Travelling Australia
Wayne & Pam BENTLEY

Thursday 7th July 2005 to Saturday 9th July 2005

Thursday 7th July 2005

Today's start was a very early for us, being woken by the wonderful smell of the bread as it cooked and our alarm was the beep of the bread maker telling us it was ready. All this happened before 5:30 a.m..

From that time on it was a matter of the final preparations to leave the caravan park and head off toward Fitzroy Crossing. As we had a key refund to collect from the office and in that did not open until 7 a.m. we were ready to hook up by then however the high kerbing slowed the hookup process and we didn't drive away until about 7:20 a.m. after a final farewell to Ron and cousin Dawn.

Our journey took us about 45 kilometres west on Victoria Highway before turning south on Great Northern Highway. We made a brief stop for a cup of tea after we had passed through Warnum (Turkey Creek) then continued without a problem until about 30 kilometres before Halls Creek when we found ourselves behind a road train that could not get past the rather ignorant driver of a motor home who felt that driving and about 75 kilometres per hour was right for him and to bad for anybody else following. Fortunately we were unable to hear what the driver of the road train was saying or thinking as we ended up in a procession of vehicles behind this motor home all the way to Halls Creek. There is little wonder that truck drivers do not hold motor homes and caravans in high regard.

All these vehicles made a stop in Falls Creek so we continued through without stopping and managed to get back at to a reasonable speed again. Our next stop was at Mary Pool which is a 24-hour road stop located about 500 metres off the highway. We drove into this area and found about 20 caravans or recreational vehicles parked in there before us, and many of them appeared to be settled for the day or more. We stopped here long enough to enjoy lunch looking over what is left of the pool where a small freshwater crocodile was basking in the sun. We pulled out of this location at about 1:30 p.m. and continued on our way towards Fitzroy Crossing.

The rest of the journey was fairly uneventful and just as we were saying the scenery was not very interesting, we traveled through another small section of breakaway hills that made us change our mind once again. We arrived at the Fitzroy River Lodge and caravan park at about 3:50 p.m.. Although we were able to get a powered site, it must have been one of the last available as we had to drive right around the caravan park before we located one that was about as far from the abolition block as we could get.

Having traveled just over 650 kilometres for the day we were ready to settle down with a cold drink and the air-conditioner running to cool us down in preparation for a great meal of T-bone steak with Diane sauce and vegetables that 'One of Us' prepared whilst the 'Other One' put his feet up and completed the web site.

Tomorrow will be a short day in comparison as we will travel from Fitzroy Crossing to Derby where we will meet up with our friends, the Robertson's, and we will stay there for three nights.

I could walk there quicker than a motor home...

Lunch at Mary Pool

94 kms from Fitzroy Crossing

Friday 8th July 2005

We had a much slower start today, taking our time to prepare for our departure from the caravan park in Fitzroy Crossing, eventually pulling out at about 9:05 a.m..

Our first stop was the Coles Shell service station in the centre of the town, only to find out that they had run out of diesel so we had to continue through the town until we reached the BP service station where we filled up with diesel at 142.3 cents per litre. This gave us a fuel consumption of 5.05 kilometres per litre of diesel over the trip from Kununurra to Fitzroy Crossing.

By 9:25 a.m. we were on the road again and heading out of town on Great Northern Highway with only 263 kilometres to go before we would arrive in Derby. We made this distance without stopping or without too many slow vehicles to contend with and we arrived at the Kimberly Entrance Caravan Park in Derby at about 12:30 p.m.

On arrival we settled in on our site right beside great friends Graham and Jocelyn Robertson who will be here for the next two nights. At about 3:p.m. we went for a drive with them in their Nissan Patrol and visited the local wharf at high tide, before returning to the main street of Derby to watch and wait for the procession of floats to go by as part of the Boab Festival. There was also a number of rides and the Lamb Van appeared to be doing pretty good trade while we were there.

We finally returned to the caravan park by about quarter past beer o'clock (5:15 p.m.) and settled down for a quiet drink before Jocelyn and Graham brought the meat and salads over to our caravan for dinner and we enjoyed a great night of reminiscing old times when we lived in Pinjarra (1978 to 1984). when 'One of Us' and Jocelyn were involved in Brownie Guides together and the 'Other One' and Graham were involved in the serious business of sampling brewed substances.

Unloading in the shallows of Derby Whalf.

One of the floats in the Boab Festival

Saturday 9th July 2005

After a quite late night last night, this morning started out pretty slow. 'One of Us' was not feeling full of life, even though she didn't have a lot to drink the previous night so it was decided there would not be too much activity embarked on during the day.

Around 9:30 a.m. the 'Other One' set off on an excursion to the local hardware shop to purchase a couple of fittings for the drain pipe on the caravan, then he stopped in at the Woolworths Store and replenished our depleted stock of non essential items, namely food. He walked out of the store some time later and $135 worse off...

On return to the caravan 'One of Us' put the food purchases away whilst the 'Other One' made an attempt at fixing the slow shower drain, but ended up having to level the caravan up using a jack to get everything flowing freely. A second trip to the hardware store was unsuccessful as all these stores close at midday on Saturdays and don't open again until Monday morning.

The afternoon was spent pottering around, 'One of Us' had a nap on the bed whilst the 'Other One' played around on the computer for a while, then we joined Graham and Jocelyn for a cup of coffee and a chat until almost 5:p.m.. It was then time to get organised for Beer O'clock, so we went our separate ways for a short time before resuming our chat with a drink in our hands at about 5:15p.m.

The BBQ was fired up after drinks (alright, during drinks then!) and we all enjoyed a dinner consisting of marinated chicken and pork strips, lamb chops and chipolata sausages with boiled potatoes and a salad.

Another great night with friends in the outback, or Derby anyway.

Boabs in the main street of Derby

Well used anchor in Derby's main street