After a great nights sleep at Edaggee, just north of Shark Bay we are up back on the road heading south. The road is really quiet and continues to be so. Since we have Max with us heading in to Shark Bay is a no no. We had also been there four years ago so we decided to keep moving on. After an easy drive with a single stop at the Wooramel Roadhouse for fuel and I couldn’t resist a home made Jalapeño sausage roll, I have to say that this is a new favourite of mine, bloody delicious. We arrived at our next stop which was the Nerren Nerren rest area. This one is a very basic site but does have toilets and wins the prize for the most bins at a stop area. As usual with the short one nighters, we stay hooked up. One thing we have noticed is the temperatures dropping and as such we will not drive much further south as mid to high twenties is our new minimum.
Tonight we cooked Gnocchi, cooked with crispy bacon pieces, onions, crumbled salmon in a white wine and cream sauce with Parmesan all cooked on the Camp Master, then washed it down with a nice glass of goon bag De Bortoli red.
Tonight we watched The Red Notice, starring The Rock and Ryan Reynolds. Then lights out ready for an early start tomorrow.
Next morning we drive out south bound as usual, today’s destination is the Galena Bridge South, Murchison River. We arrive there without any drama and find only one other van parked. The place is huge with tarmac parking that is welcome with our clean car and van. We drive around a bit and see there are 2 toilets blocks and four dump points and of course bins everywhere. No excuse for the pigs around to drop their rubbish.
We take Max on a wee walk to the river over the old bridge which is dominated by the new bridge standing tall above it. Unlike the north this one actually has water in it and to our surprise a family of black swans including six signets. We decide on a spot at the very back which gets up far away from the road. It has a concrete picnic table with benches and a wee roof over it for shade. Later several caravans, motor homes, trailers the list goes on arrive. We get a couple parked close to us but not that close with plenty of room. As usual we have our dinner and then watch another movie before bed. Fast asleep around midnight we are woken up by Max barking and get up to investigate. Turns out some person who will be sleeping in their car has parked on the dirt on the other side of our table and bench. Then proceeds to pump up an air bed at midnight!! It’s hard not too think of Wolf Creek at this point. He then leaves at 4am. Good on Max our travelling security officer. Although the mind does boggle at some people. In the morning we have some breakfast not in any hurry today.
Our intention was to stay at a free camp by the name of Tenidewa Pioneer Well which is a bit north East of Geraldton but when we arrived we were none too impressed as it was tight to manoeuvre about and all red dust. We decided to can this and move on to our second choice of Ellendale Well, Ellendale. Although not free it’s only $10 per night for both of us. We get back out on to the main road where we have two choices, one adds about an hour on, the other saves this but is cross farmland and we suspect that it might be a dirt road. We get up to the cross country road and great, it’s tarmac so we get on it and motor on through some lovely country with wide open space. But our joy was short lived as we had to make a right turn and yes, straight on to dirt with our freshly washed and gleaming car and van. Oh well never mind let’s press on we said, not. We were bloody annoyed but at this point the best plan was to forge ahead over several more dirt roads that coated both vehicles in the usual red dirt.
When we arrived at the Ellendale Pool camp ground, we were in for a treat as the place is superb with a massive water hole on the Greenbogh river which is surrounded by a massive rock face and is an Aboriginal site of importance. Bonus is there are only two other vans here so we can pick virtually anywhere to park. We avoid parking to close to the water in case there are mosquitoes around and settle in. It’s a nice peaceful place until the cockatiels arrive home and man the noise is deafening. There has to be hundreds of them flying around like mental cases before there is silence and they have went quiet. They then return before dark and it’s a repeat of the last time before their bedtime arrives and all is still again. Tonight’s viewing is Joker. We have seen this movie before but the acting is amazing from Joaquin Phoenix. Our intention is to stay in this spot for the next five days at least.
Now it’s day three. The place has been pretty quiet with a few arrivals and departures. We had a couple of hired Britt small motor homes close to us. Which were three girls who sounded English. They only stayed one night and had a little party night complete with fairy lights hanging. Strangely they didn’t have any music playing and by 10pm were asleep. Next to them was a woman on her own in the same type of van but not hired. She was from Geraldton and was just camping for a couple of days before heading back to work. She actually went in to the “do not swim river” talking to her she said the no swimming thing is more to with high hot summers when an algae appears but it’s ok to swim now. She then said it’s best if you don’t drink or put your head under the water. With that assurance we decided swimming was a no no. The same day four locals arrived who had no fear of the water and in fact were having great fun jumping off the rocks in to the river fully submerged. The girl said that at one time you could climb to the top of the rock but they put a stop to that after someone broke their neck having jumped off the top in to the water. She told us the aboriginal story of the serpent who lives at the bottom of the lake and the aboriginal people throw some sand in to the water to show the serpent respect and let it know you are here and mean no harm. We had read that story but it was interesting to hear a local telling tourists the story.
Later we had a guy come to the van who we didn’t see approach but Max did and gave the guy a good barking to. Turned out that his Nissan Patrol with all the fruit on it accessories wise wouldn’t start and asked us if we had jump leads as he had none. He had asked a couple of other people who surprisingly didn’t have any either. Luckily for him we have our ARB starter pack which is tiny but powerful. He had seen these but never seen one in use. I connected the pack to his battery he cranked it and boom, started first time as usual. Patrol guy was so impressed he vowed that next chance he gets he will definitely be buying one. It’s good to be helping people on the road as we have been helped as well.
Walking back to the van I could see an new arrival. This was a huge fifth wheeler van being towed by an equally huge Chevrolet pick up. They found a spot in seconds then the whole van opened up with solar panels, slide out sides and tv satellite raised.
They were a couple on their own who seemed to just want to be on their own.
At the camp there is a shower but it is an outside one and has only cold water. But needs must and I go up and get under it. I could tell straightaway that this would not be a power shower and it had a button that had to be continuously pushed in to keep the merger flow going. There was also a slight wind blowing across it and I felt I was on the dance floor bobbing about to catch as many drips as possible. It was good to get clean of the dust here even if it will be short lived.
Later Kaz made dinner. Which was Parmesan and ricotta risotto with chicken and chorizo. It was bloody delicious.
We then watched the final episodes of the series ‘Maid’ Before lights out.
Next morning we get the usual cacophony of shrieking Cockatiels around 7am. They are showing off their flying skills in and out of the rock face high above the river. So it’s up and out with Max for his daily stroll where he manages to find a dead Blue Tongue Lizard being devoured by a host of insects for breakfast. Thankfully the locusts who were flying about on mass yesterday have moved on.
The pool got very busy later with quite a few locals turning up for picnics and to have a swim. Today seems a bit windier and we put our awning away to save getting it damaged. Fifth wheeler didn’t read the wind and and had five, yes five solar panels out unfortunately two of them were lifted by the wind then thrown on to the ground. Although it didn’t look like they were moving on today that’s exactly what the did. They packed up their solar and everything else and drove off. Kaz spent the day reading and I spent my day writing my book.
Tonight’s dinner is Breaded Hoki with chat potatoes. Then dishes done and on to tonight’s viewing of ‘sex education’ the tv series. This is season three that seems a bit more risqué than season two. It is still a good laugh though.
Moving day arrives again and we vacate this great stop and head out on our way to Geraldton, WA. The road starts of tarmac then bugger, becomes a dirt road thankfully only for about 8km. It’s an easy drive and we get to the Geraldton free camp nice and early. We are lucky to get a spot as there are only eight available and the limit is a 24 hour stopping limit. So we will go somewhere else tomorrow.
We are hesitant to go any further south now as the temperatures are a lot lower than we have been enjoying but still in the high twenties to low thirties. We would have stayed longer at the other camp but our water was on the verge of running out and we really need to get a some washing done. This Geraldton camp spot has free water, so we fill up our 120 litre tanks and a spare 15 litre container we carry. The camp is right in the centre of town down near the boat ramp. We park up then head straight along the road about 500 metres to the laundromat and cough up $24.00 for washing and drying. Then off to the supermarket for a few essentials.
As we are parked right next to a huge grassy area finally Max can get a run with his frisbee. He doesn’t last long though as his back legs are not his friends at the minute and it’s the first run he has had in about a week. There is a beach here so he will definitely want to go there. The beach is his happy place and he loves a swim.
Anyhow just a catch up as we have been off grid for a while and will soon be off grid again no doubt.
Thanks for all the interest in my waffling, more to come soon.