To the North: homeward bound

On Monday in Carnarvon we shopped, then went the space museum. There was lots to see and we spent a few hours there, with a lunch break as well. We went back to the caravan park where I sorted our washing which had been hanging on the airer at our campsite. It was a windy, partly cloudy day and we wanted to make sure we had the washing in before going out for the late afternoon/evening. Stephen had put our gas bottle in for a refill in the morning and he spent a bit of time getting it secured in the van. The sealed cabinet makes that slightly difficult, although we appreciate the safety.

Later we went to the main area of Carnarvon on the water. Cafes were closed by the time we got there, but we found a nice spot to park up for afternoon tea. In the evening we went to the nearby Carnarvon pub for a meal. We liked the atmosphere and were surprised that it was so busy on a Monday night.

Yesterday morning after packing up and filling up on water and fuel we went to the nearby indigenous cultural centre. I was appalled at the prices of some of the artwork – not so much paintings as the materials are expensive and you’ve got to cover that before charging for the painting itself, but a simple woven basket was over $400 and it couldn’t see the value in that! There was a very good exhibition on the local indidgenous history, but it seems people’s memories don’t go further back than European occupation. There is nothing about traditional culture separate from the often negative encounters with Europeans. It’s important to have this perspective, but I would like it if people remembered customs, etc. from before the occupation.

We drove about 80 kms to the Edaggee Rest Area. We were relaxing and reading our books when a man with a tag around his neck came to our door and greeted us. It was the census man! He said his area covered our camping spot and he had a form for us to fill in. Our plan had been to do it online at the next roadhouse today, but we were charmed by the idea of filling in our census form on the night as occupants of a Rest Area on the road. This morning we handed it in at the roadhouse to be collected, probably by the same man. Now, isn’t that interesting!

I had a call from Eli and Matt yesterday morning to clarify a few questions for Matt’s form. He was fairly patient as we went through things, but keen to get on to watch staff doing housework.

Today we’ve driven just over 200 kms to the Nerren Nerren Rest Area. We’ve come off the blue metal area into some bushes. As usual, the rest area is fairly packed and although we have chosen a private spot we could end up surrounded, as happened last night.

Marie sent me some photos of new equipment Mum has, an air mattress to relieve pressure and a falls monitor. For the first time she looks really comfortable lying on her bed. However, she has ‘the look’ and I now feel that I don’t want to do any more exploring, I just want to get home. We are about 230 kms north of Geraldton and should be able to get home in about four days at our normal pace of travel.

We’ve been wanting to see wildflowers and realise that we don’t need to go anywhere special to see thick beds of everlastings and other flowers as we’ve been driving through them today on both sides of the road. There are even some flowers here at the rest area. Our plan is to continue down the road to Dongara, then head inland to Mingenew and come down the central road through Moora. We are now far enough south that there are plenty of facilities for free camping the rest of the way home.

Stephen has noticed a slight swelling in the corner of his right eye, which I can see as well. It is making his eye ache. He has made an appointment to see a GP in Geraldton late tomorrow afternoon. We can spend the night in one of the free overnight places afterwards. The local weather forecast is for fine weather with cool nights. Chilly in the van, but we love to snuggle under our doona.

On the moon, thanks to green screen technology. But, why was I sticking out my tummy.