Life in the Outback

Trip Start Feb 19, 2004
Trip End Jan 20, 2005

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Thursday, June 3, 2004

Tuesday 1st June - Typically the first night with the new sleeping bag was our warmest yet and so no need to be peas in a pod any more and nice to be able to throw our arms and legs around the bed! Only a short drive today so we got to 80 mile beach at 10am - mind you we did have to negotiate 10km of dirt track from the main road - again more reminders of the roads in Cambodia! The resort is a quiet place and we arrived with the first decent weather day there for a week we were told. Took the opportunity to wash some clothes and check our e-mail (got one from Gina and Geoff in Adelaide) and went for a long walk along the never-ending beach in the afternoon. Another early night for us which we're putting down to too much red wine!

Wednesday 2nd June - After 10 days on the road with our van we finally had our first breakfast outdoors which was great. After another shaky ride back accross the dirt track to the road we settled into our journey to Broome by listening to 'Obscure Hits From Yesteryear' FM. Still it was nice to have music on the road even if it most of it was not particularly memorable! Got to Broome at 3pm in time to shop once more. After Derek had made an enquiry about internet prices in a cafe and about-turned when they wanted to charge $4 an hour for using a card-reader (the first place anywhere we've come across to do that) Sue overheard the staff moaning about him. After letting them know she knew Derek they protested that we'd never find anywhere better in town. Lo and behold the next cafe we went into was cheaper and better in every way - what a surprise! Feasted outside again on red Thai chicken curry for supper before sharing a phone box with a Cane Toad who like flies whilst speaking to Derek's Mum and Dad

Thursday 3rd June - Awoken early this morning by too much heat and the noise of a never-ending reversing lorry - must've reversed about 10 miles we reckon! Went for an early morning dip in Cable Beach and it was very nice too - probably the best waves we've seen yet. A shower and tuna sandwich later we were back in town - to tie-up some loose ends with our Qantas flights in Oz. Phoned (woke them up actually!) Ray and Lucina for an early morning chat (at last!) and updated our website. Also bagged some flights with Virgin Blue to Adelaide at the start of July to we will be hopefully be able to catch up with Gina and Geoff (Sue's Dad's cousin) sometime when we're there. Had our evening meal of pasta and bread in a car-park (how quaint!) but decided to move on to the main street when the local Aborigines got a bit too vocal for our liking plus they were drinking heavily (unfortunately this is the biggest impression we've got of them so far). Went to the oldest outdoor cinema in the world (built in 1916) to watch Johnny Depp in 'Secret Window' which we both enjoyed. Also saw a shooting star in the sky as we were watching the film which is not something you see everyday!!

Friday 4th June - Broome - Binna 240K (150 miles)
Late lie-in till half eight and had to decide whether to stay or go to see (or not) the 'stairway to the moon'. We decided to wait until 2 o'clock and take it from there. Sue hit the shops whilst Derek surfed (the net not the waves!) in the morning. After last night we decided to abandon the car-park in Broome for the solitude of the countryside to eat our lunch. The drive took us to a roadside stop on the way to Fitzroy Crossing. The stop had a huge boab tree in the middle of it and a massive circumference. We whiled away the evening round a camp-fire with a couple of hardy local guys - Chris from Kununurra and Lance of 'no fixed abode', whilst the guys watched their roasted pork and vegetable dinner go cold as they enjoyed their beer so much!

Saturday 5th June Binna - 'Mt Ranford' roadside parking - 549Km (343 miles)
A day of driving and not much else. Said goodbye to Lance and hit the road with a Bob Dylan 'archives' tape that Chris had given us last night. On days such as these a visit to a petrol station can be a highlight and so it proved for Derek who spent 20 minutes in the toilet! A sign said 'not for use by drunks' so we needed a key for the toilet in the first place. Had a long lingering lunch as we assessed our sandfly bites from last night around the camp-fire. Sue's back has a long straight line of bites as if peppered by a machine gun whilst Derek has similar on his left foot. It's so remote where we are that it's difficult to pickup any radio stations - seeing something like a farmhouse (called a 'homestead' in these parts) becomes an event in mile after mile of bushland. Tonight we've had the van invaded by moths, flying beetles, flying ants and good old mosquitoes - makes us feel a little less lonely!
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