Canning Stock Route - An eventful day at Durba with the arrival of Ron, the "Ugly" Australian!

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2008 at 00:00


Tuesday the 8th July, 2008
Durba Springs
Canning Stock Route WA

A day of rest and relaxation. I unpacked, sorted, cleaned and repacked. I finished my clothes washing as Gaby did hers for most of the morning. I set up and filtered about 100 litres of water and enjoyed the day. Our fellow campers had departed leaving us alone in the Gorge. It was a late lunch of sardines on biscuits and then Gaby went for a walk down to the nearby rock art site leaving Scott and I to enjoy the tranquility of the place with a bottle of wine and reflect on our journey so far…until the arrival of Big Ron!

As we sat, we heard a vehicle approach. It sounded to be running fairly rough. The car weaved in and then drove straight to our camp running over our campfire in the process. The smell of overheated engine and the sputtering and back firing of the car were immediately obvious. That something was drastically wrong become more apparent when the driver fell from the vehicle, promptly rolled down the slight slope of our camp before righting himself and saying “F’n C of a thing", should burn the F ’n C..#! bleep as a nit. Then, completely invading our space, he proceeded to make a drunken arse of himself and upset his poor, long suffering wife or “the f 'n dragon” as he referred to her. Ladies and Gentlemen, the ugly Australian had arrived! The look of horror on both our faces was apparent as we both kicked into overdrive to see how we could control this obnoxious drunk. To compound matters, his car refused to start forcing us to tow it over to a suitable location as far away from us as possible. I had a bit of a chat with "Ron" in an effort to get him to hold off the grog so that he could make a rational decision. Believe me, abusing Kalgoolie Mitsubishi on the sat phone didn’t help anyone!

When Gaby arrived back we knocked down a bit of firewood and took it down to their campsite, ostensibly to prevent Ron from returning to our fire later but also to check that his partner was OK. Then the hide of it all, to compound matters, he starts up a noisy generator which he intends to run all night as he turns his fridge off during the day. You’re bleep ting me man?? Never have I been so glad to see a few groups of fellow travellers turn up at a waterhole than I was tonight. Firstly a group of two who positioned themselves between us and Ron…the fools. Then the survey mob started rolling in. Following them, a group of 10 from a 4x4 club. By 7 bells there were about 45 people in Durba Springs. Scotty and I were both in shock, the solitude of the afternoon shattered! At least for three hours, we owned that place!!! I was amazed to see the 4x4 mob spread themselves round the water hole, camping right at its edge and then looking indignantly at all the other campers who were forced to walk through their camp to get water!

Dinner was steak and veggies followed by a tin of rice-cream and a glass of Baileys. Amazingly, the 4x4 mob knew that we all loved the Carpenters and various other obscure acts from the 70’s as they insisted on playing the songs so loudly that they then had to yell at each other to be heard even though they were all gathered in close proximity to the fire! Strangely enough, the message was received a short time later and the music was turned off. Between the uni mob and their generator, the music and Ron and his Honda, we could barely here the Dingoes mournful wails echoing down the gorge.

Thankfully I slept well, only to be roused by the wails of the local dingo’s at 2:00 a.m. The various calls of night predators were interesting to listen to, owls, dingoes & Ron!

''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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