Wednesday, 22 July 2020

The Trip South from Port Hedland to Home

Due to the lack of Internet this post covers the entire trip from Port Hedland to home.

PORT HEDLAND - Revisited
Saturday, 11th July.
We retraced Thursday's drive this morning as neither road from Marble Bar to the Great Northern Highway is accessible to us, one being 300kms of unsealed road, the other 75kms of sealed and 65kms of unsealed so because our vehicle is not 4WD, it was necessary for us to return by bitumen road to Port Hedland in order to proceed any further.  

This time we are parked at the racecourse and as there is a gale force wind blowing, it is a bit dusty but we are parked on the perimeter of the RV camping area and have a grassed sports field behind us so we're not getting any dust blown in.   

The plan was to revisit Karijini but because of the strong headwinds we'd encounter on the way, we've changed the plan to head back the way we came, leaving tomorrow.  Though disappointing, it may be a good change as we've heard from a fellow traveller who's just been there that Karijini is packed to the rafters!

Sunday, 12th July.
At 5am the sprinklers on the sports field behind us were turned on and my first thought was that it was raining but I soon realised  what the noise was and drifted back to the land of nod for another hour or so.  The sprinklers had washed the rear of the caravan and the front of the car which was parked next to it but both vehicles are still covered in red dust. 
The wind was howling when we left Port Hedland but was mostly behind us which helped reduce our fuel consumption, and when we stopped along the road for a break and left both front doors of the car open, Sydney TravelBear was blown off his seat on the dashboard, out of the car and onto the gravel.  Luckily I noticed him as I was getting back into the car, and put him back onto the dashboard, we'd have been extremely upset if he'd been left behind as he was a gift from family a few years ago and is a constant travel companion and a link to the family.

Sydney and Boris, a gift from our Somerset friends and also a travel companion.
Sydney and Boris, a gift from our Somerset friends and also a travel companion.

We decided to stop in Roebourne for coffee from the little cafe we visited last week and were disappointed to find that it was closed so instead, bought our coffee from the service station there when we pulled in to refuel.  

From there it was easy driving over the Fortescue River

to Robe River where we are parked in the Rest Area for the night.  

We seem to have outrun the wind, there is some water in the river and it is very peaceful.  Shortly we'll be cooking dinner on the barbecue before settling in for a quiet night free camping.

Monday, 13th July.
The was a little wind this morning but nothing like the 40 knots we experienced yesterday and we had another easy drive today.  First stop was at Nanutarra for fuel and coffee, once again the roadhouse was extremely busy with long queues to pay for fuel, to buy food and drinks and for the toilets.  We stopped again at Barradale Rest Area for lunch and then on to Lyndon River crossing the Tropic of Capricorn 4kms before reaching the river.

for our free camp for the night,

Here are few scenes from a moving vehicle taken on the way

Tuesday, 14th July.
There was a glorious sunrise over Lyndon River Bridge this morning

We've left the ranges behind now and found the drive from Minilya Roadhouse to Carnarvon just a little bit tedious, not the most interesting scenery and we had some cloud cover

which kept the temperature down to the low 20s.
We called in to Carnarvon for supplies and to fill our water tank and in the supermarket carpark were approached by a very short and excited man who noticed the 'Geist' caravan name and started chatting to us.  He is a German man, from Bavaria and has lived in Australia for more than 60 years he told us, and was interested to hear that we have visited his old country several times.  We reached our destination at about 1.30pm, chose our spot 

and have spent a relaxing afternoon here.  There is now a large number of caravans, vans and campers here but most are at the opposite end of the area to us, we arrived early enough  to bag a less populated spot.     
Sunset over Edaggee free camp

Wednesday, 15th July.
After an encouraging sunrise this morning, threatening clouds rolled in but fortunately rolled out again before too long and we had blue sky above for the rest of the day.  We had a leisurely drive today, first stop was at Wooramel Roadhouse

where we bought fuel and coffee which we drank while sitting in the sunshine.  Along the road a way we passed a gravel mining operation

just before reaching the 26th parallel.

We stopped at Nerren Nerren rest area for lunch, then again at Binnu

for icecreams from the service station/general store there and passed lush farmland 

on our way to the farm stay 

where we booked in for two nights.  We drove the 6kms into Northampton for drinks and dinner at the old Railway Tavern, 

thoroughly enjoyable!

Thursday, 16th July.
We decided yesterday that we'd drive to Horrocks today, about 23kms away, as we think we've been there but neither of us has a clear memory of it.  Mike fancied another shot at fishing off the beach but the weather was not in our favour.  It has been raining on and off all day, which put paid to the fishing expedition though we did go to Horrocks, drove around and liked what we saw, took a couple of photos 

and returned to Northampton, thinking that as the rain had eased, we could walk around the town.   We did a little drive through first, finding the old railway station 

and an old school,

parked in town, visited a couple of shops 

and the Shearing Shed Cafe where we bought pies and a f.a. vanilla slice before returning to the farm as the light drizzle had become quite heavy.  The countryside in this area is very pretty, we managed to take a few photos and later this afternoon, when there was a break in the weather, we went for a walk around the farm before dinner.  

Friday, 17th July.
After a night of steady, sometimes heavy rain, we woke this morning to weak sunshine and mizzly drizzly showers.  The grass underfoot was boggy so care was needed when walking to the bins and ablutions.  We were the last to leave but we're in no hurry, negotiated the puddles on the farm drive 

marvelled at the green-ness of the farmland

 and the rainbow

just before returning to the highway.
We didn't stop in Northampton which was already busy with several caravans parked by IGA and the dumping station/water tank but hope to return at a less busy time as there are a few things we missed, largely due to the rain but also because it was a little crowded.  Just on the southern outskirts of town we turned off the highway and drove through the gorgeous Chapman Valley

then stopped at Walkaway where we bought coffee, muffin and a jar of Lil's Kitchen Strawberry Jam from the Walkaway general store/post office/ newsagent/gift shop and service station!  A walk around the old Railway Station 


completed our visit and we continued on to the Mumbida Wind Farm which has 54 wind turbines.  Although the sun was shining it was bitterly cold in the wind so we didn't stop there too long and after a further ten minutes on the road, we detoured to Ellendale Pool.  Overnight camping is allowed for $5 per person and there were half a dozen or more caravans/tents/camper trailers there but as it was a bit boggy and with the threat of more rain, we didn't stay but walked along the banks of the pool, part of the Greenough River, and took many is a very pretty place and worth the detour.  From there, we carried on through lovely, lovely countryside, so vastly different from the scenery in the NW, to Mingenew where we are staying tonight.  We walked into the town for a quiet beer and expect to have a quiet night.

Saturday, 18th July.
After a stop at the Mingenew bakery for coffee this morning, 

we drove through Wildflower Country to Watheroo, stopping at Yandanooka

and Three Springs

where we admired some excellent murals

and parked next to the sports ground, where there were football and hockey games in progress, for lunch before continuing on to Carnamah, admiring their murals

and Post Office

Then on through Coorow

and making a 5km detour along a gravel road 

to the Jingemia Cave, a distinctive natural feature in a band of low rocky hills that extend between the towns of Carnamah and Moora.  The hills are an outcropping of chert and other very old rock types that formed between 2.5 billion and 542 million years ago (mid Proterozoic era).

We're stopping in Watheroo tonight among the trees beside the tavern and have had a beer and a meal in the tavern and an interesting conversation with a local farmer. 

From Watheroo it was and easy trip hope, stopping for morning tea at Bindoon and then a great run along the new highway from Muchea all the way to The Roe highway and then home, a total of 68 Km's without stopping!

No comments: