We spent an extra week in Broome, but not really in Broome. We set off to find a free spot nearby and came across a rest spot that appeared to be singularly uninviting and as we were leaving we noticed a road leading into the bush. We followed it, as one does, and came upon a clearing with big trees. We checked it out and decided to stay. I picked up some of the rubbish to make it feel a bit more hygienic and dropped it into the back of an abandoned Toyota ute. We knew that we would have to use the shovel for the toilet but that did not deter us. We had enough water and battery and the generator for a week.
I worked on my thesis and Alan worked on the stuff for the markets and rested. We both did a good job of resting actually. A lovely young Swiss boy joined us and shared his pictures of his trip over the Gibb River Road from Darwin to Broome. Just fabulous, through the Kimberleys and into the gorges. We regretted that our outfit could never go there, too rough, too many rivers to ford and much too bumpy for our delicate market goods.
Alan found one of the treasures of our trip! A toilet at the end of a path leading from our camping place. It was a hole, lined with car tyres, two tyres above ground with carpeting nailed to the top and covered with a lid attached to it constructed of an old plastic rubbish bin lid. What a pleasure, the most sanitary long drop I have ever used!
Back to Broome for the markets again and again all was good. Back at Tarangau Caravan Park we met two older couples driving Model T Fords and towing little caravans decorated with Angel Flight logos. The one couple were American with somewhat hair-raising stories to tell about the hoops they had to jump through to get visas for Australia! Pillar to post across California to find the right doctors and officials. They were nevertheless having a great time, tootling along the secondary roads at 60 kph and seeing the country.
As always the pictures tell a tale:
After Broome we stopped at Barn Hill Station, perched above red cliffs it is a leafy oasis with gorgeous beach and sunsets. All a bit basic for non-basic prices. Paying again for position! Two nights there and then on to a free camp at De Grey, one of the best spots yet, a river for Bella, shade for us and lots of space so we felt pretty isolated… but weren’t actually. Very peaceful and rejuvenating. Again check the pics.
The most remarkable quality of the landscape now is the colours, the red earth, the white tree trunks, the sere grass and lots of blackened trees. The sunsets continue to be spectacular shades of red and the sun still seems to drop out of the sky. Western Australia really has a different feel to anywhere we have been before.
So far the most expensive fuel we have found was at SANDFIRE which is about half way between Broome and Port Hedland. We carry three jerry cans but Alan only filled two of them as the third one was well hidden in the “Tardis” (our new name for the Mercedes as those “Doctor Who” fans will relate to). So to be on the safe side we topped up at this servo. Put $ 40 in at $1.99 per litre. Arrived in Hedland with a few litres to spare to find the price had amazingly dropped to $1.67 a litre . Sand Fire roadhouse also has a fascinating history, started in 1970 by a man who had just turned 60 to assists the many motorists who used to get into trouble on the 660 kms of dirt between Broome and Port Hedland. Their first petrol tank was a 44 gallon drum with a hand pump and initially only about 30 cars a month stopped there! It is a thriving concern now having been rebuilt after the buildings were gutted by fire. It is still run by the family. Fire is a constant enemy here. It is striking how much of the land through the NT and Kimberleys and now here has been burnt.
Going to start the next post about Port Hedland… enjoy this one so long…