Travelling Oz…the last few days

After saying in the last post that we wouldn’t stay at Fitzroy Crossing, we changed our minds and stayed at the Fitzroy River Lodge. It was still hot and we wanted air conditioning. We spent the afternoon resting in the cool of our van, then walked over to the bar for a pizza and beer, enjoyed on the verandah. In the morning we used our discount voucher from the lodge to have the gas bottle filled and some shopping at the IGA. Although we found Halls Creek felt a bit dodgy, with signs up regarding keeping valuables close, we didn’t feel any of that at Fitzroy Crossing. The staff at the Lodge were particularly welcoming.

Our next night was at the Willarie Bridge Roadhouse, again enjoying a powered site so we could have airconditioning. In the evening we walked out along the bridge to see if we could see any crocodiles. At least, that was my idea, Stephen was birdwatching of course.

At this point we passed the turnoff to Derby, which means we are now back in familiar territory from our travells last year. We are trying to move a little faster and did over 300 kms per day for a couple of days.

We had overnights at the Stanley River Rest Area and then the De Grey River Rest Area. It’s still rather uncomfortable in the late afternoon and last night at De Grey it was very humid and every bug in the area had found it’s way into our van, or that is what it felt like. We have experienced our first rain in weeks by coming into Port Hedland today, that was why it was so humid last night. The rain was heavy until about 2.00 p.m., but is supposed to lift tomorrow.

After getting water, visiting the dump point and doing some shopping we’ve decided to stay in the ‘compound’ as Stephen calls it, an area in the town where RVs can stay for free. As we were staying I put a load of washing through at the laundromat at the shopping center, using the dryer as well, and then we’ve come to the RV area for the night.

I had an afternoon sleep when we arrived here, something I haven’t done in ages. Stephen said he feels a bit like we are travelling forever and just can’t get home. We are making progress, but slowly even driving for longer days. And today was only a short drive to the town, about 80 kms.

Last night, I got a bit frantic about the bugs and sprayed with insect spray a few times. As we were settling down to sleep the gas detector alarm kept going off. We had closed the door and put the fan on the table to blow straight up to the bed and the insect spray was triggering the alarm. It took us a little while to work this out. We didn’t have a gas alarm in the Adria, but did have one in the Winnie, and I remembered the same thing happening. Jason of Ken Peachy confirmed that the detector can react to any noxious emission. Our door is a typical caravan door with two layers. The screen door is the real security door, with an overlay. So, we are safe to sleep with only the screen door, but I had been worried about the forecast rain and wanted it shut. Once we opened the door, which is near the alarm all was well.

We hope to keep up the pace of 300+kms per day for most of the days until we get home. I’ve booked our van in to have the fuel line looked at at New Town Toyota in Welshpool on the 14th September. In addition, we need to have our vehicle inspected and weighed before the licence can be renewed with WA plates and the deadline is the 19th September. We really do need to get back to have this done.

I’m not feeling too sad as we near the end of our trip. In early October we will be going to Dwellingup for the Nanga Music Camp, then in November we have the Dunsborough Songfest followed by the Folk in the Forrest Music camp back in Dwellingup the next weekend. And we will likely go to Cosy Corner near Albany in January. So, lots of little trips in the near future. It will be lovely to be able to get the Sherwood clean and get rid of our ‘too much stuff’ to make our trips a bit easier.

De Grey Rest Area. This is a large rest area that is up from the river and has gravel as a relief from the red dust.