are down) and something went wrong. Burnt to the ground and you can see pushbikes and stuff in the wreckage. Hope it was insured!
I spent a week at the 80 Mile Beach caravan park north of Port Hedland and what a great spot. The park has all mod cons, (except mobile coverage) and has 200 grassed sites, right on the beach. The beach is not all that flash for swimming, 'cos there are mud banks at the low tide mark and the water is pretty muddy at high tide, but the fishing fraternity are here in droves. I spoke to a few people who are here for 3 months! Unfortunately, I rate fishing along there with golf and watching paint dry as a recreational pastime, but it really is a beautiful spot.
Today is Saturday, August 13th, Day 974 of my travels and I am staying in Port Hedland for two days to re-stock the fridge and pantry (and wine cellar) and then I am off again tomorrow. I am going to head down through Marble Bar and Nullagine to Newman, and then across through Tom Price to Millstream, so I guess you won't hear from me for another 6 weeks or so.
See you soon