I will also
A short day today, we have made our way to Katherine. Not much to report as it was a pretty straight forward run, in the morning we will go and have a look at Kathering Gorge, It has a new name but I can not work out how to say it,
I will also
We left Turkey Creek heading for Kunanurra, we saw the Argyle dam, the start of the Ord River scheem, looks pretty impressive.
It was not long before we had crossed the boarder and lost an hour and a half in time, now we are in the Northern Territory. The speed limit is 130Km/h although nothing will change for the red beast. Funny, when I was younger I always wanted to drive and have my car covered in red dust, now that I am here doing it I have a red car and you can not see it.
We made our overnight stop, Timber Creek. Another $24 caravan site on the highway, we managed to get our washing finished and dried before the crocodile feeding. Only problem was the croc was a no show, getting to cold we are told.
I must admit I am a little dissapointed that lots of the small towns along the way promote fishing, but when you ask where the good fishing spot is you get told, no fishing to many crocodiles. I think that this is a scam to keep all the fish
We organise to leave the camper trailer at the caravan park that we stayed at last night and drive the 135Km of unsealed road to the crater. It was pretty rough at times. We got to the crater and it is quiet something to see. I wonder what size the meteor was that hit, and stuff like that. We walked to the rim and looked in, again pretty amazing. We had a read of the information about what had happened here and still I am amazed.
We drove out of the crator site and found an old abandoned farm house, I said I will take some photos and tell people that it was the house used in the movie, some humur on the door reads"The danish team stayed in this house, we survived and we watched the movie" pretty funny I thought.
We head back to Halls Creek and pick up the camper, much to my suprise that we had lost a tail light assembly, must have rattled out along with my eyeballs along the road.
We left Halls Creek and spent the night at Turkey Creek, I woke to sounds in the early hours of the morning and saw shadows moving around, when I looked out we were surrounded by wild brumbies, all standing on the grass eating, I would have taken a photo but I did not want to startle them and they storm throught the place and get hurt.
We started the morning off with a riverboat cruise along Geikie Gorge, this was a inland reef in prehistoric times and is now the only part of the Fitzroy River that has permanent water, it was an interesting trip and the guide knew her information, plenty of freshwater crocodiles along the way, would have loved to have had a crack at some fishing.
After the cruise we made our way to Halls Creek and found a nice spot in a van site close to the amenaties.
We ventured out after dark to a restaurant for dinner and wish we had stayed at home $15 for 2 stubbies was a little rich if you ask me.
The tribal drums played on into the night and then there was some burnings, would it be the sleep we needed before we head to Wolfe Creek Crator tomor
We left Broome this morning heading for the Northern Territory, the landscape changes a fair bit along the way, one thing we notice is that there are an abundance of boab trees and 7km from Derby there is one that used to be a prison to hold Aboriginals in, an amazing thing to see, I even steped over the small wire fence to have a look inside.
We drove into Derby, and out to the jetty the tide difference in Derby can be up to 11M, and the fish and chip shop at the jetty sprayed cool mist out to keep it's customers cool.
From Derby along the highway to Fitzroy Crossing, these places claim to have great fishing but when you ask you get told no fishing as there are to many crocs.
We stayed at the New Crossing Inn, a small but quiet place where we got some sleep before heading out to Geikie Gorge for our riverboat cruise.
As we spent a few days in Broome I will put it all into one big blog.
We arrive in Broome and head to the caravan that we had be told was good. We set up the camper and put the annex out as we were staying a few days.
We go for a drive into town and have a look about, it is a place that you could stay at forever. We went for a drive out to Gantheaume Point, this was about sunset so there were plenty of people driving down the beach, we followed and watched the sunset, a great experience and I love the fact that you are allowed to drive along the beach.
On our way into Broome we saw a sighn that said Malcolm Douglas Wildlife Park, this was a must see and today was the day. I must admit that I was a little upset as I had loved watching Malcolm's shows when I was growing up and thought how cool it would be to do the things he has done, I also named my son after him. For many years I had wanted to go and see this guy and I never had the opertunity, now that I am here he is not. The park is a great place, plenty of crocodile's both saltwater and fresh.
We were a little suprised to see that there is no memorial to Malcolm, and when asked the lady was a little shy, one of his relatives came out and told us that there were plans but nothing had been done as yet.
Frome the wildlife park we went into Old Broome, chinatown. This is a nice spot with a fair bit of history and there is still an open air cinema that runs 3 nights a week.
Tonight is the start of the full moon and there is a phenomenom that the locals call stairway to the moon, it is quiet something and a little harder to catch on film than you would think. I got one with the camera and the tripod, I will post it here also. They also have night markets when the moon is right, there are some very tallented people in Broome, one guy painted thee amazing paintings, very nice but he wanted to much for them.
Our next day in Broome saw me take the car for an oil and filter change, this was a simple task that took them 2 hours, he also pointed out that I had a panhard rod that needed to be replaced, no chance of getting one in under a week untill we get to Darwin. Work cover would hae had a ball with this guy though, no bunting to collect any oil spills, the aprentice was ppouring de greaser out over the cement as the office girl was walking around in thongs, I had a chuckle and thought how life would be for these people in the big smoke.
Stacey and I went for a drive to Cable Beach, we had a little Broome time laying in the sun on the grass above the beach, I hoped up and noticed plenty of people driving out onto the beach, we followed and ended up on the nude side of the beach, we thought it a little unfair after driving along looking at the nudists, so we thought it would be ok to take our gear of and go for a swim and sunbake, so off we went naked as the day we where born, swimming and sunbaking, we did take some photos but we wont be putting them on here, I know that there will be a few people upset about this.
We headed back to Cable Beach that night to get some photos of the sunset.
This concludes our time in Broome, there is so much that could be done in the Kimberleys that you could spend a month up here, I guess we will have to come back then.
Leaving Port Headland we decided to break the trip, 80 Mile Beach seems like the place to stop. We registered and drove into the large park, it is very crowded and lots of quad bikes. It was a really nice place to stay, we had even managed to pick a night when a wierd god bothering mob were there waving their arms and dancing in a trance.
We waited till after dark and thought a romantic stroll along the beach would be nice, well we ended up talking to some people that were fishing for about half an hour, they gave us a few pointers on things to see along the way, Geikie Gorge being one of the places to see and tiped us on the pricing.
We ended up having a stroll along the beach in the moonlight, we still think it is called 80 mile beach because that is how far out the water is, again another really nice place to stay.
We started our day with the short run to Dampier, it is a nice place, albeit a mining town. We finally after driving round the small town the red dog statue, we took a few photos and headed back to Karratha.
We found a place to replace the tyre on the jockey wheel, and purchased a new tyre and tube. We needed fuel so we turned into the truck bay of a service station, Stacey all the while telling me that it is a pay by card only, me being me thinking we have a card so no worries. I waited and decided that the guy was not going to turn the pump on for me, I went around the front of the servo and found that all the bowsers on the outside were ULP, no good then I notice what Stacey ment about card only, it was a mining company service station that would only give fuel if you held one of their fuel cards.
A rapid exit found us heading up the highway to Port Headland. I managed to make use of a repeater and with the help of Micheal VK6BHY I was soon chatting to Carl VK2HRC on the BMARC IRLP node. We had a chat for while and then we were back on the road heading for Port Headland.
We drove into Port Headland and had a look around the small town before heading back to Cook Point and getting a site in the caravan park.
We decided that it would be a good idea to repair the jockey wheel, this turned out to be a bigger job than we thought as it wasn't a straight swap, I put the new tyre and tube on then noticed that the valve was not the right one, I then had to patch the old tube and put it onto the old rim. Problem solved, un till we wake up in the morning to find the jockey wheel flat again.
We had a drive through Port Headland stalking an old mate of mine, but we couldn't find him. Sorry to the people that thought we were strange driving around the block a dozen times.
Today we left Exmouth heading for Karratha, As Exmouth is a perninsulayou get to see things twice, once on the way there and again on the way back. Heading out I saw a sign saying "MV KRAIT MEMORIAL" this is the site where the MV KRAIT left for Singaporein September 1943 and returned in October 1943 after sinking 37000 ton of enemy shipping we found that as you get closer to the top everything is either a mining town or nothing, I wonder what these places would look like if the big mining companies pulled up stakes and left. We found a Big 4 caravan park and set up the camper.
We picked up some provisions from the local Woolies and returned to the park for dinner and an early night.
Day 23 has us heading to Exmouth, along the way we cross the Tropic of Capricorn, this tells us that we are level with Rockhampton on the east coast. Our first stop is Coral Bay, we had planned to stay here for a day and do some fishing, swimming and snorkelling, this changed when we drove in and the place was packed. We took the turn to Ningaloo but the road was terrible so we headed to Exmouth.
We found the Big 4 van park and booked us a site. After a drive around we found some very interesting things, as I am into radio type stuff I could not resist the amount of antennas that are around Exmouth, there is a site that was built by the US Navy and there are 13 towers, all over 300M high with wire going in every direction, I am led to believe that this is where they used to communicate with the submarines. There are also some large log periodics that are used by Air Services Australia, would have loved to been able to hook the 857 to one and say hello.
I will talk more about the antennas later when I get some more information about them.
Next morning I am woken to a soft voice asking Stacey if she is VK2BO, I hop out of bed and there is a tiny Japaneese guy standing there looking up at me. He had tracked me down using APRS and I must say I was rather blown away. He introduced himself and asked about my radios and stuff, he had a look at my set up then offered to show me his JEEP.
I thought he was staying in the same park that we were but this is not the case, so out the front we go and there is the JEEP, a 1979 model Army jeep, I thought at the time that it was a Willies, but he advised me that it was a GM. He has all millitary radios in the JEEP andhe is travelling around Australia also, he is using HF APRS and thought he would say hello, I am glad that he did.
He is heading to Perth and when he gets there he has to fly back to Japan. He returns in September to finish his trip, he asked if he could visit me when he comes through Sydney and I hope he does.
After our chance meeting we headed to a place for some snorkelling, Tourquoes Bay was the place for us beginners, but in no time Stacey had the snorkelling down pat. We put on our goggles and snorkel and head underwater to our amazment there are a few rather large fish swimming around looking back at us, then a nice size grassy sweetlip swims up and before long we are floating over the top of a couple of bommies, these reefs are loaded with fish and with the GOPRO we manage to get some underwater footage, again we are no Ben Crop, and we find out later that we need another part to the camera for better underwater stuff, we may look into this for further underwater adventures.
We had a blast floating around in the water looking at the fish, some rather large schools of fish and all the clown fish around the annenamies. This is a part of the trip that will be etched into our minds forever, and have vowed to return and do it again.
We will endevour to get some more video of the fish online soon.
We had some lunch in this beautiful part of the world before heading back to the van park.