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Motorhome Travels - July 2006

03/07/2006

It's three years since we left Sydney as green would-be travelers of this wonderful country. What a lot we have seen and done in that short time! In reflection there are not too many things I would change about the last three years - lets hope that the next three will be as good.

We are currently parked up near the mouth of the Fortescue River. There is a sizable community of caravan dwellers here - mostly older people sheltering from the cold of the south-western winter. Some of the people we have met have been coming here each year for over 15 years.

The road out here from the main road is not bad - however just before you get to the camp there is a river crossing to negotiate.  While this might not be a big deal in a 4WD vehicle, in a motorhome weighing in at over 12 tons it is much more of an issue.

Tracey walks the river - The Grey Ghost follows, WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
[Photo Information]
Tracey walks the river - The Grey
Ghost follows, WA

Tracey walked the crossing before we sent, firstly Hobohome followed by the Gray Ghost across. The numerous 4WD's to cross before us had done a good job of compacting the river stones and the crossing was completed with no dramas (lets hope there is no rain before we have to cross back to get out of here).

The fishing here has been a bit disappointing - while we did dine on fresh fish last night, it is not quite the fisherman's dream that we had been told to expect. Most of the good fishing seems to be at the off-shore islands and reefs that lie more than 5km from the mainland - too far for us to paddle in the kayak. We did put the kayak into the water and had a bit of a paddle around in the river and out to the mouth - as you would expect, the water is quite brown and we are told in habited by some large tiger sharks - so we decided to leave our diving and snorkelling gear in the motorhome.

 

 

18/07/2006

The crossing out of the Fortiscue River camp was no drama and we were soon back on the bitumen and heading north, on our way to Karratha. The mail that we had been expecting in Karratha was not there and when I phoned the company to ask for the Express Post tracking number they told me that it had been sent 'Normal Mail'. For those who don't know, it is quicker to walk from Sydney to Karratha than it is to get packages sent 'Normal Mail'. For the next few days we enjoyed exploring Karratha and Dampier - what a spectacular place this would be for a resort were it not for the huge ships loading with iron ore and gas. We camped at Cleverville, just 15 km north of the town where we were able to get the two buses almost right on the beach. We met up with Mark and Belle from the motorhome Western Belle (http://www.westernbelle.com - Site no longer operating) - it was great to finally meet these guys - they have been travelling  (firstly in a converted bus then in all manner of vehicles) for more than 7 years. We started reading Marks travel diary before we left Sydney 3 years ago.

Several trips to Karratha later we finally had all of our mail and were ready to continue north.

Windy Bella Bella, WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
[Photo Information]
Windy Bella Bella, WA

The camp at Bella Bella was very exposed to wind - and did it blow? Living inside a motorhome in strong winds is like living inside a washing machine. We were at Bella Bella for 3 days and it blew a blustering gale almost the whole time.  I am ure that this would be a great place to camp if ever the wind stops blowing.

As I write this we are camped next to the Yule River just south of Port Hedland. There is quite a population scattered among the trees here - many are now sporting shorter hair and lighter wallets since our arrival (My sister Lee is a hairdresser).

 

28/07/2006

Isn't it strange how the road of life contains so many twists and turns? That when it looks like a down-hill, tail-wind straight, you end up hitting a pot-hole and doing a U-turn. A U-turn is exactly what we have done, as I write this we are half way back to Perth. A family health issue has required that we get to Dunedin, New Zealand as soon as possible (where the average temperature at this time of the year is just 8 degrees!). We were a couple of hundred km's north of Port Hedland when we made the decision - we looked at the 4000km to Brisbane and the 2000km to Perth and went with the shorter of the two. The people who owned the motorhome that we had been parked next to very kindly offered to allow us to store our motorhome at their property near Perth - this made the decision much easier.

We plan to be in New Zealand for an unknown time before returning to Perth and pick up where we left off.  This of course means that this will be the last update for quite some time. 

 

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