Burton's Perth to Cape York Day 3 Mon 2 April 2012 Walga to Gunbarrel Laager

Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 11:03

Mike & Amanda

Quiet night, getting just a little cold in the early morning. The flies were out early, which got us moving to pack up. Did a lap around the Rock, but didn't bother going back to look at the artwork again. Out to the gravel and back to Cue. The road is well formed gravel and still a little damp, someone has chopped it up probably around the time of the recent cyclone. No real drama for us, a caravan would have no trouble in these conditions, however in the rain, beware....The Stone Stomper is doing a great job of protecting the trailer and the back of the Cruiser. We encountered some kangaroos and a flock of emus. Had a toilet stop in the beautiful Cue and checked out a couple of the sheet metal sculptures and a display section of the rabbit proof fence, and another look at the lovely apricot coloured stone buildings. The caravan park looked small and average, not very attractive from a distance with little shade and much red clay....

Through to Meekatharra then onto the Goldfields Highway, which was mainly very well graded gravel. There were a couple of suggestions of the recent rain damage, but it seemed we were one of the first through since it was re-opened so there wasn't much in the way of corrugations. A road train passed us as we were airing down the tyres and we could see his cloud of dust in the distance all the way through to Wiluna. Dropped pressure down to 30 psi using the very efficient ARB deflator. Seems a reasonable pressure and quite comfortable. Every now and then there would be a sign saying "Sealed passing opportunity 5km", followed soon after by a couple of km of bitumised road - bit different to the usual overtaking lane.

Stopped in at the Wiluna police station to see if they wanted us to register before starting on the Gunbarrel, but it wasn't necessary with all our satellite communications and tracking equipment. Dropped in to the local store to fill all the jerry cans with unleaded. The fuel station and general store was obviously a popular meeting place for the locals who congregated in a large group around the entrance....amusingly Kate remarked..."they need a shower!" We picked up what turned out to be the most disgusting pies and sausage rolls to fortify us for what turned out to be only 12 km to our overnight stop!

Out the back of town and onto the gravel for the obligatory photo in front of the start of the Gunbarrel Highway sign. We have been listening to an audio book by Len Beadell (who created the Gunbarrel Highway) and it is quite amazing imagining the isolation and conditions he encountered. Wasn't far down the track to the Gunbarrel Larger, our overnight stopping place. Not exactly what we had envisaged, but we are the only ones here (and only their second visitors for the season) and there are hot showers. A bit noisy though as their other business is heavy machinery and there seems to be a lot of it driving around.

We arrived early afternoon, so the kids were subjected to a couple of hours of school work. Today was NAPLAN literacy practice papers and Kate also did some handwriting and is now drawing a picture of the tree next to our campsite and the birds that are flying in and out of it (they look the same as the yellow beaked ones we see down at Orleans Bay near Esperance). Being very creative she coloured in the ground by rubbing the vivid red dirt from the ground onto the page. Looks very effective (and from the mess she is making it must be fun!). Jack is writing his diary, so far the novelty of doing it on the notebook laptop seems to have kept him interested.

It is now wine o'clock and we are sitting in the King Goanna's supping on a nice NZ Monkey Bay in our corrugation proof plastic wine glasses, the kid slurping on freshly bubbled soda water from our Soda Stream. Cheese and biccies help us forget the pesky ants...

Finally hot showers, plenty of gushing bore water in the old dongers. I stay in a lot of camps with my work and this one isn't up there with modern comfort and cleanliness, however who cares...it is on the Gunbarrel and we have a shower, sharing with a frog and a gecko!
Mike & Amanda
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