Arrived in Broome around nine thirty and headed straight for fuel (Turtle was running on empty for the last 40 kms). Restocked we went to the Information Centre to organise our trips etcetera. This was just as well as we got the last four tickets for our town tour to be done on Friday. Jenny and Debbie booked in for the camel rides this afternoon at three so we went to our caravan park (Taurangau Caravan Park in Cable Beach) and set ourselves up before heading out to Cable beach to wait for the camel rides. Bob and I provided the moral support. Half an hour later the rides all over and we headed up the sand to have a cold drink before heading back to camp.
Some days I just don’t know how we do it. Visited the local shops in Derby and had coffee and cake before setting out on the arduous journey to the Nillibubbica Rest Area – a whole 118 kilometres for the day. We decided we’d stop here so we will only have a short run into Broome in the morning. It’s 35 degrees with little shade other than that provided by our vehicles – a bit dry and dusty. Just sitting back and listening to good old rock and roll and dreaming of a cool drink😓
So far we have clocked up 5247 kilometres and used around 700 litres of fuel and we’ve had 12 free camps out of 16 days, not that you would know by the smell emanating from our camp.
We braved the 12 kilometres of corrugations back to the main highway before heading south to Derby. A largely uneventful trip we arrived in town around lunchtime and checked into the Kimberley Entrance Caravan Park (posh sounding name) where we had lunch before indulging in our first hot, cool, clean shower since leaving Katherine. Bliss – it doesn’t take much to keep me happy 😃. Did some minor repairs on Jenny’s chair then sat back to enjoy some leisure time.
Very short run today down to Fitzroy Crossing for a bit of lunch and a seat in the cool on the lawns of the Information Centre. Refuelled and decided to go to the old Boab Quarry rather than spend two nights accommodation at Derby. We got there very early (around 1.30) and it was stinking hot, no shade at all. Our fridges misbehaved because we had done such a short run and it was so hot. Both the fridges and I were unhappy ☹️ Nightfall bought relief with cooler temperatures and the odd bull roaming through the camp. Early to bed then off to Derby in the morning.
We left at eight fifteen to head south towards Halls Creek where we stopped for morning tea before heading out to the Walls of China, a striking rock formation just out of town on the Duncan Road. We came back in to Halls Creek and refuelled and then headed south to Mary’s Pool Rest Area, stopping along the way for lunch. Arrived in camp at one-thirty for an early stop. Quite hot at the moment 34ºC. The last few days have been in the mid to high thirties. We made our plans for tomorrow then everyone sat back for an afternoon siesta.
We had the usual dilemma about what time to leave camp this morning because we are so close to the border and we then have to turn our clocks back a further one and a half hours. we ended up leaving at 10.00 am as this meant we could dawdle to Kununurra and still be there by 10.30 am despite being some 130 kms away. We had our vehicles checked at the quarantine station before heading towards Kununurra and turning before the Main Street to visit the Miriam National Park to have morning tea and have a stroll through the rock formations of Hidden Valley which have a similar form to the Bungles but not nearly as colourful. From there we continued on to the shopping mall to do our restocking after having what little fruit and veg we had left being taken at the quarantine station, checked the camping store out and bought fuel and a new fuel container for the Willie’s vehicle. We had lunch at the Kununurra dam weir then went on to Mullock Free Camp having travelled some five and a half hours. This is where the changed clocks had the greatest effect as we were caught out trying to cook in the dark when the sun set at five fifteen, as opposed quarter to seven the night before. Never mind, we survived.
We left Katherine this morning and started heading west toward the border at a gentle pace. We have a week before we’re due in Broome so we have to fill in some time. We stopped reasonably early at around quarter to three (having travelled some 400 kms) at the Saddle Creek Free Camp. We were able to get a bit of a stroll in before heading back to watch the sunset fall over the escarpment behind the camp. Bob is providing us with music via his Bluetooth speaker so we have old time rock playing gently in the background.
With Mum’s passing during the night of our first day out, things have been a bit flat. We did the normal run up the Stuart Highway to Alice Springs and beyond, free camping all the way. I had a spot of bother with our solar system not charging properly but rectified that at one of our camps and things started working properly again. There seems to be a lot of traffic heading south so we’re hopeful that the hordes have left the tourist routes.
Mum’s funeral is tomorrow, so we decided to book into a caravan park at Katherine for two nights so that we can share in her funeral via FaceTime (Sharon’s great suggestion). We will have more hit and miss internet over the coming weeks so our blogging will be intermittent.