This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

Leave a comment

2004 Travels September 6


Lazed around camp in the morning.

After a fairly early lunch, went to the PO to check if, by some miracle, the brake parcel had arrived. We were not really expecting it, this soon, knowing that Express Mail does not quite work in remote areas!

We drove on, back out to Ayers Rock. There, we did the Waterholes Walk.

Resize of 09-04-2004 01 Ayers Rock 2.JPG

This was something a little different, giving close up perspectives of part of the Rock base.

Resize of 09-06-2004 01 Ayers Rock Waterhole Walk 1.JPG

Resize of 09-06-2004 02 Ayers Rock Waterhole Walk 2.JPG

Resize of 09-06-2004 03 Ayers Rock Waterhole Walk 3.JPG

We saw some art on a rock wall that neither of us had seen before – interesting, but not in the same dramatic class as the rock art of the Kimberley or Nourlangie in Kakadu.

Resize of 09-04-2004 22 Ayers Rock Art 2.JPG

Resize of 09-04-2004 23 Ayers Rock Art 3.JPG

Somehow, we’d managed to luck doing this walk in between the peak times for tour groups and others, so did not encounter too many other people, which was good. I find that jostling with crowds of tourists always detracts from whatever natural attractions one has come to see. Selfish I know, but I want these places to myself!

Resize of 09-06-2004 07 Ayers Rock Waterhole Walk 7.JPG

The chain section of the Rock climb – with no climbers on it




Leave a comment

2004 Travels September 5


Refuelled Truck – $1.28cpl.

We went to look at the camel ride establishment, south of the main settlement. We did not want to ride, but I just wanted to look at the camels!

We saw a group of riders being loaded onto some of the camels, and then setting out for their ride. Ships of the desert – appropriate.

Resize of 09-05-2004 01 Ayers Rock Camel Rides 1.JPG

Resize of 09-05-2004 03 Ayers Rock Camel Rides 3.JPG

They were gorgeous, I thought. Gentle, meditative. They looked at peace with the world. I knew they could be unpleasant beasts at times, but these did not look as if they had any nasty in them. I loved them. They looked pretty well cared for, by the mostly backpacker staff.

Resize of 09-05-2004 05 Ayers Rock Camel Rides 5.JPG

Resize of 09-05-2004 04 Ayers Rock Camel Rides 4.JPG

Could there be food in that ute? Or did his best friend go out with the riders?

Back at camp, John retreated to his computer games. I went for a walk around some of the village, looking at the staff housing area.

I was enjoying being able to wander around the shops here. Not that there were that many, but the eclectic assortments of items to tempt tourists made for fascinating browsing.

John was enjoying having TV and unlimited computer use.

Leave a comment

2004 Travels September 4


After a late and leisurely breakfast, I walked to the retail centre.

Yulara was set out in a sort-of circle, with the various buildings and facilities arranged around the perimeter of a large, central,  low sand dune. There were walking tracks across this, so the trip to the shops was a very pleasant one.

The crest of the low dune was a viewing place, over the settlement and to Ayers Rock in the distance.

I put my photos in for processing, then walked around the shops, browsing, until it was time to go back and collect them. Bought the Weekend Australian and the Age. They were costly, having been air freighted in, but it was worth it to have a Victorian paper again. There was lots of reading for the money.

Bought some postcards to send to family and a couple of friends.

After lunch, we drove to Ayers Rock.

At the entrance station, negotiated with the lady there, to allow our Entry Pass, which normally lasts three days, to be able to be used for a longer period, should we need it.


We walked around the base of the Rock – some 9kms. Walked in a clockwise direction.

Resize of 09-04-2004 03 Ayers Rock 1


We had done the walk before, but it was not something we were tired of. It was lovely flat walking, with an ever changing outlook, birds flitting about and always something new to catch the attention.

Resize of 09-04-2004 06 Ayers Rock 5

Part way around was a bush shelter with a couple of interesting and “different” seats inside, constructed from local timbers and utilizing the natural curves of the wood. They were really quite beautiful.

Resize of 09-04-2004 11 Bush Couch 1.JPG

Resize of 09-04-2004 18 Bush Couch 5.JPG

The shelter was the typical bush one – roofed with dried spinifex held together by netting wire.

Resize of 09-04-2004 19 Bush Couch 6.JPG

Most images one sees of Ayers Rock are – necessarily – from a distance, to capture it all. They tend to give the impression of a smooth and homogenous entity. But close up, the Rock’s surface is eroded and broken in places, forming some really interesting shapes and patterns.

Resize of 09-04-2004 07 Ayers Rock 6.JPG

There are places where large chunks of rock have slipped and fallen down.

Resize of 09-04-2004 24 Ayers Rock Eastern Side 1.JPG

There are places where water has eroded channels and little potholes.

Resize of 09-04-2004 27 Ayers Rock Eastern Side 4.JPG

The red hops bushes were in flower, on clumps of bushes in amongst the dry grass. Very pretty.

Resize of 09-04-2004 02 Hops Bush.JPG

It was a really wonderful way to fill in the afternoon. I really appreciated the exercise, after all the travel sitting.

Resize of 09-04-2004 13 Ayers Rock 11.JPG

Late in the afternoon, there was all the flurry  in the campground, of visitors heading out to view the sunset on Ayers Rock, then coming back from that. We had done the sunset thing before, so were not tempted to join them.




Leave a comment

2004 Travels September 3


After breakfast, John pulled the van brake apart. He had been correct that the problem was in the magnet assembly. He phoned Hardings and arranged for them to send new magnets, and associated parts, up here – by Australia Post.

I thought he should have first investigated the possibility of some sort of courier delivery service – Australia Post could be so slow with parcels. But he hadn’t asked my opinion, so too late. I had a strong feeling that the two days we had booked in here for, were not going to be enough!

Resize of 09-10-2004 01 Brake Magnets 1.JPG

One wrecked brake magnet unit…..

I went to the office to extend our stay, and was able to retrospectively negotiate a free night, if we booked and paid for a week in total. That was a slight financial respite!

John drove out and collected the repaired tyre – as we’d thought, a screw.

We just lazed around the van for the rest of the day.

Bought fish and chips for tea – what a luxury!

Leave a comment

2004 Travels September 2


The alarm went off at 6.45am. I got up and turned it off and went back to bed – my system was sure it was 5.15am! We then got up at 8 and were driving again by 9.20.

Resize of 09-02-2004 01  Petrol Bowsers Warukurna 1.JPG

John was not interested in visiting the nearby Giles Meteorological Station.

The road was rather corrugated, as far as Docker River.

Resize of 09-02-2004 21 Car. Abboed.JPG

Abandoned car – this one was not incinerated, though!

This was an amazingly scenic stage. The road passes between the Schwerin Mural Crescent – a range to the north – and the Petermann Ranges to the south east.

Resize of 09-02-2004 09  distant Schwerin Mural Crescent.JPG

Resize of 09-02-2004 20 Petermann Range.jpg

It was just wonderful country.

Resize of 09-02-2004 14 Schwerin Mural Crescent 3.JPG

It was a pity that there were not more open access and camping facilities out there. It would have been an awesome place to stop for a few days.

Resize of 09-02-2004 19 Petermann Ranges.JPG

A landmark about an hour out of Warakurna was Len Beadell’s tree. He was a multi-skilled man who led the surveying and road building party that blazed tracks through these western deserts in the 1950’s and 60’s. The original Gunbarrel road was one of his – required as part of the weapons testing that took place at Maralinga and then Woomera. He marked his routes with metal plaques on trees.

This section of the Great Central Road does follow the route of the original Gunbarrel – hence the tree with its plaque.

Resize of 09-02-2004 12 Len Beadell's Tree.JPG

A Len Beadell tree – and corrugations!

We came upon a wrecked caravan, by the road, on a slight rise. It looked like it had been a conventional van, rather than an off road one. Clearly, the road had won!

Resize of 09-02-2004 17 Gunbarrel Caravan Wreck.JPG

Wrecked caravan – on rise by roadside

A short time after we’d stopped to take a photo of that van, I could hear hissing. A tyre on Truck was going down. We may have picked up a screw from the debris around the broken caravan. We were able to change it before it went fully flat, and that made the process, with the heavy wheel, easier.

Resize of 09-02-2004 18 Don't stop to look a wrecks.JPG

Wheel change – by another wreck

Just after the WA/NT border was the one camping area along the Great Central Road that was not attached to a roadhouse or within a community. This one was a few kms before the Docker River Community, which ran this fairly new facility. We detoured in to have a look.

Resize of 09-02-2004 31 Docker River View Series 6.JPG

Information booth at Docker River camp ground

The camp area was really lovely – just so scenic.

Resize of 09-02-2004 22a range.jpg

Resize of 09-02-2004 30 Docker River View Series 5.JPG

Ranges all around the camp ground area

I would have really enjoyed a stay here for a couple of days, apart from maybe a little concern about its proximity to the community. There were camping bays in amongst desert oaks – a tree I love for the sound any breeze makes rustling through them.

Resize of 09-02-2004 24 Camp Ground Docker River.JPG

How good would camping here be?

There were ranges all around.

The camp ground had water taps, and flushing toilets! There was no one staying here. I wondered how long the community would be able to maintain the campground in functioning condition.

Resize of 09-02-2004 23 Camp Ground Docker River 3.JPG

We did a short walk to the top of a nearby hill, to get a great view of the surrounding country and the campground.

Resize of 09-02-2004 26 Docker River View Series 1.JPG

Resize of 09-02-2004 23a track docker river camp.jpg

People who have not travelled in Central Australia have a mental picture of aridity and barren-ness. The reality is so totally different, as beautiful places like this attest.

Resize of 09-02-2004 27 Docker River View Series 2

Given the limited time remaining for this trip, and the fact that it was still morning, staying here was not feasible, this trip, so we continued on, after spending the best part of two hours just enjoying the place.

Resize of 09-02-2004 29 Docker River View Series 4.JPG

Before too long, we stopped again, at Lasseter’s Cave. We had lunch there and explored around it. The cave is by the Hull River, which sometimes has water in it.

Resize of 09-02-2004 33 Lasseters Cave area.jpg

There was a lot of controversy and uncertainty about Lasseter and his supposed lost reef in this area. Lasseter claimed to have found a reef full of gold at the western end of the McDonnell Ranges, around 1900. But his navigation and mapping skills were inadequate, and no one was able to locate it again. An expedition to try again to find the lost reef, in the early 1930’s, went badly astray, the party disintegrated and Lasseter supposedly lived in this cave for a couple of months, after his camels had bolted away. His body was found some distance away – he having died whilst trying to walk to Ayers Rock.

Resize of 09-02-2004 37 Lasseters Cave.jpg

No one knows for sure whether the reef ever existed. It might have been covered by shifting desert sands. I had read somewhere a theory that the area concerned was actually the Harts Ranges, way to the east from here, but I couldn’t see how even the most hopeless explorer could make an error of that magnitude!

Resize of 09-02-2004 34 Lasseters Memorial 1.JPG

We continued on. John felt that the brakes on the van had ceased working. Then, about 80kms from Yulara, the van “grabbed” briefly, a couple of times. John thought that the electric brake magnet arm must have fallen apart again, as it did back in 2000.

We took it very slowly and carefully after that, over the remaining 40kms or so of badly corrugated road. It was a relief to reach the sealed Olgas road, and Yulara after that.

Resize of 09-02-2004 42 Olgas from Gunbarrel approach 2.JPG

The Olgas, as seen from the Great Central Road

So – that was the Great Central Road. It had been much less arid than I expected, and at the eastern end, much more scenic. (As a postscript, we never did receive the expected permit to drive it!)

We reached Yulara about 3.45pm. Went into the campground there. $31 a night for a powered site!

The Olgas and Ayers Rock really are unique in this part of the country. Each time I see them afresh, I think that there are lots of great places in this nation, but nothing quite comparable to these.

We approached the Olgas from the west today – a totally different perspective of them. They were pale purple, and looked like mystical brooding creatures sitting on the land.

Resize of 09-02-2004 40 truck and olgas Gt Central road.jpg

I did manage to get John to stop a couple of times, for photos!

After setting up camp, John phoned Trakmaster. They could send up a new magnet, but suggested we try locally, first. So off we went, to the repair place. They were not much use. We did put the punctured tyre in for fixing.

I quickly replenished some supplies at the supermarket.

I phoned daughter, and she found the phone number for the Hardings caravan repair place. John thought he might try phoning them about the brakes, tomorrow. Too late by now, in the eastern states.

Daughter had found part time work in Bendigo and seemed very settled in there. Grandson had a couple of days each week in child care.

I was appreciative of the clean and modern amenities here!

I also rather appreciated the fact that it looked like we would have to stay put here for a few days, until the brake was fixed. Six days of constant moving on had been too much for me. I needed some days that were not just sitting in Truck!

Resize of 09-02-2004 to y.JPG

Leave a comment

2004 Travels September 1


It was the first day of spring. The morning was warm enough for us to go back to wearing shorts, which we hadn’t been in for days.

Through the day there was some fleecy cloud build up.

John had not set the alarm last night so we slept late. By the time we got up at 8.30am, the other campers that had been here, probably about six lots, had left.

Resize of 09-01-2004 01 Camp Warburton.JPG

Morning at Warnurton camp

Went to visit the Art Centre, which had been promoted in some of the literature we had. It had a very impressive gallery collection of a representative sample of the art from the Lands and its associated communities. It made for really interesting browsing.

We sifted through the unmounted canvas art works they had in a pile, for sale. Bought three acrylic on canvas works. All very different. One had an orange background, reminiscent of the desert sands, and showed shapes and patterns representing a water hole and people meeting there. A multi coloured one represented foods, with flowers and ants. A somewhat larger one of predominantly purple, pink and black tones had patterns of shapes – I really loved that one. All came with provenance about the artists. We parted with $480 – very reasonable prices, we thought.

Resize of 09-01-2004 art w.JPG

One of our new art works

Had a very interesting talk with the lady running the Art Centre. She was quite adamant that the people had to be organized by whites, or nothing was achieved. She said that the local CDEP scheme was being made into a “must work for 20 hours a week” rule. Otherwise, no benefit would be paid. She was rather sceptical that this would work – said it would mean that even more of the teenage girls would get pregnant, to get benefit money that way.

But she felt that there were some positive aspects in the area – the people still had much “culture” and connection to the land. But they steal. Her view was that, despite all the car wrecks, indigines never die by the road, even though they do not go out equipped for remote travel. But four white fellows had died – she did not say over what time span that was.

We noticed that the fuel bowsers at the roadhouse were inside really heavy steel cages. No self serve around there!

Resize of 09-02-2004 02 Petrol Bowsers Warukurna 2.JPG

High security fuel bowsers

There were notices on the roadhouse doors – “No Kimbie, no enter”. i.e. no little kids with bare bottoms were allowed in. The circumstances that made such a notice necessary did not need  much thinking about!

Today was a much more leisurely day and thus very enjoyable. I think that even John had concluded that yesterday was too much!

We were able to doodle along, actually stop to take photos and to have some walks around.

John emptied the jerry can into the fuel tank.

The road was more corrugated.

We “lost” 90 minutes today, by going east.

Ate our packed lunch beside the road, and walked around, looking at plants and the scenery in general.

Saw more camels.

Resize of 09-02-2004 05 Gunbarrel Camels 3.JPG

I tried to take a photo that would be suitable to enlarge for our wall at home – of Truck, van and the “desert”. Actually, said desert continued to have lush growth and lots of flowers!

Resize of 09-02-2004 11 On the Gunbarrel 3.JPG

Then, we came up over a low ridge and there in the distance was the Rawlinson Range. The country had changed from the dune type arid lands to a much more classic Central Australian appearance. It was wonderful.

Resize of 09-02-2004 08 Rawlinson Range 3.JPG

The ranges made the last section, coming into Warakurna, delightful.

Resize of 09-01-2004 more rawlinson range.jpg

Refuelled at Warakurna Roadhouse – $1.50cpl. Filled the jerry can too.

We set up in the roadhouse camp ground – $16 for the night. The campground was alright.

Resize of 09-01-2004 05 Camp Warukurna.JPG

Warakurna camp

This afternoon and evening was much better. We were able to relax before tea and I could take my time cooking it.

Travelling corrugated roads had become very tiring and we had an early night to bed.

Resize of 09-01-2004 to wr.JPG

Leave a comment

2004 Travels August 31


Another early start, on a cold but sunny morning. There was some cloud about.

Now we were embarking on the dirt road to the north west. The Great Central Road, loosely and erroneously called by some, the Gunbarrel Highway. It was pretty good quality though. We were mostly able to bowl along at 70-80kmh.

I had wanted for years to drive this road. It had been on the original plans for 2001.

Resize of 08-31-2004 02 the Great Central road.jpg

On the Great Central Road – at last!

The lush growth of bushes, grasses, mulga continued – and regular wild flowers in bloom, as were a lot of the shrubs. If I’d been driving and on my own, I would have stopped a number of times to photograph some of these – beautiful and unusual. But, unfortunately, John was in no-stop mode. So we missed many opportunities to stop and savour this different environment.

Resize of 08-31-2004 01 on Great Central rd at last.jpg

We encountered a group of aboriginals with a broken down vehicle. Stopped – cautiously – to see if they were alright. They had a car and trailer and there were problems with the trailer. There were four adults and three children. They had been broken down there since yesterday, they said. I could not work out why someone just didn’t take the car and drive for assistance! Maybe they just didn’t think of that? I gave them some fruit and fruit box drinks, for the kids. We took a message for them – to the next roadhouse – Tjukayirla – to be phoned back to Cosmo Newbury settlement to send out help for them.

Resize of 08-31-2004 on road to warburton.jpg

Stopped to eat lunch at the Beegull Rockholes/caves. These were natural depressions in the rock, which held water for a long time, and so were valuable wells for the traditional aboriginals – before cars and roadhouses!

Resize of 08-31-2004 04 Beegull Waterholes.jpg

Beegull Rock Holes

We had a bit of a wander around here, whilst eating. It was nice to have a break from Truck!

Resize of 08-31-2004 rocks at beegull waterholes.jpg

Cave at Beegull Rock Holes

The terms of our permit – WA stretch – had been quite adamant that we were not to stray from the road, make any side detours, or camp except at the roadhouses. So we were conscious of this limited access. However, the Rockholes were marked on the map we were following, and its notes indicated exploring here was alright.

Resize of 08-31-2004 stop at waterholes.jpg

Outlook to the north

There was very little other traffic on the road.

There were lots of abandoned vehicle bodies – burnt out and ratted for parts. Later, we were told that there was a major loss of face for the locals if they abandoned a vehicle that had broken down, only to have someone else get it going! So they burnt them, to make sure that did not happen! Face was a very significant driver of behaviour in indigenous communities.

There were so many car bodies that some humorist had attempted to number them, with white paint.

Resize of 08-31-2004 03 many derelicts.jpg

We stopped – too briefly – at Tjukayirla Roadhouse. Got fuel – $1.50cpl! The roadhouse appeared well run by the Blackstone community people.

I had planned that we would stop in the campground there, for the night. 300kms from Laverton seemed like a good day to me, on the unsealed roads. But John was determined to push on to Warburton.

Resize of 08-31-2004 05 more Great Central road.jpg

After Tjukayirla, the road was very corrugated for quite some time. That slowed us down and made for unpleasant travel.

There were some small herds of wild camels beside the road.

Resize of 09-02-2004 04 Gunbarrel Camels 2.JPG

We stopped again for another group of aboriginals, whose car was still burning. They were a ruffianly looking lot. They asked if we had cigarettes and Coke. Couldn’t help them on either count, but I went to the van to see what I could dredge up, as a gesture. They crowded me at the van door and seemed unduly anxious to get a look into the caravan. I suspected they were hoping to spot some alcohol – don’t know what might have happened had they done so! I gave them some water and a packet of rice crackers. I was sure that was not what they were hoping for – they did not look impressed! We agreed to take a message to Warburton for them, and were quite relieved to drive away from the group.

We were still driving when dark came, at about 5.30pm. That made driving harder.

We had been going through dune country for some time by now – but the road remained firm, if corrugated. The country was still interesting, even though I was totally fed up with the long driving day.

It was great to come over a dune and see the lights of Warburton in the distance. But it took ages to actually get there – one could see so far out there!

The roadhouse was shut when we got there. There was no answer when I tried what appeared to be the manager’s house.  So we proceeded to set up in the camp area behind the roadhouse. There was a big gate that we had to open.

After some setting up, I went to the toilets – only to discover they were locked. Made sense in a place like that. Luckily, I then saw the manager coming out of the back of the roadhouse, and he got a key for us. I passed on the message from the stranded group.

We paid $18 for the night – and had power.

We were even able to watch The Bill on TV, though the image wasn’t great.

The nearby community seemed pretty quiet, through the night. Some occasional raised voices and barking dogs.

It had been a very long day. Far too long to be enjoyable. I did not like sitting cramped up for such a long time, without much chance to exercise and get the blood circulating again. We had driven , in one day, what I’d intended would take two. It seemed a shame to rush, in this way, a route that we were unlikely to drive again, but I was, literally, not in the driver’s seat.

We were in bed by 10pm.

It was a cold night, but not as bad as the previous three nights had been.

Resize of 08-31-2004 to w


Leave a comment

2004 Travels August 30


It was another early departure from camp, on a cold morning.

The road east to Leinster was excellent.

We drove into the settlement, which was off the through road, for fuel, and to have a look around. It was a purpose built modern mining town, similar to Tom Price. There were lots of trees growing, though, and it was quite a pleasant place.

Fuel was $1.22 cpl.

Then we headed southwards, to Leonora.

The country had enough jump ups and breakaways to keep from being monotonous. There were still lots of wildflowers and generally green bush.

We had a quick walk around in Leonora. This was another of the old gold mining towns of the 1890’s. We visited the Tourist Information Centre.

Leonora was renowned for the great Sons of Gwalia gold mine.

We drove out to Gwalia – the old mining settlement, now a ghost town, established around the mine, on the outskirts of Leonora. The mine began in the 1890’s, and lasted until 1963. Herbert Hoover was an early mine administrator here, before he went on to become President of the USA.

We spent over an hour at the mining/historical museum at Gwalia. It was quite fascinating and I certainly could have used more time there.

We were shown over Hoover House – the former mine manager’s residence.It was quite grand, especially for these parts. It had now been turned into a B&B establishment, and was quite well done.

I loved the little miners’ cottages there, that were now being done up by some locals.

The Sons of Gwalia mining company revived mining at Gwalia, in the 1980’s. They went for open pit mining, and so there was now an impressively deep pit there, where the first mines were shafts.

Ironically, just as we were driving into Leonora, we’d heard on the radio news that the Sons of Gwalia company was going into administration! That probably would not bode well for the future of the revived operation.

Got fuel at Leonora – $1.16cpl. In these parts, we were topping up wherever we could.

I had hoped to stay at Leonora overnight, so we could have more of a look around the area, but John decided we would push on to Laverton.

Laverton was another town dating from the gold finds of the 1890’s. It still serviced mines around the district, as well as the surrounding cattle stations, and the local aboriginal communities.

Topped up the fuel again there – $1.21cpl.

Went into the privately owned Laverton Caravan Park for the night – $22. Bit costly, although the park was quite pleasant.

We were able to stay hitched up.

Resize of 08-30-2004 01 Camp Laverton 2.JPG

Laverton Caravan Park

Went for a short walk around the town. A little bit of exercise, after a long day spent mostly driving.

It was a cold night.

Watched the last of the Olympic stuff on TV. Thank heavens!

Resize of 08-30-2004 to l.JPG

Leave a comment

2004 Travels August 29


John had insisted that we set the alarm, so as to get an early start. It went off before 7am. We were back driving by 7.30.

Nice day today – chilly to start, but with blue skies.

From Geraldton, headed west. Again, this was country we had travelled before, as far as Mt Magnet. Back in ’93 we had driven that route, and earlier this year we went as far as Mullewa.

There were lots of wildflowers in the wheat belt country, out to beyond Mullewa. They became fewer once we transitioned to the mulga country, before Yalgoo. But it was a pretty drive.

We had a quick look around Yalgoo. Back in ’93, after John “caught” the gold bug, we had camped here for a few nights – in a no-star caravan facility. Now, the new caravan park looked fine. It had to be an improvement on where we stayed before!

Yalgoo seemed tidier than I recollected. We refuelled here – $1.19cpl.

Stopped at Mt Magnet to eat our packed lunch. Topped up the fuel there – $1.22cpl.

There was a convoy of huge loads assembling at the Mt Magnet Roadhouse. We were told that police would escort the convoy northwards. It looked like mining gear.

Resize of 08-29-2004 01 Better believe a wide load.JPG

The Oversize sign does not really seem adequate

Resize of 08-29-2004 03 Better believe a wide load 3.JPG

The road to Sandstone, from Mt Magnet, was lovely to travel. It appeared to have been rather recently sealed. There was not much variety in the scenery. There were just enough very low hills and scrub covered dunes to stop it being flat.

The Sandstone Caravan Park charged us $16 for the night. There was no paper in the Ladies’ toilets, and they were a bit grubby, though not very old.

Resize of 08-29-2004 04 Camp Sandstone 1.JPG

Sandstone Caravan Park

We were able to stay hitched up.

Went for a walk to have a look around the township. It looked to have some interesting historical aspects, but having dawdled for the Olympics, we now had no time to stay and investigate. That was rather a pity. It would have been much better to have had more time for this segment of the trip. There were some dramatic rock formations in the area, apparently.

Sandstone had some very attractive old buildings. The town dated back to the early 1900’s, when the whole region was subject to gold rushes and mining.

As we walked, John attracted a very friendly little dog that persisted in accompanying us. But the town was not very large, and his owner found him, as we walked around.

Resize of 08-29-2004 05 Camp Sandstone 2.JPG

John and friendly dog

Today it was announced that there would be a federal election on 9 October. We would be home by then. I wondered if it would be too late, by the time we got home, to arrange to work in a polling booth on the day? I always found the work interesting, and the money didn’t go astray, either.

It was a very cold night.

Resize of 08-29-2004 to s

Leave a comment

2004 Travels August 28


We were driving out of town about 8.30am.

There had been some short but heavy showers as we finalized the pack up – a personalized farewell from Carnarvon!

Today’s was a fair old drive, in terms of distance, but routine. All done before.

There was a head wind, all day, which was a bit tedious, and chewed up the fuel.

There were wonderful wildflower displays all the way, which made the drive more interesting.

There was quite a lot of surface water still lying about.

The Galena free camp area, by the Murchison River, looked pleasant for an overnight stop. It was very large.

We passed a stone wall/”gateway” at the turn off to Shark Bay and Denham. Was that there before? I could not remember.

In view of the head wind, thought we should top up the fuel at the Billabong Roadhouse – $1.20cpl. Not too bad.

At Geraldton, went into Sunset Beach Caravan Park, for the night. It was a Big 4 and after discount cost $17.65. It was really nothing special. I thought Drummond Cove might have been a better place to stay.

The mandarins we bought from Morels a couple of days ago were all going bad. It looked like we got a dud lot. They were probably windfalls. I was very annoyed about that – hate feeling that I’d been conned!

Refuelled and also filled the jerry can – $1.12cpl.

Bought fish and chips for tea. We’d had to unhitch anyway – no drive through sites – so going out to buy these was not an issue.

It was a really cold night – down to about 4 degrees! We were not used to this.

Resize of 08-23-2004 to g