TUESDAY 5 DECEMBER RV1 TO NEWMAN 345kms
This felt like a momentous day – we were leaving to start to make our way to our very distant home. Our last breakfast in the mess. I packed us up a lunch crib each, for the road.
We had to finish the pack up of Truck, our rooms and the van before we could leave. John filled Truck from the diesel supply.
I had to spend a little final time in the office, bringing up to date the last entries for currently ongoing contingencies, and forwarding the spreadsheets to HO – just in case no one got round to doing them later, when work was finalized.
So, it was late morning before we got away.
We had to manoeuvre the rig really carefully, to move it away from the building, without collecting one of the verandah uprights. John directed – I inched it in the way he indicated. And I mean inched! I couldn’t remember how we’d gotten it in there, in the first place – effectively with the side of the van in between two veranda posts……
We had a brief stop at the highway corner, to put on the weight distribution bars – not something we’d wanted to have on for the now rather corrugated access track and the even rougher section through the Turner River channels.
I felt both sad to be leaving this area, but happy to be heading home.
It was very hot.
The drive was really enjoyable, despite the temperature. South of the Marble Bar Hillside turnoff, the country gradually became more varied, often with low ranges in the distance. There had been enough rain to turn sections of it quite lush.
The upper reaches of the Fortescue River, in the area where the highway crosses it, is not really a defined river channel, but an area of more vegetation. Just upstream from there, it seagues into the area known as the Fortescue Marshes. Over in that direction would be the Cloudbreak iron ore mine – the reason for the railway project.
South of the Auski Roadhouse we were into the at times stunning range and hill country, all the way to Newman.
We decided that Newman was as far as we would go today. We were both tired after the very busy last few days, and the recent weeks of work without a day off.
Got ourselves a powered site at the Newman Caravan Park. $25.
Set up, then drove to the central shopping area, where I did a Woolworths shop, for fresh foods and the like to get us closer to home. No more having all our meals provided!
Now we needed to get back into travel mode – and looking after ourselves mode…..It was such a novelty for John to have TV again that he wasn’t even too bothered by the distinct lack of any appealing offering, apart from the news. Yes, the world was still out there.
It was pleasant to have a shower where turning on the cold tap actually produced cool water.
The campground was rather noisy into the evening, with people – mainly workers – coming and going, and imbibing in refreshments after their day’s work. But we were tired, went to bed early and slept soundly.