This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2000 Travels September 3


It was Fathers Day today, but there was no contact from any of the offspring, despite the time lag between west and east. John was quite hurt.

John washed the van before hitching it up. Given the sort of road we would be going on, I failed to see the point! But it guess it removed any salt from being so near the sea.

Even doing that, we still managed to get away at 8am!

We had to go to Coles first, because a computer magazine that John bought yesterday did not have with it the disc that it was supposed to have. Apparently, I was supposed to have collected this when going through the checkout.

The drive out to Middle Lagoon was the same route we’d already been on. It was hot and rather tedious. Just red pindan dirt and scrub. There was not much traffic, which was good, considering the nature of the road.

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Dampier Peninsula road – note the sand banks at the sides

The van towed well on the sometimes rough road.

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Burnt sections by the Middle Lagoon road – probably a deliberate burn off

Paid our camp fees – $198 for the six nights.

We had quite a bit of bother trying to get the van onto the Gum Tree site that we’d booked. The track curves and slope of the land were against us. It was harder than it should have been because a couple of the local men were trying to direct John, but he wanted me to do it. Eventually they realized that he was angry, and went away!

John said we should have gone to a more remote, unpowered site by the beach, instead of me opting for this powered one. However, I was sure he would utilize the power too!

After setting up, John had a sleep, and I went for a long walk along the beach. I thoroughly enjoyed the exercise.

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Still life – beach variety

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The beach and huts for campers

There were fewer people here than when we visited last week.

Tea was cold roast pork, potato, corn on cob.

09-03-2000 to ml

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2000 Travels August 28


There was a thick sea fog this morning, hanging over the town. It was quite eerie.

Today we drove north, up the Dampier Peninsula. We had not been up here before, and wanted to get an idea of whether it would be worth bringing the van up for a stay.

The road was unsealed and rough in parts. Some of it was graded well down below the surface of the surrounding land, and there were banks of sands at the sides of where the grader had gone, so passing oncoming vehicles was a challenge. Someone had to drive part way up onto the sand.

The scenery was rather monotonous – all red dirt and sand roads, dry scrub, burnt in parts.

We stopped first at Beagle Bay, where we paid $5 each to enter the community. I wanted to see the Catholic Church. This was completed in 1918, using mud bricks made on site and mortar made from shells gathered by the community. At that time, the Church was run by Palatine monks, though various orders have been involved at Beagle Bay, over the years, from the 1890’s.

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Inside the Beagle Bay Church

The church decorations are unique, made of shells and mother of pearl. Even the floor is “tiled” with shell inlay.

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Floor detail in the Church. Note the stylized creatures

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Intricate detail at the altar

In some ways, we were lucky to be able to view the church at all, because there had just been a collapse of part of the front, under the bell tower. That area was vaguely roped off and we went in through a different door.

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Partial collapse at front of church

The church really was unique – something special. So much painstaking work had gone into its construction. We hoped that any further collapse and damage could be headed off. It would be a real shame to lose something as unusual as this.

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Luminous effect created by use of shells

We continued north, after some way turning to the west, off the main road to Cape Leveque, to go out to Middle Lagoon, where we’d heard there was a campground.

It was about 30kms from the main road to Middle Lagoon. We paid $8 for day entry to the place.

Middle Lagoon was a most attractive spot. It is so called because a reef extends across the bay entrance.

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Beach and bay at Middle Lagoon

 We ate our packed lunch sitting on some rocks, overlooking the lagoon. Then we walked on the beach and found some interesting shells.

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Along the beach

There was a campground there, set up by the aboriginal family whose land it is.

We encountered D and R there – again! Last seen at the King Edward River. They were off to go mud crabbing, so we did not chat for long.

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Creek mouth at Middle Lagoon – home to mud crabs

We decided to bring the van out and stay here, because it looked so lovely. We saw the lady at the “office” and booked one of their powered sites for 6 nights – at $33 a night! Costly, but we hoped it would be worth it. Already felt that it was a pity we could not stay longer, but cannot afford the time, with John’s Games schedule.

We were later leaving there than we should have been. It took us three hours to drive the 190 kms, or so, back to Broome. It was well dark by the time we got back at 6.45pm.

The outing gave Truck a decent run, after the repairs, and all seemed well.

Tea was pasta with my tuna, caper, olive etc sauce.

Watched the football Brownlow Medal count on TV.