Kimberley Day 85 - Darwin to Kununnurra

Thursday, Oct 15, 1998 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

After leaving beautiful Lake Arygle early today, we arrived in Kununurra well before lunch time. Kununurra being the gateway to the Kimberleys, and for us the Gibb River Road, we needed to stock up for the drive along the Gibb River Road. We didn't really have a plan for how many days we would spend making the trip but knew that visiting the gorges was the only reason anyone would want to drive across the infamous corrugations of the Gibb River Road. We had to expect that we might spend a day or two at eaach gorge, hopefully wallowing in the relief from the heat.

Unfortunately, David was still unhappy about the performance of our fridge battery, which was only new in Cairns. It was still under warranty so after phoning Cairns we arranged to have it tested. No problems were found so we started to rethink our usage and change our habits to suit the high temperature conditions. This meant that we would only buy pre-chilled drinks to fill the fridge and would try to open the lid only 3 times a day.

We had only been in town for an hour when we heard a lot of air hissing out of one of our tyres! David and Mark quickly drove to Beaurepairs where they found the manufacturers sticker had balled up and pierced a hole in the tube. Meanwhile, Sharon and I stopped in at the Tourist Information Centre to check the weather and road conditions.

Finally, after some banking, shopping and talking to locals we set off on a fishing excursion. We drove out of town about 20km to the banks of the Ord River. We found the "hot spot" using a hand-drawn mud map from the check-out chic in Coles and began casting lures. It was a beautiful shady site with soft grassy wide banks for camping and we were prepared to set up for the night. Within an hour the sky turned black and we abandoned that idea. Again, we had to drive along soft red mud with our trailer and we didn't like it much at all. Even Mark surprised himself by letting his wheels slip off the edge of the road and slipping suddenly enough to give Sharon a fright. We had to reconsider the weather and it's affect on the Gibb River Road. We drove back into town and chose to stay at a beautifully green and cool camping ground called Hidden Valley.

Tonight's meal was Musuman beef curry with cauliflower, green beans and chilli. As if on cue for dessert we were approached by a local melon picker, who lived in the caravan next door, offering an enormous rockmelon and a new type of honeydew melon that tasted like pear. He and his wife were very friendly and offered to give us two large mangos for breakfast too. This night was the first in a long time where I could think straight but it was still too humid to sleep in the car.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Always working not enough travelling!
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