Aussie Adventures 2018 Pt 3

Friday, May 04, 2018 at 15:51

Member - Muncey 72

We leave Karijini behind and hit the Great Northern Highway there are so many road trains on the highway. We hardly see a car just 4 truck road trains most approx. 60 meters long. Overtaking them is not too bad with only a Camper Trailer in tow. The road trains seem to be servicing the mines that are out here iron ore I would expect. We stop in Port Headland for lunch and check out the large iron ore ships at the Port they are huge. Another few hours in the car and we arrive at Eighty Mile Beach caravan Park. The road in is only 10kms long and in very good condition. The caravan park is lovely and green and very well maintained but empty at the moment. Oh, did I mention the heat wow its 39 degrees and approx. 90% humidity so a quick set up was called for and then a cold shower. Can not swim at the beach due to Sharks, Crocs and Jellyfish! We spent the next couple of nights here just catching up on the washing, diaries and basically relaxing. Had a drive on the beach and saw one guy catch a giant Threadfin Salmon must have been about 12kgs, he said he travels here every year for 4 months from Newcastle in NSW. Starting to notice a few bugs now mainly Mozzies and the boys got a few sand Fly bites too as they were on the beach/dunes at sunset.
Short drive today to Barn Hill Station for one night, again really empty still early in the season. Lovely spot here. Had a swim but kept our eyes peeled for anything bigger than a stick in the water. The water is very warm almost bath temperature. Had a fish in the late arvo and caught a couple of pan sized Trevally. The Mozzies here were nothing short of ferocious, there were thousands of them. Areoguard, Bushmans and all sorts were used but to no avail. We ended up having tea inside the camper. All dashed out for a quick shower which was not to bad. The showers are pretty cool all open roofed and really clean. The toilets were quite funny, you had to check for frogs before doing you business. Woke early with the sun streaming in the camper, looking through the mesh doors windows and all you could see was the mozzies waiting for you!! A very quick pack up and no breakfast and onto to Broome.
Stayed at the Broome caravan Park about 3kms from town, it’s a lovely park with an awesome swimming pool but again very empty. Caught up with Warren (Current National Speedway Champ) from Minschull Autos in town and booked the car in to get a new roof rack rail system installed the current mounting system is very average let’s say. Spent a fair amount of time in the pool, stocked up on the shopping and visited the divers Tavern a couple of times to use the free WiFi. Enquired at the visitors centre regarding the Gibb River Road and the lady advised we check the main roads web site, so will do this in a few day’s time.
Heading north for the next 5 days, our first stop is the small camp spot called Gnylmarung Retreat which is off the cape Leveque road. The Cape Leveque road is now only 86kms of dirt and the rest is bitumen, but the dirt is pretty good in the majority but very corrugated in sections. We did come across a grader on the road so hopefully in 5 day’s time the road will be better. We stopped at the small township of Beagle Bay on the way and had a look at the Church there, it was built in 1917 and most of the inside is decorated with the Pearl Shell. It was a very beautiful place in amongst a town that looks like it is fighting a few battles within its self. A lot of signs within the town referring to drugs, assaults and mental health, it really does look although the elders and community members are having a good go at making changes. The road into Gnylmarung Retreat is dirt, very narrow and corrugated in but worth the trip in. Its run by an Aboriginal family and the views from the property are very good. Basically, choose a spot, plenty of drinking water, showers, flushing toilets and also an outdoor beach shower that looks over the bay. We spent the next day and half exploring the area, swimming and speaking with the family that owns the place. The boys went fishing one day and caught a heap of snook and whiting. One afternoon the niece and Granma stopped by our camp site and gave us a couple of Mud Crab which was very kind. The next hour was spent cooking, cleaning with the claw hammer and whipping up Chilli Crab, Maz done a great job in the kitchen. Met another couple staying here from Queensland who had been on the road for 7 months, after a walk one arvo he picked us up in his boat and took us back to camp via the ocean lovely trip. He had an echo sounder which said the water temp was 31.2 degrees, it was a very warm day again. His wife looked exactly like the tanned lady from the movie “something about Mary” Magda I think was her name she even had a little dog as well and smoked like a chimney. She judged our crow imitation competition and awarded me the win and remarked that Maz’s effort sounded like a chicken!
After leaving Gnylmarung we could hear a rattling noise from under the car when going over corrugations, upon further inspection 2 bolts had gone missing from the under body bash plate and it was bouncing into the mountings. Also noticed a fluid leak from the bottom radiator hose. Removed the plate and cable tied the hose up and decided to keeping going to Cape Leveque as it was bitumen all the way and we could do repairs there. Checked into cape Leveque, we have probably the best site in the whole resort. A huge pine pole cabana overlooking the Eastern swimming beach with running water, camp fire and outdoor shower. It was perfect. Spent our time here walking the beaches in both directions during the low tides, swimming out the front of our camp spot and also snorkeling at the large boat launch bay, having coffee at Dinkas café and having beers and playing games around the campfire at sunset. The mozzies are minimal here a lot more enjoyable at night. One of the workers here had a look at the car and also noticed the rubber grommets that hold the radiator in place at the top had been chewed out so that was also cable tied and the coolant was topped up. The drain plug/bung at the bottom of the radiator has also been sheared off, we have dodge a bullet here I reckon. Let’s hope we make it back to Broome. Oh, almost forgot the solar panel has stopped working!!! So currently I have been charging the batteries via the car but now we have turned both fridges off and all the fridge and freezer food is in cool room in Dinkas café. I have told Maz and the kids if they have picked up any shells or rocks since leaving home to return them to the land or ocean and apologize to the spirits. It feels like we are cursed at the moment it seems one thing after another is breaking or going wrong. Have also noticed both the gas struts that lift the camper are leaking a bit of oil, not sure if its cause of the heat or there buggered. Our list of things to fix when we get back to Broome is getting bigger, not going to be cheap.
Have seen plenty of fish whilst swimming at Cape Leveque, Snook, Threadfin, Mullet and even a 1.25metre Black Tip Reef Shark. The ocean is very clear, warm and relaxing. A beautiful part of the Kimberley’s definitely worth the effort to get here. On our last night we decide to take to car for a drive to see if any more leaks appear and if the temp gauge moves. We head to Cygnet Bay Pearl farm which is only 10Kms away. Lovely spot, with views of the bay and an awesome pool. We have a swim and decide to stay for tea mainly because it’s a curry buffet. During the night many of the workers from Cape Leveque also arrive. We all head up to a look out and watch the amazing stair case to the moon. Got chatting to a few families also travelling with kids who had all met up through one of the families face book page “Ten itchy feet”. Will probably cross paths again as most of them are heading across the Gibb River Road as well.
During packing and lifting the camper up to store the chairs and tables away, one of the gas struts had given up completely. Listening/watching Alex try and hold the camper up with Maz while I stored everything away was torture. “It’s heavy, I can’t hold it, my arms are sore” just to recall a few, and to think she was going to the F45 Gym prior to coming away. Need to lift more on a weights day I think! Collected all the food from the cool room and had once last look at the view and headed out of the resort. After saying goodbye to the people we had met we noticed a large sign on the resort shop door saying “Beware possible Crocodile sighting at Eastern Beach” maybe it was time to go. Travelled the 100kms of bitumen without incident, checked over the car and let all the tyres down to 25PSI. This time the 86Kms of red dirt didn’t seem to bad at all, letting the tyres down and travelling in 4wd was much better and the grader had made some progress. There was a fair amount of traffic heading in the opposite direction, quite a few tourist 4wd buses many of whom we got the truckers toot from. Drove into Broome very relived to have made it and headed straight to Minshull 4x4 autos. Caught up with Warren and showed him the damage and issues we had.
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