Map of Trip-2006.
Map of Trip-2008.
Map of Trip-2009.
Map of Trip-2010.
October has arrived and we are now very much in the
getting the car and camper prepared for the trip back East. Of course
there was an event to even rival the packing process and that was
the AFL grand final, or should I say grand finals. As I have mentioned
other entries we have become mad AFL supporters and rarely miss a game.
Harry has adopted St Kilda and is a very passionate follower. The first
of the grand finals had us all yelling and screaming like a bunch of
loonies and like all other viewers we were a bit disappointed that the
day did not produce a winner.
As it was to be repeated the next weekend we thought we would duck back
to Broome and have a weekend with a friend Geoff (Di was OS with her
mother). We first met Geoff and Di at Kalumburu and have seen them many
times since. We arrived in Broome just after lunch on Friday (only a 2
and quickly got a few jobs done. We were again tourists and still
managed to find a pile of things we have not seen before, including
revisiting a few of our favourites. Needless to say the main event was
game with Harry being a little disappointed with the outcome. Maybe
next year mate. Of course it is not a trip to Broome without sunset
drinks on Cable Beach. If we lived there it would be a weekly event as
it is a great way to end a day. Sunday arvo it was in the car and back
to Looma. That will definitely be our last visit to Broome for this
year, and possibly for quite a while depending on what we end up doing
Our time at
Looma has gone fairly rapidly with the kids working flat out on their
with Chris sorting through what
seems like hundreds of cubic metres of highly specialized gear that has
to fit in our little mobile home, as well as watching as much of the
Commonwealth games as we could. We certainly seemed to have disposed of
plenty of rubbish that we have been carting around and have got the
food supplies down so low we were
actually scratching for things to eat for our last few days at downtown
Looma. I cleaned, polished and vacuumed the car, did a grease
(finally bought myself a mini grease gun- perfect for use on the road)
oil change and made a few minor modifications/ improvements. We did fit
in a weekend of sightseeing around the local area but access was a bit
difficult because like most of Australia, we had some very heavy
unseasonal rain which did make the place somewhat damp. It was just
like being in the top end during the wet season with great afternoon
light shows and torrential downpours. For those who have not
experienced a wet season, it really is something everyone should try
and experience at some stage in their life. There really is nothing
like a good wet. Anyway, back to
Looma is only a few kms from the Fitzroy River and while the water
levels have been a bit on the low side it is actually flowing now and
is a few metres over the causeway. The river certainly has plenty
of crocs, mainly freshies, but believe me you would not see me in it or
even too close to the banks. You could bet your bottom dollar, there
salties in there.
be Global Warming
My last weekend on call was going very nicely with no calls and
packing and cleaning a-happening. Well that was until lunchtime on
Sunday when I got a call that there had been a rollover with 6 people
hurt. There seems to be a last day pattern starting to develop as
something similar happened in Kings Canyon, but that was with a
helicopter (much more dramatic).
Luckily for me, my colleague who had been away since Thursday decided
come home early so she was around and came into work to help me with
what seemed like an endless barrage of casualties. I arrived at the
clinic before the injured that were being bought in in the back of
another troopie ute. When they pulled up it was like an episode of
'Mash' (for those old enough to remember that iconic show). There were
people lying on the trayback, groaning and rolling about. Luckily half
the town had now gathered at the clinic and the men were extremely
helpful. We lifted the injured one by one and carried them into the
clinic placing them on beds, well two of the six as we only have two
beds. The others were placed on the floor, on the ambulance trolley and
anywhere else they would fit. Four of the six had fairly serious
injuries, with two only minor non-life threatening fractures. We were
sticking in drips and running fluids as quickly as we could. Then we
plastered a few fractured limbs and then needed to stick in a chest
drain. I contacted Derby Hospital and notified them of our situation
and they dispatched two ambulances and medical and nursing staff.
Problem was that would take over an hour for them to arrive. Not to
worry, we had plenty to keep us occupied. We ended up transporting four
in (to Derby) on stretchers and two sitting. I did a run into Derby in
ambulance with one stretchered and one sitting. The trip into town was
until I got to the Broome/ Derby intersection. There was a lady driving
a Landcruiser in front of me and she would not get out of my way. I had
beacons flashing and every other car pulled over but not her. I think
she must have thought they were all pulling over for her!!!!!!!!!
Finally she saw or heard me and then at last she was gone. It was a
good afternoon at work, a bit of adrenaline and a good outcome, with
them all alive. We even made it to the National News (OK it may have
been the WA News) and the newspaper.
Problem now was that the packing was a bit behind but nothing this
slick packing team couldn't cope with.
We left Looma on Tuesday 26th and made a bee-line for
is rather warm this time of the year we opted to stay in cabins as we
were traveling big kms and long hours each day. It is nice to have
some creature comforts after a long tiring day. This was the plan:
Day 1 - Looma to Warmun where we numbed a night with my old work
colleague, Maria. Distance 642 kms. We had a great night and it was
really great to see her again. She had a lovely meal cooked for us and
I finished off a few small jobs on her car that I hadn't finished from
when we lived out there.
Day 2 - Warmun to Katherine. Distance 710 kms. It was a good run with
arriving just on dark. (Always get caught out with the time difference
crossing the border - lost an hour and a half!)
Day 3 - Katherine to the Three Ways. Distance 674 kms. This is a nice
roadhouse but the cabins are extremely small and rather expensive. We
did note that Barkley Homestead now has very flash looking brand new
cabins that we would try next time if camping was not an option as it
is only another 130 kms down the road.
Day 4 - Three Ways to Mt Isa. Distance 661 kms. I am glad we stayed in
cabin as it rained nearly all night. We stayed at Sunset Caravan Park
and the cabin which was very comfortable cost $85-00. It would have
cost over $30-00 for a powered site. Sometimes these cabins are good
value and a nice treat.
Day 5 - Mt Isa to Charters Towers. Distance 769kms. Let me tell you our
backsides were getting sore by this stage. Thank goodness it's over.
And the day 6 into Townsville, a total of only 133 kms. That was all
the hard work done and now
it was time to kick back and enjoy, let
crossed these borders 8 times!!
It was nice to be back in our home state, and we were
seeing friends and familiar faces again. What I didn't enjoy was the
state of our Qld roads. Pretty much the minute we hit the NT/Qld border
the condition of the roads changed. To say these roads are part of the
national road system is a joke. Narrow, potholed, uneven, rutted and in
places down right dangerous almost all the way to Charters Towers.
What the hell the traveling public must think when they enter Qld,
especially after touring NT and WA where the roads are magnificent.
Now before you bleating heart Queenslanders get on your high horses and
start up the age old excuse and tell me that Queensland is a big state
lots of roads that need to be maintained, grab an atlas and look at the
size of WA. It would have to be close to twice the size of Qld, with
what would have to be some of the best roads in Australia. If we want
to tell the world we are the 'Tourist State' things need to change. The
other thing to note after being away from Qld is how aggressive and
dangerous some of our drivers are. They are up your backside,
overtaking on double lines, blind corners and up hills (and yes we are
sitting on the speed limit). Argue as much as you like, you just don't
see this behaviour in other states. Yes there is a hell of a lot more
traffic over here, but I think some Qld drivers need to take a chill
pill or leave 5 minutes earlier so they can get to their destination on
time and without endangering the lives of other road users.
In Townsville we stayed with Greg and Jos who we first met on our
were on theirs as well) and we have kept in contact with ever since.
catch up as often as possible. We all went to Bali for our 10th
Anniversary for a few weeks and the last time we saw them was in 2008
our way through Townsville heading to Wadeye. They have just returned
from Europe where they celebrated their 25th anniversary for a month.
Good try buddy, but it still doesn't beat our drinks on the balcony at
I had tried to ring them recently while they were still OS. A house
sitter answered the phone and told me they were in Europe and would be
spending their anniversary in Paris and that they would be back
mid-October. About a week after they returned I rang and excitedly told
had just returned from Paris and that I was sure I had seen them under
the Eiffel Tower. You should have heard her. Boy did I have her going!
That's what she gets for not inviting us along on the 25th anniversary
As always it was great to see them again and to catch up on events of
the past few years, as well as stories of their trip. I have said it
before, we cross paths with some people in our lives that just remain
friends forever with very little effort, and when you see them every
so often, it's just like you see them everyday. Friendships where time
is no barrier. They're special friends.
We have 3 weeks to make our way down
to Bundaberg which includes time on Magnetic Island, a week on Daydream
Island, a week at Airlie Beach and then Bowen (yes, we know that is
going backwards but not far) and then down to Bundy to get the van
ready for our 7 weeks on the Sunshine Coast and Burrum Heads as well as
a week in Brisbane to get a few jobs done.
So that is it for October. The first of November will have us on the
ferry to Magnetic Island and then plenty more adventures as we start to
head south. Christmas decorations are already in the shops so the big
count down begins.
new what true happiness was until I got married... Then it was too late.