"My first day as a Road Train Driver...!"
Trip Start Oct 04, 2004
102Trip End Ongoing
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We spent most of the day walking through the many steep gorges before finally ending up at a waterfall pool that we all eagerly jumped into! Being inland meant the temperatures had raised considerably and the landscape was now resembling what you would expect 'outback' Australia to look like, dry, deselit and very orange!
The problem with Western Australia is that major towns are literally thousands of miles apart from each other, which meant Easyrider has no choice but to accommodate us in small country towns. This shouldn't in theory be a problem, but in the case of the night in the town of Tom Price, with only a population of 1000, it wasn't surprising to find there wasn't a local friendly backpackers for us to stay at
Being out of town meant we had to make our own entertainment, all well and good but difficult when the owners cut all power at the campsite at 9:30pm. An early night for us then, none of the partying we were used to on the kiwi experience bus!
In the case of another stopover town, Port Hedland, although much bigger than Tom Price, the first thing Steve (our new driver) said about the town was to warn us about going out alone. Apparently the local's abo's don't take to kindly to white folk walking their streets at night! There is a pub, but it isn't called the 'Last Chance' bar for no reason!
To everybody's delight there was a MacDonald's, but even the simple process of buying a Big Mac was made difficult by having to wait for enough people to go there as a group, 'safety in numbers' apparently?! Although we had seen Abo's in cities like Melbourne, we had only ever seen a few. I had always thought their stereotype of being drunk all the time was a bit unfair, but its not till you get to these towns and experience them first hand, that you actually realise that 95% of abo's do just sit on the floor and get drunk - they even have to put locks on the petrol pumps up here
Other things we got up to on the way to Broome
· Stopped off at 80 mile beach, surprisingly very long! Unimpressed by the name though; Australians aren't very original when they come up with names, as there is also a 70, 90, 8 and 9 mile beach around Australia's coastline! No doubt there is a 'Sandy' Beach and 'Yellow' Beach somewhere to!
· Got to sit in a brand new Road Train parked up in a roadhouse (service station). We went to speak to the driver who told us it was just a week old and had cost $297,000 (£120,000). You can imagine our delight when he asked us if we wanted to jump in!! We felt like kids again, so many switches and buttons to play with!
· Got attacked by 'Flaming Galah's' in Tom Price (see photo's above)