Cape Leveque to Derby

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 00:00

Mick O

Tuesday 20th June,
Derby W.A.

It was a bit of a travel day today. I was out of bed early and packing the detritus of several days camping and managed to have everything squared away before 8.00 a.m. The toughest challenge of the morning was in fact scrapping the half tonne of cocky bleep off the tent and annex roof. Thankfully the tent was dry and packed before they arrived this morning. What chaos they cause showering the campsites with leaves and seeds nipped of by their sharp beaks. To amuse themselves they also gnaw through quite sizable dead branches until they give way under their weight. We watched a massive helicopter land at the strip. It was a 20-seat monster used to service the northwest shelf and uses Leveque to refuel. $6K per hour to run it we were told by the park and airstrip manager.

I must confess that I was not looking forward to the trip back but I managed to complete the rock and roll of it all in good time and in good shape. Left the vehicle in 4-wheel drive to assist. Passed a hell of a lot of traffic heading up. The silly season is underway in earnest. Don’t think any bits fell of the car and the bullbar was still there on arrival at Broome.

Midday saw us lunching in Broome after a refuel and re pressure of the tyres (& Amanda securing an old milk crate for us). I hit the Internet quickly to pay the Visa Bill, Amanda got some new sunnies to replace those that she sat upon last night and then we were off on the Northern Hwy to Derby. The 215 km to Derby sped by as we traverse a relatively flat road through forests of Boab trees and termite mounds. The road kill became much larger in size and was predominately cattle with the occasional horse. I’d hate to think of the mess one of those would make to the front of an unfortunate vehicle. The huge road trains would hardly stop anyway.

Many of the large rivers were reduced to one lane bridges that I recall from years gone by. The Curtin air force base is a new addition though.Derby remains the same. A pretty unsightly frontier type town. We did a drive by of the towns two caravan parks before deciding on the Kimberly edge park near to the town centre. A wise choice. The 5 o’clock trip to Woollies supermarket was an eye-opener . We have a few things to take care of tomorrow before heading off. Dinner was last nights left over snags curried to perfection ala Jules.
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903
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