Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sept 10

Good morning folks - yawn.  Long day yesterday and lots of driving, about 600 miles which took about 11 hours in all and a pretty boring drive too.  Never mind lots of pics for you and I have just found out we are an hour and a half behind time in Darwin and it is only 7:10 am and not the 8:40 I thought it was.  Great time to breathe and have a few more cups of coffee before we have to check out of the motel Lakeside Resort which we stumbled across late last night.

OK back to yesterday morning.  Being true to form we were in no hurry to move, I had a really rotten nights sleep and kept Alan awake for ages with my tossing and turning, I just could not get comfortable, recon I was excited <g>.  Here we go, first pic of the day, the car packed up and ready for the off at about 11:am.
We managed to get everything into the vehicle without using the roof rack, that should save fuel <g>.  Cases, cameras and Maxtraxs on the back seat, food, tents, bedding, spare parts, spade, medical, water, fuel and the toilet rolls in the back.
Bye bye Darwin, Katherine here we come.
Stuart Highway
Coffee break needed so we stopped at the Adelaide River did not bother to go into the Inn or anything fancy like that, just a cuppa from the petrol station and a rather nice snack - chicken ball stuffed with broccoli and cheese, it looked like a big scotch egg.  Another laugh and how British, on the right of us was a stall selling Devonshire Teas - tea coffee and scones, $7 (most folks were going to have a look, saw the price and walked away)

While here I was reading the Lonely Planet book (thanks Sue) I found a short scenic detour - that sounded great, off the highway for a bit.
This could be Africa - Ahhhhhhh heaven.
What a fun van :)
It was unfortunate this wee detour was too early in our trek to set up camp, it was beautiful, a small stream, loads of bushy trees and very quiet (apart from this van).  The water looked rather brackish (no we didn't taste it) but is was crystal clear.  I could just imagine our Clown Fish we used to have living quite happily if the water flowed a bit faster.

Beautiful and oh so peaceful.
 Next stop Katherine and turn right onto the Victoria Highway.  What a boring drive so flat and although we kept looking for somewhere to pitch the tent there was nowhere that grabbed our fancy. We stopped again for yet more coffee at the Victoria River Road House, instant coffee no less but it was still very welcome and a good place to stretch you legs and have a pee.  There was a campsite at the Victoria River Road House but not for us, mains electric, showers, camper vans and kids <g>.  Time to move on.  Up until now Alan has done all the driving so I took the wheel, a little worried as my wrist is playing up a bit but what the heck :)  Just my luck, I got the dusk, road works where the road was dug up and it was just a graded piece of land and wallaby road crossing time.  Good practice to see how the car handled as this is the heaviest vehicle I have drive, we estimate with all the kit etc it is touching 3 1/2 tons.  She is a doddle, holds the road well, a bit of play on the steering wheel but I have gears not one of these stupid automatics which I really don't like.  The only really bad bit was OZ is now one wallaby less, Michelle had warned us about them jumping in front of vehicles so I was trying my best to keep eyes peeled but this soul was too fast for me - thud thud, I could have wept but swerving to avoid would have put us in danger and it really was all to quick.  Thankfully with all the kit in the car the rear view mirror is out of action and I could not see the damage.  The vehicle on the other hand hardly moved on the road which is reassuring.

What a sky and not a telegraph pole in sight.

And the sun came down, my love of sunrises and sunsets was not disappointed with this one.  

Obviously it is too late to pitch a tent now so the big push was on to get across the border into Western Australia and Kununurra,  We spent about 10 minutes at the border crossing while they checked the vehicle to make sure we were not bringing any unwanted goodies into the territory, fruit, veg, plants etc and walnuts which we had a bag of with us.  Alan was going to ditch his walnuts as only roasted ones were allowed across the border but I suggested we just declare them and see what happens.  No probs, we could keep them, it is walnuts in shells they are worried about, something to do with a moth which must lay it's eggs in the shell.

40 klicks up the road and destination reached, a total of 900 Kilometers (about 600 miles).  First lodgings unacceptable, too noisy, set the SatNav to find something else - the Lakeside Resort sounded just fine.  Nobody at check-in (hardly surprising as it was about 10:30 pm (we thought)) but a telephone, yep had a motel room available and would be right out to give us the keys.  Wonderful, the head needs a pillow urgently.  We did not bother to unpack the car, just grabbed the camera bags, got to the room, made a cup of tea, shared a can of beer, had a shower and hit the sack.
Coming out of our room this morning and what a wonderful view, right on the lake as is to be expected, quiet and the sun shining.  While sitting here at the wee table outside our room overlooking the lake we have found out the time, 7:10 am <g>.  Time difference on crossing into Western Australia had not entered our heads, we should have turned our clocks back an hour and a half.
OK that is it for now, not sure when we will next get a connection after we leave Kununurra but I will keep trying.  We are off to the visitor center soon to check on what passes and permits we need then find a shop for toothpaste and soap which we have forgotten to pack then head off along the Gibb River ( download the pocket guide for Kimberley Australia - its free, to read more, it is the one of the guides we are using.  Just remember we are traveling east to west not west to east <g>) for a couple of hundred kilometers before tuning north towards Kalumburu.


  1. Wow, what wonderful photographs, can't believe the sunsets. Vehicle looks and sounds brilliant - so pleased it is so enjoyable and safe to drive. Pity about the wallaby - I drive with concern for the deer and foxes we have on my doorstep - but accidents happen. This blog needs to be turned into a book - "How to REALLY experience Australia" for future adventurers. The Australian tourist board, or equivalent, would love your contribution to their work! Can't you just imagine it, with the wonderful photography you are both taking!! Now to work out the East/West Right/left thing and I'm off to download your guide and check out the links?/places you have drawn my attention too. Don't know who's more excited about this trip - you experiencing it in real life or me reliving it through you words and pictures. It's wonderful so thank you for sparing the time to share your experiences and thoughts. Love you loads xxxx

  2. Wey hey, have worked out how to not be anonymous he he

  3. Hoping you are having a great time on your big adventure and that the 4x4 is serving you well. Are you finding enough rivers so that you can take a shower or are you wearing 'eau de naturele'? Scenery looks breath-taking so will be great to see pics in time - and hear the stories. Thinking of you lots and just wanting everything to be brilliant for you both. Love yyou loads and loads. xxxxx

  4. Why are we waiting, sitting anticipating!!!!!!! lol

  5. Imagining you so relaxed in the wilds of no-where that you do not want to return to the 'peopled' world outside your paradise!! Don't blame you one little bit!!! OK, OK, I am sure that internet access is difficult but I am thinking about you and hoping that you are not having to fend off the snakes or tackle the kangaroos/wallabies who keep trying to transfer your food stocks to their pouches!! Gosh, you didn't mention extra petrol in your shopping - you might just have to stay where you are - bliss - I hope. Anyway, love you loads xxxxxxx


Thank you for taking the time to comment, it means a great deal to me. Hoping you have happy crafting days ahead. Hugs Mimi