This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2004 Travels July 30

FRIDAY 30 JULY   SOUTH HEDLAND TO NANUTARRA ROADHOUSE   490kms

Today’s was a long day of driving south.

The country was not particularly interesting, and we’d driven it before.

Refuelled at the roadhouse at the turn off to Karratha – $1.08cpl. Topped up the fuel again at the Fortescue River Roadhouse – $1.20 cpl.

For several weeks now, we had spent time in the very large catchment area of the Fortescue River. Now, we were not far from its mouth, about a hundred kms SW of Dampier. There was water in part of the wide bed. We had to detour through a section of the river bed, around the bridge repairs that were happening after the cyclone damage of earlier in the year. Clearly, this river could be ferocious at times.

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Fortescue River bridge – note flood debris

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Flood damage Fortescue River bridge

Overnighted again back at Nanutarra Roadhouse. The ground was dry, this time, but the place was still noisy. $20 a night.

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Dry Nanutarra, this time

Whilst we were here, John took the jerry can to be refilled – $1.36cpl.

He then retreated to the van for a rest. I went for a walk along to the Ashburton River and had a look at the works going on there on a new road bridge. It would be a big improvement on the old, one lane only bridge.

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2004 Travels July 7

WEDNESDAY 7 JULY   CARNARVON TO NANUTARRA ROADHOUSE   370kms

It rained steadily and heavily all night.

The park grounds were very muddy. We got very wet, packing up and hitching up.

I seemed to recollect D telling us, just a few days ago, how wonderful Carnarvon was at this time of winter, and that it never rained!

It continued to rain heavily, out of Carnarvon, all the way to Minilya Roadhouse.

It was hard work driving. Lots of depressions in the road had water in them and some floodways were flowing. Some out of Minilya were running nearly two feet deep. There was an amazing amount of surface water just lying on the land, between Carnarvon and Minilya.

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Flooded highway north of Carnarvon

The road to Gascoyne Junction had a Closed notice on it, as we went past. I was happy that we were still not out in the Kennedy Range when this lot came in!

Refuelled at Minilya – $1.17cpl.

It continued to rain. A car had gone off the road about 10kms north of Minilya – perhaps was going too fast when it hit water over the road? It was being loaded onto a tow truck as we passed.

By the time we reached Nanutarra, the rain was slightly lighter.

It was all mud there too. It cost us $20 to stay on bare muddy ground, next to a power pole!

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How many stars would this rate?

We could not bush stay – even if we could have found a place dry enough to access – because the batteries had not been charged up overnight. John had turned the charger off, to watch TV, and said it was not necessary to turn it back on. Whoops!

Apparently, it was raining right up to Karratha. I hoped we would not have to change our plans.

John topped the fuel up here – $1.34cpl.

Apparently, the culprit was a cloud band from the north west that had sucked in wet, tropical air. It was raining all the way to Kalgoorlie! The forecast for Carnarvon, for tomorrow, was just as bad, so we would not have gained from trying to wait it out there – and may have been caught by closed roads.

We had wet clothes from this morning – and then this evening – draped everywhere in the van.

It was cold as well as wet.

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2000 Travels October 18

WEDNESDAY 18 OCTOBER   ONSLOW TO EXMOUTH   444kms

We were up early and managed an efficient final pack and departure, getting away at 8am.

It was a fairly tedious drive, back over to the highway, then south. John is missing trees! There were not many around Onslow. The prevailing vegetation in the country we drove through today was low scrub. There was a section of jump up country beside the highway, for a while, for a bit of interest.

We stopped at the Ashburton River, near Nanutarra Roadhouse, for a coffee break.

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The Ashburton River again – near Nanutarra Roadhouse

The section of WA that we have covered from Port Hedland to Nanutarra has been new to us. In 1993, going north, we turned off at Nanutarra and went inland through the Pilbara, not returning to the coastal regions until Port Hedland. So that gap has been filled in.

I drove for a while.

We ate lunch as we drove. John was anxious to get to Exmouth to try to sort out the phone situation. We have become dependent on it!

We took a gravel road short cut, from the highway to the Exmouth road, via “Giralia”. It was a reasonable road and easy enough to drive.

We passed the airfield and RAAF base at Learmonth. Not long after that, reached the Kailis prawn factory just before their closing time of 1pm. I bought 2kg of Endeavour prawns for $13 a kilo. I was pleased with that.

We parked the rig near the shopping centre at Exmouth and went to Betta Electricals. Putting in a new sim card did not make the phone work. The young assistant was mystified. We found out that we could get a new phone, at no cost, as long as we renewed our contract for a year. We did not really have much choice, so acquired a new CDMA phone. Changed the plan to one for $35 a month that gave us a cheaper call rate. We could possibly save more by combining our bill with the one at home – but K is paying that, so it would be complicated. But will investigate that further.

Refuelled Truck – $1.22cpl.

We did a quick shop and then went on out to the Lighthouse Caravan Park – “around the corner”, 19kms from town. The park was a bit rustic, but adequate. It was near enough to the sea for us to hear it, even if we couldn’t see it. There was a pool and we had a fair sized site. We paid $121 for a week.

After setting up, I peeled the prawns, which took some time. I froze half. We had the rest for tea, with lettuce and bread. They were delectable.

The TV here was pretty limited – WIN and GWN only – but the picture quality was good.

John phoned K and had a chat, after tea. All is well there. The mail was sent yesterday.

10-18-2000 exmouth