Travels with the Winnie: Days 42 & 43

Friday 30th June, 2017

John McDouall Stewart Rest Area to the Devil’s Marbles

We got away last, as usual, even though it was somewhat earlier than our usual time. We had a very cold night, extra blanket on top to fight the cold from the window.

Our first stop was at a very old pub/roadhouse with very basic offerings (a $3.00 cup of tea that I made myself), toilets with the water turned off (and, believe me, they shouldn’t have switched off the water with Stephen and I coming), and a lovely big open fire. The other odd thing was there was a very good 3g signal, so we enjoyed catching up on our emails. I heard some news from home from Marie.

Devils Marbles - last rays (1 of 1)
view from outside our van at sunset at the Devil’s Marbles

It turned out to be a very windy day, with gusts that made it difficult to drive. My plan for us was to drive to the Devil’s Marbles camp ground for the night, but I was having second thoughts about free camping in an exposed area in the wind.

Fortunately, we decided to brave going to the camp ground anyway. We have been able to face nose into the wind, ideal for this vehicle. The only downside is that the tree next to us likes Winnies very much and strokes the roof in the wind. But, better than being buffeted around side on.

Going on the photos on GeoWiki, I had imagined nice dispersed camping. We came up the road around the rock formations, not knowing what we would see. As usual, in a good spot, there is a great crowd of RVs of all descriptions in a sort of parking lot. We arrived at about 2.00 p.m. and most of the spaces were already filled. We squeezed into a little spot at the end, with views over the bush from our cab and passenger side.

Devils Marbles - the Red Capped Wanderer (1 of 1)
The Red Capped Wanderer at Devil’s Marbles
Devils Marbles Winnie (1 of 1)
all about Winnie


It’s still windy at 5.00 p.m., so I will have to brave the wind to get out and take photos.

Devils Marbles1 (1 of 1)
on our walk around the rocks
Devils Marbles2 (1 of 1)
a view of the surrounding area
Devils Marbles4 (1 of 1)
another rock

About a week ago I bought a couple of LAZY LETTERS, which Glenn and Matt may like, and a postcard for Mum. I’ve now completed them and hope to post them in Tennant Creek tomorrow.

There are still RVs coming here looking for spaces. A large Winnebago just came down and appears to be reversing into a spot.

Saturday 1st July, 2017 – Northern Territory Day

Devils Marbles to Tennant Creek

We need to fill up with water and do some washing, which meant for us going to a caravan park. We rang up on the way at one of the mobile phone booster stations.

mobile phone booster
Mobile phone booster station. They are fairly common at rest areas along the Stuart Highway. Using my wifi hotspot I was able to get slow internet one evening. We used one of these today to phone and book a caravan park. Just as well, as they tend to fill up quickly.

When we arrived we asked about a place to eat out this evening. The first suggestion was to join the Northern Territory Day celebrations tonight at a nearby park. We were told it is safe to walk there, and a better option than driving and trying to park closeby.

I did some washing as soon as we arrived and have hung it around the van. For one thing, I worry about security in these places, for another, as at home, it is much easier to dry clothes on airers inside than hang them out and have to bring them in again. Is it age, laziness, or just being practical?

Morning at Devil's Marbles (1 of 1)
Can’t resist a sunrise
Morning at Devil's Marbles2 (1 of 1)
A view of the packed out campsite

We are already finding this blog useful when we want to verify where we were at a particular time, etc. We will be able to relive the experience by projecting the blog on our TV at home.

5 responses to “Travels with the Winnie: Days 42 & 43”

  1. I’m really enjoying your photos. So clear and picturesque 😊

    I did a 7.00am to 3.00pm today and I’m now warm and cosy sitting on the couch with my ugg boots on, track Suit and cuddly blanket as it’s very cold this afternoon and it’s been raining most of the day.

    Two days off and no more work until the 10th of July where I’ll be doing night shifts until next Friday morning.

    Luv Robyne xx

    • 4 nights in a row? The nice thing about the shift work is feeling you can really relax afterwards. Doing nights, I tend to spend a lot of the day in my PJs resting and sleeping. Rather a nice thing to do in colder weather.

      • I’ll be definitely doing that … sleeping, off and on all day 😊

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