This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2004 Travels July 6

TUESDAY 6 JULY     CARNARVON

We did a food shop in the morning.

John bowled in the afternoon. His team won. He received a very big block of chocolate and was really pleased with himself. One of his allocated team members was very old a fragile and had to be helped about – he was really chuffed to be in the wining team. John felt good about that, too.

Drizzling rain set in about 5pm.

About that time, M and her friend K came round for a drink and a chat and stayed until 6.30pm. We firmed up the arrangements for meeting M in Karratha. They were making their way back to Perth now, where the hire car would be surrendered. K would fly back home to Melbourne – she had to go back to work. M would join us. She is “practising” for when she takes retirement, which might be at the end of this year.

Tried to do some packing up, despite the rain.


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2004 Travels July 5

MONDAY 5 JULY     CARNARVON

John’s face was still swollen and he was not feeling well.

We drove out to Miaboolya Beach, some 20kms from town, thinking to go for a walk along it, but when we got there, John did not feel up to it.

On the way back, we turned and drove through the plantation areas on the northern side of the river, crossed on the main road bridge, then came through the southern side plantations, to town.

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Gascoyne River mouth – and mud flats

John found a shop where he could do a download on his laptop. There was a notification that I’d won $78 in OzLotto. It must have been on 22 June – was my mum’s birthday.

Refuelled – $1.05cpl.

I phoned and booked us into a Karratha caravan park for Thursday to Saturday. I did not want to go back to the one where we spent a horrible, hot month in 2000, watching the Olympics, so decided to try a different one.

We spent some time talking with E and D at their van.


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2004 Travels July 4

SUNDAY 4 JULY     CARNARVON

John woke up with the noise in his ear back, and his face all swollen up again. He’d thought he was getting better, so was really depressed about this. However, it did not stop him from playing Scroungers  bowls in the morning!

I wondered whether the regular bending over for bowls unsettles something in the face/ear? But I wouldn’t be game to suggest it, though.

I did the washing, which had built up over the last couple of weeks. It was quite windy, so good for getting the washing dry.

As I was walking back to the van from the laundry, recognized another camper. It was D, who we’d gotten to know when staying at the same caravan park in Hobart, in 2000.  I had been sending him and E Xmas cards, to their home base address in Orford, but in 2002 that card had come back. He told me they were full time on the road now – which he’d really wanted to do. They had sold the Orford place. They were really pleased to see me again. Over the next couple of days we did quite a bit of catching up and talking travel. This was their third winter in Carnarvon, but they planned to try something different next winter and head for Queensland.

After lunch, went to town and went for a walk on the One Mile Jetty. This structure, built in the 1890’s for coastal shipping, had to be this long to reach deep water. The amount of silt coming down the Gascoyne River system, in floods, had created an extensive sort of delta formation, some of which was exposed at low tide.

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Out on the One Mile Jetty, lookung back to town

Back in ’93, we watched people fishing from the end of this, but in 2000 the last section was closed off, because some morons had lit fires and burnt parts of it. Someone said it was people fishing, who wanted to keep warm. What idiots light fires on a wooden jetty?

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It was still closed off.

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Closed off last part of jetty

The little Coffee Pot train – so named for its shape – was running, to take people who did not want to walk, up and down the jetty.

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The Coffee Pot

Apparently, full restoration of the end of the jetty was expected in the near future. They had done well – massive task.

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We drove around the Fascine – the waterfront – and the small boat area,  just looking.

Honey chilli prawns for dinner tonight!


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2004 Travels July 3

SATURDAY 3 JULY     CARNARVON

In the morning, went to the Growers Market in the town centre. There were lots of tomatoes, capsicums, grapefruit, bananas and other vegies. Carnarvon was a very productive  agricultural centre, reliant on irrigation water from under the Gascoyne River bed. We stocked up – very good value.

I bought a Weekend Australian. A newspaper again!

After lunch, John bowled. This caravan park had its own bowling green – which was the reason we always went there! Regular competitions were run throughout the tourist season – which we were right in the middle of. John was very rusty, he said.

I read my paper.

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Carnarvon site

Friend M phoned. She and friend were at Nanga, south of here, on their hire car jaunt. She would contact us when they reached Carnarvon on Tuesday. That was a couple of days later than they’d planned to be in town. We could have stayed out in the bush for another couple of nights!

Fortunately, I was able to extend our booking here by a night.

Garlic prawns for tea tonight – lovely.


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2004 Travels July 2

FRIDAY 2 JULY   KENNEDY RANGE NATIONAL PARK TO CARNARVON   240kms

The Kennedy Range extends south almost to Gascoyne Junction. So, today was attractive driving, that far, with the Range to our right.

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Roadside patterns

Not far after rejoining the main road beside the Lyons River, we crossed that again, at a dry point. After that, the river was to our right, as well. Again, we crossed several dry stream beds – tributaries of the Lyons, and hence eventually, the Gascoyne.

Just north of Gascoyne Junction, we crossed that river, on a dry causeway ford.

Refuelled at Gascoyne Junction – just 20 litres, at $1.30cpl.

Last time we came this way, in ’93, the road west was closed by rain, and we could only go south west, via poorly signed station tracks, through Pimbee and Meedo stations, to Wooramel Roadhouse, on the highway. It was an adventure!

At Gascoyne Junction, I used the public phone (no mobile signal out here) to phone the  caravan park in Carnarvon to book us in for four nights. John was impatient to get going again and cross about me doing this – until I informed him that the park had only one multi-night site available, which I’d booked. So it was a good thing that I’d thought to phone ahead.

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The unsealed road between Gascoyne Junction and the main highway, just north of Carnarvon, was rather corrugated, and with patches of bulldust in parts. We could see why this road was closed as soon as it rains – runs right by the river.

This section of the drive was pleasant – a little undulating, with very low sand dune sections, scrub covered, in places with little lakes between. Nice variety.

As we approached Carnarvon, the sky ahead was clouding over.

Went into the Wintersun Caravan Park. Top Tourist. $19.35 a night, after discount. The park was full, but did not feel too crowded. We were next to a big van, a couple with two little boys, the younger just walking. He reminded me of my little grandson – I was missing that little guy.

After setting up camp, drove into town – this caravan park is out on the edge – to get some foodstuffs.

We went to the prawn processing plant and bought a kilo of king prawn meat, for $27. For that, we got fifty one prawns!

We had TV again.

The showers were very welcome, after our showerless, dusty stay out in the bush.

Bought fish and chips for tea. Very greasy.

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