This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

2000 Travels August 11

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FRIDAY 11 AUGUST   BARNETT RIVER GORGE TO KUNUNURRA   555kms

John had a bit of a rash on his torso, yesterday afternoon, and he woke this morning much worse, with hundreds of little spots and itchy lumps. It was almost a measles-like rash, but he was not really feeling ill enough to have something like that. In fact, he did not really know if he was feeling ill or not! It did not seem to be a heat rash. We wondered if there had been something in the water at one of the swimming places – but I was not affected at all. Quite strange and rather concerning.

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John feeling miserable

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Very spotty!

We packed up and continued west on the Gibb River Road, to Mt Barnett store, for fuel. This was $1.22 a litre.

We debated whether to continue on to Old Mornington, as had been our plan. This was about 100kms south of the Gibb River Road, by the Fitzroy River, and thus rather remote if John did get really ill. Our plan after that had been to drive the Tableland Track back to the east, if it was open  – and that would be particularly remote.

We decided to play safe and head back east along the Gibb, abandoning the plan to drive the Tableland Track.

Fortunately, we had gotten away early this morning.

So we traversed the road already driven on this trip.

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Gibb River Road – burnt and unburnt sides. The road is an effective firebreak for early dry season burns

Stopped to have lunch at Bindoola Creek crossing, so we made good time to there. The ford was much drier than when we’d come this way a month ago.

08-11-2000 04 bindoola ck less water

Bindoola Creek with much less water

There was not much traffic. We wondered if the early heat was deterring some travellers?

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Kapok trees, the Cockburn Range and long dry season grass

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The Pentecost River again

The road was more corrugated. There were now quite a lot of burnt areas. It was a relief to reach the highway and the bitumen again – it had been a while!

We reached Wyndham about 4pm. John went into the store to buy a newspaper and a cask of wine – we had been deprived of same for some time. I stayed in Truck , trying to phone Kununurra to see if we could get a place in a caravan park. John really wanted to press on there, if we could, rather than overnight at Wyndham. I think he just wanted one last burst of effort to get set up for a few days, before giving in to feeling miserable! It made sense to get settled in the larger town, in case he got worse.

An elderly aboriginal kept leaning in the open window of truck, asking me for the “loan” of a dollar. He was being quite pestering. This sort of thing is not the greatest experience for tourists. I remember R at Honeymoon saying that there was too much booze and fighting in Wyndham.

At the caravan park, it was great to see the van again, and see that all was well, even though it was also disappointing to have cut short the time along the Gibb. I actually felt quite dislocated – this morning was camped by the creek at the Gorge, and expecting to be camped by the Fitzroy River tonight, instead of being back in town!

It took us a while to hitch up the van, and secure things for travel, with some distraction from a horse that wanted to find food in the van, and actually stuck its head in the door.

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Packing up at Wyndham

When we began to open up the van, I got quite a fright. This is rather a quirky caravan park and someone had put a life sized plaster statue of a jabiru by the van. I went to pick it up and move it out of the way – and it squawked and moved of its own volition! Totally tame bird.

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Jabiru – for real!

We paid our $80 storage fee.

It was just on 6pm when we reached Kununurra.

As it gets dark early in these parts, we drove the last part in the dark.

Set up at Ivanhoe Village Caravan Park, also in the dark. Our site cost $19.80, after discount. Having the last six nights free camped had been good for the budget.

John insisted on doing the full set up, even though he was tired and ill tempered by now. He made some annoying mistakes, which didn’t help, like putting the wrong side of the van up on a levelling block!

Late tea was bacon and eggs for John, which he requested – not really invalid food! I had some lovely vine-ripened tomatoes that I bought at the Reception desk when we were checking in.

The lady at Reception said there was a mysterious rash doing the rounds, and most of the Kimberley had it!  It was hard to work out how John came by it, though.

Well, at least we do not have to move tomorrow, and we are close to medical facilities, if needed. Greater peace of mind.

I have to admit that a proper shower was much appreciated!

Because of the requirement to get to Karratha for the Olympics, the original rough plan that I’d made for this jaunt, had us away for only about a month, anyway, and back in Kununurra about this time. However, it had not included such a long stay at Honeymoon. It had included Old Mornington, the Tableland Track, the Bungles, and the Duncan Road back to here! Clearly, was a rough guide only, and we have unfinished business in these parts. Next year?

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Where we drove and camped

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