This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2004 Travels August 15


After breakfast, I did a heap of washing – three loads! That had built up since way back in the Pilbara.

John played Scroungers bowls at the caravan park. Not much joy.

L phoned. Our old cat. Tarz, was put down today. L’s sister came to help, because L was upset by it all. She’d known Tarz for the three years now that she’d lived at our place. She had treated the cat very reverentially – buried her in a box, with flowers, and a 24 hour candle. She took photos to send us. The cat was about 15 years old – not a bad innings for a Russian Blue. But we would miss her pronounced personality about the place.

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Flowers from our garden in the old cat’s grave

Apparently, the remaining cat seemed to know what was going on, and showed signs of missing her. We were sad. She had originally lived at the house behind John and “adopted” him. When we married and he was moving, her original owners gave her to us as a wedding present.

The other cat – the old tabby – was a Mother’s Day present, as a kitten,  from my children. One should always be suspicious of a boxed present that requires air holes in the lid!

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All alone now

More TV Olympics watching.

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2004 Travels August 14


Went to the growers’ produce market in the morning, and stocked up on fruit, vegies and eggs.

Did some other shopping.

I was able to get books from the library: $50 deposit to borrow six books. Very good.

Refuelled – $1.12cpl.

We drove to the low river crossing. This has basically been a low causeway across the dry river bed, to give quicker access to the plantations and features on the north side of the river, saving the time it would take to go round via the highway bridge.

We were amazed to find it demolished! It was impassable. It was an indication of how strong the Gascoyne River floods had been, while we were away. Yet again, we reflected how lucky we had been to get away at all, when we did.

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Low level Gascoyne River causeway that was

E and D were still at the caravan park and we chatted with them about where we’d been in the past few weeks.

Had a very yummy prawn dinner.

Today was the start of the Olympic watching – the Opening Ceremony, etc. Glad I have my library books to read!


2004 Travels August 13


Another of those inauspicious Friday 13ths! I had lost track of the dates – easy to do when just idling away the days. Had I realized before we were on the road, I might have suggested staying another day!

We got away at 8.30. Having the pressure of the next lot of occupants waiting, did ensure we didn’t linger.

In Exmouth, took my library books back to the Exmouth Library. I had been so grateful to have books to read while we were relaxing in our Mesa camp.

Refuelled at $1.28cpl.

Bought bread rolls for lunch.

It was a comfortable drive south.

We stopped for me to make up our lunch at an overnight free camp spot – Lyndon River. It would be an adequate place to overnight. It was obviously well used.

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Lyndon River Rest Area

South of this, we rejoined the main Highway 1.

When we crossed the Gascoyne River bridge, on the approach to Carnarvon, the river was flowing! Not a banker, but a clear stream. This was obviously the aftermath of all the rain there had been, after we left town, back in early July. This was the first time we’d seen water in this river.

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Gascoyne River with water

Went back to the Wintersun Caravan Park. Our main purpose for returning here to Carnarvon was for John to watch the Olympic Games – at a place where he knows TV reception is good. Yet again, our travels were being dictated by sport and TV! But, at least, it was better than Karratha, in that there was a bit more to do on the occasional breaks from viewing.

We booked in for two weeks at $110 a week, after discount.

After setting up, drove to the shopping centre. Collected mail at the PO. Went and bought prawns and snapper at the fish co-op.

I had a lovely, long, shower. It was great to feel properly clean again, after getting by with washes from a bucket, in the van, and the judicious use of wet wipes.

There was a text from house sitter L, to phone her, which we did. She said our old Russian Blue cat was really sick. This was basically cat decline from old age, and not unexpected. We told L to use her judgement about what to do. But we didn’t think we’d see the old cat again, which made us sad.

After tea, watched the last episode of “Old Dogs” on TV. It had been an entertaining  series.

There was no sea noise to lull us to sleep tonight. Just the assorted noises of lots of other campers and the town environment in general.

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2004 Travels August 12


The morning dawned on a pleasant day, despite the ant activity.

We had a last walk on the beach. Walked right around past Neds again. Saw turtles bobbing up in the sea, to breathe and watched for them for ages.

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Looking back towards Mesa Camp from around near Neds Camp

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The mesa at Mesa Camp

Back at camp, packed up the outside stuff. There was a little lizard under the Chescold fridge. I moved him to a bush.

Took the awning roof down.

We went and had a farewell drink with the campground hosts. They had been great – not obtrusive, but friendly. They kept the place really clean.

I think this system of campground hosts is a great one. The ones we have encountered are grey nomads like ourselves. Thus, they are sympathetic to what campers want. In return for their supervision and cleaning work – which do not take all that long – they get a free site in a great place.

Our eleven days of not doing much at Mesa had made us rested and relaxed – excellent place for that.

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2004 Travels August 11


Last night’s late arrivals left early this morning. Cheap free-loaders! Karma would catch up with them – somewhere, somehow……

There was no wind this morning. Most unusual.

There were plenty of birds around this camp. Wrens, butcher bird, zebra finches, mostly. A large egret came to fish, most days, in the pool in the inlet near our van. Sometimes it was joined by a grey heron.

It was lovely to sit outside the van, in the mornings, and just look out at the view – very serene, even if the wind was blowing.

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Every day there was the morning routine, of those packing up to depart, and those who were queued at the gate, coming in just after 8am to pick sites. Some days, there was movement between sites, as we did.

Today, unusually, two sites remained empty after the morning rush. We had no radio or TV out there, but thought the weather report might be adverse, which could explain the lack of campers.

There were clouds building up – this could mean a really brilliant sunset, regardless of what comes next.

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Cloud building up….

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Clouds over the Cape Range

The ants were mounding up around their entrance holes, which was always an ominous sign!

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Ant weather forecast

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2004 Travels August 10


This was our 13th wedding anniversary.

We stayed at camp.

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Mesa Camp from the beach

It was windy again, but that had dropped by evening.

After lunch, we went for a  long walk, right along the beach, past Neds Camp area. The sand was a bit soft, even at low tide, for really easy walking, but it was pleasant exercise anyway.

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Sand, sea and reef

John had been spending a lot of time playing computer games. He would run the generator, after tea, to keep the batteries powered up, to charge the laptop through the inverter. He would then turn the genset off at 8.50pm – just before curfew. He then had some playing time left before the laptop closed down due to low battery power.

Tonight, a vehicle with a rooftop tent arrived about 10pm, and set up at the entrance to the campground. Naughty! We were the only campers awake to see it. They would have had an interesting drive from wherever, dodging all the kangaroos on the roads.

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2004 Travels August 9


After breakfast, drove to the Milyering Visitor Centre, the information centre for the Cape Range National Park. Browsed the information boards, displays and the goods for sale.

I bought some post cards – as usual – and a polo shirt for each of us. They had very tasteful designs and colours here – not always the case – and they even had polos with the all important breast pocket. John needs this on his shirts because of always having to alternate sets of glasses.

Then we toured around the other camp sites in the Park, checking them out for future reference.

Osprey was pleasant, but exposed and windy – and the wind never seems to stop for long! Though that might be a product of the time of year? One could fish off the rocks there.

Did not like Pilgramunna – very bare.

We eventually decided that our Mesa, or Neds, were probably the best, with Yardie next – although there was much more traffic there.

We continued on south, as far as Yardie Creek, where the sealed road stops. At times, it is possible to cross Yardie Creek, with a 4WD vehicle, depending on whether the creek mouth is open, and the state of the sandbanks at the creek mouth. In ’93, we drove up the unsealed track from Coral Bay, through Ningaloo Station, and crossed Yardie Creek on our way to Exmouth. Looking at the creek today, though, not sure it would be driveable now, even with the more capable Landrover. Not going to try it, anyway.

Parked in the designated car park at Yardie Creek, then walked the rough track up the gorge. This was a walk we had done before, but it was lovely, and worth doing again. It was only a couple of kms, all up. We did need to watch where our feet were going though – plenty of rocks.

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Yardie Creek Gorge in distance

The water in the creek contrasted with the red rock walls of the gorge.

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Yardie Creek Gorge

Surprisingly few travellers seemed to walk right along the track length, to the end point with its great outlook back down the creek, as well as over the gorge. They only went part way along, where the track was more formed, then turned back. So we were alone on the second section, which was great.

Then it was back to camp to laze away the rest of the day.

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2004 Travels August 8


Another drive back into Exmouth.

We had to be at the Bowls Club by 10am to play Versatility Bowls: two games of mixed fours, interspersed with pairs games, so that everyone played a total of three games. We won the first Fours game. John and I won our pairs game. The two men who made up our four, lost their pairs game, then we were annihilated in the last Fours game. John was Skip in that last game, and we played on a different green.

It was a long day!

We got back to camp in the daylight, but still had to keep watch for the kangaroos that came out to graze in the late afternoon.

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It had been extremely windy when we left the camp in the morning. That had come up during the night. It dropped later in the day, but by then a tent had been shredded in the wind, and the people had to leave.

Back in ’97, we’d made the decision to have an old fashioned  sail track awning, rather than a roll out one, so that we would feel more secure about going away from camp on windy days. It was more of a pain to put up and down, but days like this one made it worth while!

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Old-fashioned awning


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2004 Travels August 7


It was a very pleasant day. There was almost no wind at all.

John fished. I walked and read.

The area under the van awning was quite stony and uneven. John decided to remedy that. He raked and scraped the stones to one side, then spread a bucket of sand,  from down by the little creek, over the smaller stones that were left. Then he rolled and smoothed the top, using his poly pipe fishing rod holder. The result was rather like cement, and fine underfoot after the shade cloth matting was put back over it. Quite ingenious.

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Concreting a floor

I was reminded yesterday, as we were driving around the top of the Cape, to Exmouth, that it was there we picked up the phone call from son, back in October 2000, that signalled our long trip would be curtailed, and we would have to go home. The extreme disappointment I’d felt at that, was still strong. So it was not a place that held fond memories for me.

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2004 Travels August 6


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We drove into Exmouth again, in the late morning. Bought lunch in there. John had a pasty and a sausage roll. I had a spinach and ricotta roll.

Refuelled – $1.24cpl.

John played Scroungers bowls at the local club. I walked around the shops, then went and watched the bowls. John got into the play off for runner up. He lost, but did not finish until 5.15pm.

We then rushed to the Library to try to access the internet. It did not work. Then we had to do a bit of shopping for perishable foods.

So, it was dark as we were driving back to camp. There were lots and lots of kangaroos out and about, so it was a slow and cautious drive – followed by quite a late tea.

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The outlook from our camp