THURSDAY 15 JULY MILLSTREAM TO TOM PRICE 270kms
It was a grey and cloudy day.
The campground was still closed, as we left. We were so lucky to have been able to spend the time there, that we did.
After some discussion, we had decided that remaining on the Roebourne-Wittenoom road might be a safer option than returning to the railway access road, given all the rain there had been. It meant a longer drive, but that was preferable to the potential embarrassment of getting bogged on a private road!
The scenery became progressively more interesting through the drive. The eastern parts of the Pilbara were more rugged than where we had been.
For a while we ran parallel to the Chichester Range.
Near Mt Florance homestead, there was an area of contrast, where one side of the road had been burned, the other not.
The roads we travelled on were mostly unsealed, but in reasonable condition.
Crossed our old friend, the Fortescue River, on another long, slightly built up causeway. Clearly, a prolonged heavy rain event would close all sorts of roads in these parts!
Turned south-ish at the junction of the Wittenoom and Nanutarra roads. We then had to drive through the Rio Tinto Gorge – one vehicle width and very narrow. It would have been “interesting” if we’d met a vehicle coming the other way! It goes for several kms.
Just after that, we tried to go in to Hamersley Gorge. Part way down the access track was a wide turning point and a sign saying no caravans beyond that point. This was still quite a distance from the gorge, so we decided against walking the rest of the way.
Decided to have lunch at the turn around area, anyway. Just to make life harder, another van came in and parked there too, which made our reversing out, to leave, quite difficult.
The Tom Price Caravan Park was very full. We managed to get a site – small – though. It was right up in the back corner of the park. $22 a night. We felt crowded all the time we were there, especially in the amenities, which were Atco type. Not amongst the better places we’ve stayed!
After setting up the camp, I did some cleaning up of the van – Millstream mud!
M and John showered. I washed a couple of loads of grotty clothes, then had my shower. It was welcome after the muddy days without.
We drove into town to the Information Centre and shops.
There was a notice up saying that the Dales Gorge camping area in Karijini National Park, was very busy and would-be campers should get there very early, to obtain a site.
While tea was cooking, the power pole “died”. Overload from the four vans hooked up to it, we suspected. After this, our battery charger was no longer working! If we could not fix the problem, it would not be long before we would have to turn off the fridge, which worked exclusively from the batteries.