Road trip

22 Nov

And we went to find Cloe and Bridget, also freshly escaped from the station, to go and have drinks with to celebrate. We had a great night but a less good day afterwards…never mind, we now have INTERNET. So from our hostel bed we ordered brunch (ah Dominos, how I’ve missed you), delivered to the room door (ok that was a touch lazy), got a new job on a station in Hall’s Creek, WA off Gumtree.com.au, got my computer picked up to be fixed and called people in England. This is what the internet was invented for!

We didn’t need to be in Hall’s Creek for a week or so, and as Bridge and Cloe were driving up to Darwin which was kiiiind of on the way, we decided to join them. Another girl on the station had told us about rental relocations, where you drive a campervan back to the depot from wherever it’s been left by the previous one-way hirer, so we decided to investigate that. The guy from Hall’s Creek said he could pick us up in Broome, and by luck, there was a Britz campervan that needed driving back from Alice Springs to Broome the next day. We applied for it and got it – $5 for a four berth, brand new motorhome with shower, tv, loo, aircon, two double beds, fridge/freezer, oven…it was enormous and we could have easily have lived in there! Britz also threw in $250 towards the fuel, so it turned out to be cheaper than flying AND we got a week’s holiday. The only downside was that we did have to be in Broome in six days’ time or face a £1000 penalty so our epic week of driving 3000 km began :)

We set off first as we wouldn’t be able to go as fast as Cloe in her car, and stopped off at a little petrol station at Ti Tree (basically just a petrol station and a pub) to fill up where we saw this amazing sign

I’m still not sure what a grog yard is but now I definitely won’t be fighting in one.

We stopped off at a little (everything is little past Alice!) pub/caravan park only to be met with one of the unfriendliest people in the world. Everything was too much trouble for him – including providing water in the “caravan park”…basically a carparking space with a plug – to the point where he told us we were drinking in the wrong area and the bar needed to be kept free…considering we were the only customers this was a bit odd. We had craftily bought our own supply of beer from the supermarket in Alice anyway so we headed off for a beer and a dvd so we could get up early and leave Barrow Creek early so we could get plenty of driving in during the day time, before all the mental kangaroos and other animals start hopping about all over the road. Note to self, do not confuse these things ever again whilst cooking bacon. They look the same, but are in fact, very different

We eventually got overtaken by Clo in her car and met up in Mataranka, which we decided to use for our driving day off so we could explore the natural hot springs there. The campsite was set in a national park which was mainly rainforest – such a nice sight after miles and miles and miles and miles of red dust, bushfires and withered trees! The hot springs were amazing

Even if Craig did cry about not being able to see the bottom and the threat of crocodiles. What a baby.

It was lovely to see the girls again and chill out…after working so much at the station floating around in hot springs was bliss. But we had to get to Broome so after a day and two nights relaxing, we had to get going again. We had breakfast at Katherine, and then split up as the girls were off North to Darwin and we were going West to Broome. The road just went straight on for miles

but it was so good to have some time by ourselves and be back travelling again we really enjoyed it. We drove all through the mountains (with a short detour to a mine and back where I missed the turning…ooops) and to Kununurra where we saw the magic words “lakeside views” – yes please. Parked our van right by the lake and put this pic on facebook

…and within seconds was arranging to have a drink with the lovely Niall and Penny…two other people we worked with at the station! So although we’d travelled thousands of kilometres by this point, we hadn’t really left the farm at all :) Had a nice time with the guys and then left early in the morning again to get our final few days of driving done. This time we stopped at a free campsite along the road on top of a cliff and watched the sun setting over what seemed most of Australia with our little awning rolled out, our deckchairs and a beer thinking that we were possibly the luckiest people in the whole world. Whilst Craig made tea, I sat outside reading my book only to find a dingo about a metre and a half away in a bush, staring at me. Being the big bravey that I am, I courageously Got Craig who scared it off :)

Did our final leg of the journey to get to Broome, passing through Hall’s Creek. According to the sites we’d looked at, it looked like quite a big place but when we went through it there were about 6 houses. We enjoyed being on a remote station before but this was just ridiculous! We knew we wouldn’t be able to spend 3 months really in the middle of nowhere; the nearest town being 700 km away which is a bit far to drive on your day off. Luckily, the guy who we were going to work for hadn’t confirmed either way so we thought we’d call him once we got to Broome.

This bit of the journey was very boring as there was no radio reception, straight roads and nothing to look at. We invented an awesome game of cow-spotting called ‘Cow’…ok so imagination maybe isn’t our strong point…but by the time we’d finished with the rules (that ran onto three pages) and had finalised the ‘cemetery clause’ (the person on the other side to the cemetery has to shout “ALL YOUR COWS ARE BURIED!” and your opponent loses ALL THEIR COWS! OOOOOH THE DRAMA!, we realised we’d just pulled into Broome. Nuts.

However, this is what Broome looks like

we knew we’d made the right decision about Hall’s Creek. Goodbye outback, hello beach.

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