Burton's Perth to Cape York Day 2 1st April 2012 Walga Rock, Cue, WA

Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 18:48

Red Dirt Australia

Jibberding road side stop north of Wubin wasn't a bad overnight stop. It was off the road, surrounded by trees and bushes with limited supply of firewood. There were no other people there. Plenty of room for big rigs with the access track in only being a little difficult after rain. The only downside was the road noise as the roadtrains roared passed. Digging a toilet hole posed a challenge in the iron hard ground!

Not a bad night's sleep - I love sleeping in the camper trailer, the mattress is so much firmer and the fresh outback air always seems to promote a good night's sleep. We dowsed out the camp fire around 8:30 and read for a short while.

Woken up by daylight and the morning chorus, I squeezed passed the sleeping Kate who always seems to roll off her thermarest and end up hugging the portapotti! Didn't take long to coax the fire into life - ah what a pleasure. Cup of tea, dawn, campfire and no flies! Very pleased with the Oztent King Goanna chairs, the only ones that have lasted any length of time and have great lumbar support. Gobbled breakfast of cereal and coffee before the flies arrived and did a quick pack up - don't camper trailers make camping easy?

Back on the highway and the boring bitumen to Payne's Find, Mount Magnet and Cue. Hardly any caravaners or travellers, the road empty except for some mine vehicles and heaps of road trains. A couple of super wide loads slowed us before filling up at Mt Magnet. I used to visit their occasionally for work and had no real desire to hang around! Note to Pat and Jeff - the big roadhouse (with working toilets) is at the far end of town - you don't need to stop at the first little BP you see.

In preparation for the Gunbarrel we all listened to some audio recordings of Len Beadell. The first was a talk Len gave to a Rotary club - what an Aussie self depreciating larikin sense of humour he had! Next we listened to his audiobook "Too long in the bush", discussing surveying Woomera, Emu and Maralinga. Certainly made the kilometres disappear. Even Kate started asking "are we on Len's road yet?"

Cue looked to be a fascinating town with all of the stunning old buildings, very deserted though - we've already forgotten what day of the week it is, Sunday! We turned off at the beginning of town after a boglap and returned to the Walga Rock road which heads off towards the old Big Bell goldmine and town. Plenty of evidence of water around and a sign on the Walga gravel road warned of "severe flood damage to road". All in all it was fine, great to be back on the dirt! The Stone Stomper seems to be doing a superb job. Using the iPad and switching between Hema, Vms and TomTom makes navigation a doddle! One of the damn IP cameras at home keeps sending us motion alert warnings, with nothing showing when we look. I'll have to try and adjust the sensitivity when we regain the Telstra network.

It was about 47km of dirt to the rock which suddenly loomed up. Drove into the signposted entry and through a chained gate. The track took us to a fenced area at the base with a sort of cave or undercroft. It was quite hot, so we parked and went to look at the aboriginal art and spotted the mysterious sailing ship drawing. Being very bright sunlight it was difficult to see in detail so we decided to drive around the back of the rock and set up - we'd walk round and see the art around sunset when the light should improve.

Found a nice flat spot near an existing fire ring and set up in about 5 minutes. Too early for a proper drink ;-) so had a cup of tea and a sandwich. The pesky crawl up your nose flies had returned so Amanda took the very eager (just kidding) kids inside the trailer to do some schoolwork - "mum, it's Sunday!". Another spot that is absolutely deserted! Probably all the grey nomads and serious travellers are waiting until after the Easter holidays to emerge from their winter cocoons to brave the roads! Our good fortune for sure....

Started a great book called Birdsville by Ewen McHugh, a Sydney journalist and his wife who wanted to experience the outback first hand and moved to Birsdville for a year. As he said "what I don't know about Birsdville could probably fill a book!"

Fired up the hot water system and had a quick shower in a bucket, felt fantastic to wash off the road grime....started to collect the war wounds from camping, cut fingers from fire wood, skinned knuckles, double gees though thongs ;-). Note: watch out around Walga Rock, there are sharp and prolific double gees all over the place...no goats this visit, just some nosy kangaroos.

Lulu made a brief appearance at the paintings but proclaimed she hates flies and disappeared back into the Cruiser!

Mike & Amanda
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