This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2004 Travels July 6


We did a food shop in the morning.

John bowled in the afternoon. His team won. He received a very big block of chocolate and was really pleased with himself. One of his allocated team members was very old a fragile and had to be helped about – he was really chuffed to be in the wining team. John felt good about that, too.

Drizzling rain set in about 5pm.

About that time, M and her friend K came round for a drink and a chat and stayed until 6.30pm. We firmed up the arrangements for meeting M in Karratha. They were making their way back to Perth now, where the hire car would be surrendered. K would fly back home to Melbourne – she had to go back to work. M would join us. She is “practising” for when she takes retirement, which might be at the end of this year.

Tried to do some packing up, despite the rain.

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2004 Travels July 5


John’s face was still swollen and he was not feeling well.

We drove out to Miaboolya Beach, some 20kms from town, thinking to go for a walk along it, but when we got there, John did not feel up to it.

On the way back, we turned and drove through the plantation areas on the northern side of the river, crossed on the main road bridge, then came through the southern side plantations, to town.

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Gascoyne River mouth – and mud flats

John found a shop where he could do a download on his laptop. There was a notification that I’d won $78 in OzLotto. It must have been on 22 June – was my mum’s birthday.

Refuelled – $1.05cpl.

I phoned and booked us into a Karratha caravan park for Thursday to Saturday. I did not want to go back to the one where we spent a horrible, hot month in 2000, watching the Olympics, so decided to try a different one.

We spent some time talking with E and D at their van.

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2004 Travels July 4


John woke up with the noise in his ear back, and his face all swollen up again. He’d thought he was getting better, so was really depressed about this. However, it did not stop him from playing Scroungers  bowls in the morning!

I wondered whether the regular bending over for bowls unsettles something in the face/ear? But I wouldn’t be game to suggest it, though.

I did the washing, which had built up over the last couple of weeks. It was quite windy, so good for getting the washing dry.

As I was walking back to the van from the laundry, recognized another camper. It was D, who we’d gotten to know when staying at the same caravan park in Hobart, in 2000.  I had been sending him and E Xmas cards, to their home base address in Orford, but in 2002 that card had come back. He told me they were full time on the road now – which he’d really wanted to do. They had sold the Orford place. They were really pleased to see me again. Over the next couple of days we did quite a bit of catching up and talking travel. This was their third winter in Carnarvon, but they planned to try something different next winter and head for Queensland.

After lunch, went to town and went for a walk on the One Mile Jetty. This structure, built in the 1890’s for coastal shipping, had to be this long to reach deep water. The amount of silt coming down the Gascoyne River system, in floods, had created an extensive sort of delta formation, some of which was exposed at low tide.

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Out on the One Mile Jetty, lookung back to town

Back in ’93, we watched people fishing from the end of this, but in 2000 the last section was closed off, because some morons had lit fires and burnt parts of it. Someone said it was people fishing, who wanted to keep warm. What idiots light fires on a wooden jetty?

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It was still closed off.

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Closed off last part of jetty

The little Coffee Pot train – so named for its shape – was running, to take people who did not want to walk, up and down the jetty.

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The Coffee Pot

Apparently, full restoration of the end of the jetty was expected in the near future. They had done well – massive task.

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We drove around the Fascine – the waterfront – and the small boat area,  just looking.

Honey chilli prawns for dinner tonight!

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2004 Travels July 3


In the morning, went to the Growers Market in the town centre. There were lots of tomatoes, capsicums, grapefruit, bananas and other vegies. Carnarvon was a very productive  agricultural centre, reliant on irrigation water from under the Gascoyne River bed. We stocked up – very good value.

I bought a Weekend Australian. A newspaper again!

After lunch, John bowled. This caravan park had its own bowling green – which was the reason we always went there! Regular competitions were run throughout the tourist season – which we were right in the middle of. John was very rusty, he said.

I read my paper.

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Carnarvon site

Friend M phoned. She and friend were at Nanga, south of here, on their hire car jaunt. She would contact us when they reached Carnarvon on Tuesday. That was a couple of days later than they’d planned to be in town. We could have stayed out in the bush for another couple of nights!

Fortunately, I was able to extend our booking here by a night.

Garlic prawns for tea tonight – lovely.

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2004 Travels July 2


The Kennedy Range extends south almost to Gascoyne Junction. So, today was attractive driving, that far, with the Range to our right.

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Roadside patterns

Not far after rejoining the main road beside the Lyons River, we crossed that again, at a dry point. After that, the river was to our right, as well. Again, we crossed several dry stream beds – tributaries of the Lyons, and hence eventually, the Gascoyne.

Just north of Gascoyne Junction, we crossed that river, on a dry causeway ford.

Refuelled at Gascoyne Junction – just 20 litres, at $1.30cpl.

Last time we came this way, in ’93, the road west was closed by rain, and we could only go south west, via poorly signed station tracks, through Pimbee and Meedo stations, to Wooramel Roadhouse, on the highway. It was an adventure!

At Gascoyne Junction, I used the public phone (no mobile signal out here) to phone the  caravan park in Carnarvon to book us in for four nights. John was impatient to get going again and cross about me doing this – until I informed him that the park had only one multi-night site available, which I’d booked. So it was a good thing that I’d thought to phone ahead.

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The unsealed road between Gascoyne Junction and the main highway, just north of Carnarvon, was rather corrugated, and with patches of bulldust in parts. We could see why this road was closed as soon as it rains – runs right by the river.

This section of the drive was pleasant – a little undulating, with very low sand dune sections, scrub covered, in places with little lakes between. Nice variety.

As we approached Carnarvon, the sky ahead was clouding over.

Went into the Wintersun Caravan Park. Top Tourist. $19.35 a night, after discount. The park was full, but did not feel too crowded. We were next to a big van, a couple with two little boys, the younger just walking. He reminded me of my little grandson – I was missing that little guy.

After setting up camp, drove into town – this caravan park is out on the edge – to get some foodstuffs.

We went to the prawn processing plant and bought a kilo of king prawn meat, for $27. For that, we got fifty one prawns!

We had TV again.

The showers were very welcome, after our showerless, dusty stay out in the bush.

Bought fish and chips for tea. Very greasy.

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2004 Travels July 1


It was another lovely day.

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We walked north to the next track and to a small water pool under a big rock wall. There were lots of tadpoles in this drying pool. It would be a race against time to see which made it to frog stage before this pool dried up.

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Track to the northern section

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All round, it was a walk of about 8 kms. Very pleasant.

After lunch, we drove along the same track and right up to its end.

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Along the dry creek gully there, were scalloped and shaped, honeycomb style rock formations. These had obviously been shaped by erosion – water and wind, I supposed. They were intricate and fascinating, and we spent a couple of hours wandering around there.

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The other Trakmaster left today, before we got up this morning. Thank heavens. I don’t think they stayed long enough to properly appreciate the place, though. Still, he could add it to his “been there” list, which does not mean explored or appreciated.

Now, it was just us, the Swiss couple and a couple with a camper trailer. The Swiss seemed to be people like us, who lingered when we could, and go out and about every day, fully taking in the place.

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Unfortunately, this peace was not to last. About 5pm, a tag-along group arrived. The bane of those who like out of the way places! There were eight to ten outfits, and they set up all around us. They put their camp kitchen next to the Swiss. It did not have to be that way – they could have gone to the other end of the campground.

The boss guy made a point of coming over and asking if we felt invaded? I said “YES”. At least, he was a little bit apologetic.

It was a group whose catering was done for them, obviously feeling very intrepid and adventurous. I wondered if they realized how much they were pitied by independent travellers. Follow the herd! Stick to the itinerary. Don’t make any decisions of your own.

The Swiss were overwhelmed and decided to cut their stay short and leave in the morning. We were going then, anyway.

We sat round our little campfire again, after tea, trying to ignore the group noise nearby. It was not the lovely, remote peace of the last two nights.

The regional map we had indicated that there were a couple of camp areas on the western side of the Range. We did not have time to go exploring around that side, this time, but had certainly seen enough here, to make that a definite interesting prospect for the future.

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2004 Travels June 30


Today was a lovely, blue sky day. Not too hot for activity.

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Current CALM map

We drove to the southern walk.

Our information and the (little) map we were using was contained in a book on National Parks, and on the touring map of the region we’d bought. We had not found any of the usual information about this place. Too new and too far out of the way, perhaps.

This walk was into another creek gully.

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Valley of the southern walk

We climbed around a deep hole that had water in it, and reached a dry waterfall. The track went up and around it.

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I baulked at a narrow ledge under an overhang – too high up for me. John went on and up to the end of the track. He said it was lovely. I was quite happy sitting on my rock just gazing at the bush while I waited.

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Track kept going beyond the waterfall – I didn’t!

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John going up the wall…….

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Canyon wall

We then drove along a faint track to the south, around the bluff, which turned out to be knife thin. At the seeming end of the track, we stopped and collected some firewood. It was probably an old track from mining exploring days – there was no sign of it having been used for a long time.

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Kennedy Range stretching to the south

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Country east of the Kennedy Range

In the later afternoon, after a late lunch, we walked from the camp area, around to the next valley to the north, where the ground was covered with shattered extruded lava, and was black. There was another pretty little creek there.

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A cave in there?

While we were out, another Trakmaster van came in. It parked quite close, next to us, of course.  Why is it, with a whole empty campground, people feel the need to snuggle up? It was a dual axle model, from WA. We did not warm to our new neighbours.

After tea, we sat round our little campfire, talking to each other and looking at the bright stars. We saw a satellite crossing the sky.