To the North: Barn Hill Caravan Park

Stephen had his injection as expected. He does not appear to have had any reaction from it. We refuelled and had the tyre pressure checked. Once again we had a different opinion about the best tyre pressure and now have 70rear65front. Who knows what is correct? We then went to the laundromat at Town Beach and I did one load of washing. It was going to get busy there with an afternoon market and we really felt like we wanted to be in shade for the afternoon. In the end we returned to the Surf Lifesaving Club car park and found some semi shade. It was very humid and although we had our washing on the airer outside for rest of the day it didn’t get dry.

In the evening we went for a walk along the beach. Although we didn’t get the iconic shot of camels, we were able to see them returning to the path up from the beach. They had to wait for ages for all the 4WD vehicles to leave the beach and it seemed wrong that they didn’t have right of way.

As we walked along the beach we saw a couple of women guarding a turtle. They had rung the turtle rescue service as it was alive, just exhausted. When we got back to that spot after walking further along the beach we saw someone carrying the turtle up the beach. We also saw some jellyfish stranded along the shore as it was low tide.

After the balmy, humid evening a strong breeze came in and our washing actually dried by the time we were ready for bed.

When we took our walk we put the airer inside the van straddled between the bathroom and kitchen. We couldn’t have lived in the van with it that way, but it worked to safely move the van into the camping section of the carpark.

In the late afternoon I had a call from Regis from the RN to say that Mum was ‘declining’ – and did we want her taken to hospital. She has been spending a lot of time in bed and isn’t eating or drinking very much. After consulting with Marie, it was decided that we would wait until the morning when Marie could visit and talk with the clinical manager. Despite our being consulted multiple times, it apparently has not been documented that Mum does not want an intervention, but wants to die naturally at ‘home’ in her own room.

Yesterday morning when Stephen and I were doing chores in the middle of town (with good phone reception) we had a three way conversation and reinforced that hospital is not a good idea for Mum. She has been there a couple of times after falls and really hates it, just wants to be back in familiar surrounds. It has been decided to have a meeting with an external hospice organisation on Tuesday to decide if she really is ‘declining’, or just having another low point, from which she will recover. This has happened before and I told all the family, then she recovered.

Marie found her quite alert and able to help make the decision about hospital (a definite ‘no’), but we asked that they bathe her in bed if she doesn’t want to get up and generally make sure she isn’t lying in wet sheets half the morning, which has happened at least once that we know of.

Stephen and I then had to make a decision whether to continue northwards or start to make our way south again. There didn’t seem to be a special urgency, though we are waiting on a GP and hospice evaluation. But our friends Frederick and Sherine will no longer be in Kununurra when we get there as their plans had to change, which removed one incentive. I am finding the heat in the afternoons very trying and have some heat rash. It was a relief to get back to the milder weather at Broome when we returned from Derby. Although it feels a bit whimpish to give up, we have reason.

The nice thing is that we have five weeks to make our way slowly home, rather than going 1000kms further and perhaps having to rush back. One of Stephen’s former colleagues had recommended Barn Hill Caravan Park, which is part of a station, and on the road between Broome and Port Hedland, as a place to stay. We are paying $30 per night for an unpowered site. We arrived late in the day and just parked up temporarily for the night, but this morning have moved to an ocean view site with water hookup. We’ve also booked another night, giving us three nights in total.

We went for a walk this morning. It is a beautiful spot, with red cliffs and rocky outcrops at low tide. We walked along to some stone monuments carved by the water, very interesting. There is another walk we can do tomorrow morning. I only took iphone photos yesterday at sunset and I’m looking forward to getting some photos of the sunset with my camera.

It’s very busy here. There is a cafe, small shop, a bowling green, regular yoga sessions and they have games evenings as well. We ordered pizza for tonight and there is going to be a live music show which we will attend after the sunset. The powered sites are very close together and we feel we have a bit more space where we are, as well as having an ocean view.

The showers and toilets are rustic style, open to the sky. Everyone seems to know to put the toilet seats down when not in use without the owner having to put up signs. They have lots of artesian water which is replenished every wet season. This morning our next door neighbour was washing his car and I borrowed his sprayer to give our roof top solar panel a bit of a wash down. We’ve also put out our extenal panel for the first time.

We have patchy internet and I’ve just uploaded one photo of the rock formations we came across on our walk along the beach this morning. I had to make the size really small, but that works for the web.