Travelling Australia
Wayne & Pam BENTLEY

Monday 25th July 2005 to Thursday 28th July 2005

Monday 25th July 2005

The day started off quite early for us, up and about before 5:30 a.m. then pulling out of the caravan park at about 7:10 a.m. to set off on the North West Coastal Highway with about 660 kilometres to go before we would arrive in Carnarvon.

We drove over the Fortiscue River about an hour and twenty minutes later, but it did not have as much water in it last time we traveled this way. We continued down the highway until we had covered the first 260 kilometres before we stopped for morning tea near the Parry Ranges.

Being well refreshed we started out again with the view of covering another 200 kilometres before lunch. We past Nanutarra Roadhouse after 185 km and proceeded on our way. Just prior to coming to a suitable place to stop for lunch, as we were traveling along a built up section of road, we felt the patrol wobble a little then straighten up again, we pulled over and found we had blown out a rear left tyre on the patrol and felt it was quite amazing how smoothly it handled the flat tyre. This was then the start of a rather dirty 40 minutes as we had to pull right off the sealed section of the road into the red loamy sand after clearing a little of the spinifex bush out of the way. The patrol was jacked up as far as we could get it with it's own jack, some dirt was dug out from under the tyre (Using a shovel Kym and Lee bought for the 'Other One' before the start of our travels) and the blown tyre removed. Then the drama began as the spare was under the wheel hub and one nut loosely started on the thread, the jack decided to slip and move sideways, jamming the wheel in a position not all wheel nuts could be fitted. This meant it was time to pull out the big guns, out came the kangaroo jack and the back of the patrol and the front of the caravan was jacked up high enough to finish the job, whilst 'One of Us' was making sandwiches for lunch..

With dirty hands and clothes and all the bits and pieces packed away, we were on the road again for a few kilometres until we stopped at a more appropriate place for lunch and to empty two 20 litre fuel containers into the patrol. Then it was off again, down through Minilya and eventually arriving in Carnarvon at about 3:50 p.m.

After quickly setting up the caravan in the Plantation Caravan Park, 'One of Us' stayed at the caravan and tidied up whilst the 'Other One' set off down the street to find the Beaurepairs Tyre Centre. He was in luck and was able to get the blown tyre changed with one that had been carried on top of the patrol for the trip and balanced as well, all for the princely sum of $10.

On return to the caravan park it was then a rush to get the web site journal completed and everything done in time to participate in 'beer o'clock'. Then we discovered we hadn't taken anything out of the freezer for dinner so our drinks had to wait until we went into Carnarvon town to buy some take away and give 'One of Us' the night off.

We don't intend to leave Carnarvon quite so early in the morning as our destination will be Geraldton where we intend to spend two nights before returning home to Kalamunda on Thursday..

Morning tea - 240 km south of Karratha

Its only flat on the bottom

Flowers 90 km north of Carnarvon

Tuesday 26th July 2005

After yesterday's very early start and long day driving, today was a lot slower to get underway. After completing our morning activities, packing up and preparing for our drive to Geraldton, we drove out of the caravan park at about 9:15 a.m. with about 477 kilometres to go.

The drive was pretty uneventful compared to yesterday and our first stop wasn't until we had traveled about 260 km and left the Wooramel, Overlander and Billabong Roadhouses in our wake. Although we had been traveling past broad expanses of yellow everlasting's on the side of the road, 'One of Us' screamed for the 'Other One' to stop so she could admire the abundance of pink everlastings on the side of the road. We stretched out legs for a short time, with 'One of Us' stretching them straight into the middle of a large patch of these flowers.

Our next stop was at about 12:30 p.m., only a few kilometres further down the highway at the Nerren Nerren 24 hour rest stop where we took time to enjoy lunch and a cup of tea before moving on again.

Along the way the breeze had increased and started to blow from behind so the hills we were coming to as we came closer to the Kalbarri turn off seemed to be easier to climb. We continued through the hills into the first wheat farming country we had been through since we left Port Augusta in South Australia on 29th May. The crops look very good at this time and all appear quite thick, with a healthy dark green colour to them. Our journey continued on through Binnu and Northhampton before starting the final forty or so kilometres to Geraldton, our destination for the day.

On arrival in Geraldton at about 3:15 p.m., we booked in at the Sunset Beach Caravan Park for the next two nights which should allow us to catch up with a relative and friend or two before heading off home to Kalamunda on Thursday.

'One of Us' took a walk down to the beach whilst the 'Other One' completed the web site daily journal. She returned a short time later quite excited because she ran into 'Harry and Helen' from New South Wales who had been parked near us in the Kununurra caravan park.

'Beer o'clock' was next on our agenda and was most welcome when it arrived. As we are only 430 kilometres from Perth, we feel like we are almost home.

Pink Everlastings 200 km south of Carnarvon

Lunch break at Nerren Nerren

Wednesday 27th July 2005

Our last full day of this trip dawned with more cloud covering the sky than we have seen for some time and it was fairly cool compared to most of the mornings we have experienced over the last two months or more. As the morning wore on the cloud cleared and the blue sky we were used to seeing returned. there was very little, if any breeze and the day warmed considerably around mid morning.

After a chat with Harry and Helen (the caravanners next door) as they were leaving for Gin Gin, we sat outside and the Other One' made some toast for himself as 'One of Us' didn't want any.... Two slices later she decided that was enough and that was fortunate for the 'Other One' as he was looking like missing out all together!!!

It was then time to take a drive around Geraldton and find a paper shop as 'One of Us' wanted the Woman's Weekly because it had Mel from the Sunrise breakfast TV program on the front cover of the magazine. Our first stop was a visit to an Auntie who has been living in Geraldton for many years since she sold the farming property they owned in Winchester. We stayed enjoying our chat with her for close on an hour before saying farewell until we pass this way again. Unfortunately we did not get the chance to meet the cousins we have in Geraldton on this short stay.

Next we drove around Separation Point and then in to the dock area where there were literally hundreds of cray fishing boats either up on dry land or in the dock during the closed season for cray fishing. It was quite amazing looking at the multi millions of dollars worth of working boats sitting there waiting for the season to open later in the year. All we could think was 'poor crayfish', what chance has he got with this many boats hunting him.

From here we drove through the town centre and stopped at the shopping centre where we found a Woolworths store and made enough purchases to cook us some chicken and sweet corn soup for dinner. As we left the shopping centre, 'One of Us' spied a Subway Restaurant and the look on her face was enough to ensure the 'Other One' "insisted?" we have lunch there. 'One of Us' started on her foot long Teriyaki Sweet Onion Chicken roll and finished on the 'Other One's' Italian BMT before polishing off the choc chip cookie that came with her meal. The 'Other One' managed to avoid starvation by finishing off the bits that 'One of Us' missed. Then it was on to the Woolworths service station to fill up the patrol for the journey home in the morning.

On the way back to the caravan, under the directions of 'One of Us', we drove out Chapman Road for a way looking for some Geraldton Tomatoes and fortunately for the 'Other One' just as we had almost given up hope, we came across a few on a roadside stand. We then returned to the caravan park and discovered there were some tomatoes on a stand near the office door of the caravan park...

At about 5:p.m. Robert (an old mate from our Carnamah days) and Tina Lucas came around to join us at the caravan for beer o'clock and we were kept entertained for an hour or two by the stories of their recent travels through Europe. As there was so much talking going on, we had to lubricate the throat with a drink or two or three during this time.

The beach at the front of the caravan park

Just a few of the hundreds of Cray boats

Thursday 28th July 2005

Our last day on the road and 'One of Us' was getting pretty keen to get on the track. We were up by about 5:45 a.m. and had hooked up ready to go by the time the caravan park office opened at 7:30 a.m. 'One of Us' almost ran into the office to return the keys and get the deposit refund, then pulled the whip out on the 'Other One' to get the patrol rolling fast.

We left Geraldton with a sunny sky and promise of a good day, however as we approached Eneaba the weather took a turn for the worse and soon we were driving through some drizzling rain. This rain followed us for a hundred kilometres of so, then it cleared somewhat and driving was a more pleasant affair.

Once we reached a distance of about 175 kilometres from Perth, we pulled over for a cup of tea in a truck bay, however 'One of Us' only seemed to take a few sips and was then ready to get back on the road again. The 'Other One' knew what was best for him so after gulping down his tea, the patrol hit the road again and the foot went down a little heavier on the accelerator.

The journey itself was fairly uneventful, other then the whipping 'One of Us' imposed of the 'Other One' every time he slowed down for a hill or other traffic. He was beginning to get the feeling that 'One of Us' was looking forward to getting home......

We eventually arrived home safely at about 12:45 p.m. after having traveled 21,225 kilometres in four months (122 days) and entering five states or territories along the way. In that time we took 3,664 digital images and 14 hours 23 minutes of digital video footage.

Along the way we met some great people and had some great times with them. We hope to remain in touch with a few of them and look forward to meeting them again, either when they visit Western Australia or maybe out on the track again some time in the future.

Our last two journeys have taken us around Australia and up through the 'Red Centre' so now we intend to sit back, relax and enjoy the memories they created. Well thats what the 'Other One' thought, but 'One of Us' has produced an almost endless list of jobs to be completed around our house and yard (including house additions and yard landscaping), so it may be two or three years before we undertake extensive travels again.

Our arrival home was made extra special when, after visiting Travis and Lana in their new house that we had not seen before, we were treated to a magnificent dinner, lovingly prepared and home delivered by Kym and Lana, which we all enjoyed immensly with a few drinks, and of course lots of talking.

Thank you to all the people that made our travels so memorable and we wish you all many years of good health and happy traveling.


An early start to our last morning

Our last stop on this journey

Next Page