11/08/16 On our way north from Port Hedland, we decided to bypass the popular beach camp spots of Pardoo Station, Barn Hill Station and Eighty Mile Beach and do them on the way back south later on. They all appear to be chockers and have a fair sprinkling of adverse comments about “regulars” causing grief for “non-regulars”. We can do without the chook yard politics, and have headed through to spend a few days in Broome before going on towards Kununurra. The further north we travel, the hotter it’s getting. Hopefully, the “regulars” will have moved south by the time the heat in the north drives us back down that way.
The 300km stretch between Sandfire Roadhouse and Roebuck Plains Roadhouse had to be the most dead set boring drive we’ve yet done. The country was flat and the flora dull or dead, with little of interest to be found outside the vehicle. To help pass the time, we listened to podcast after podcast. Passing us on their way south was an almost continuous stream of caravans and motorhomes, and my waving hand wore out. Hopefully, we said, they will all be those “regulars” pulling up stakes and leaving the north empty for us, as we also nursed concerns about what might be driving them south – perhaps the heat? Hopefully, it is only the start of the lawn bowls season beckoning them back home.
At the Roebuck Plains Roadhouse Caravan Park, 30 minutes from Broome, we got a site for a couple of nights to take us up to our booking at Broome’s Cable Beach Caravan Park. Good thing we’d booked too as all the parks were full; so much for the north being empty. After lunch and a swim in the pool, Di and I drove into Broome to have a look around and watched the sun sizzle into the Indian Ocean from Cable Beach. We also checked out Cable Beach Caravan Park and chose to stay on at Roebuck Plains rather than pay the much higher prices in Broome.
Di’s bling was enhanced with a ring featuring a local Keshi pearl on a hand-crafted gold band that really looked great on her hand. My points score jumped considerably.
We caught up with Glenn and Graeme who we hadn’t seen for a couple of years, at their palatial caravan site at Cable Beach, for drinks and a very enjoyable afternoon. While Di went off for a massage and chiro session, I was off to Matso’s Brewery to sample a selection of their boutique beers, settling on some take-a-ways of their Mango Beer and Ginger Beer.
Broome’s town centre is located at the end of its International Airport runway, and while strolling around, it was interesting, if not a little unnerving, to have anything from an international flight to a small float plane or military fighter jet roar by close overhead on its landing approach. You can pick the locals – they don’t look up.
Back at Roebuck, we chatted with a seasoned traveller who had just come through the Gibb River Road, describing it as atrocious and a tyre killer on his rig and many others. The area was exceedingly dry this time of year with hardly any flow in the Pentecost River. Crossing the Pentecost was our main reason for doing the GRR, so we decided to do just the both ends and skip the middle section. It just didn’t sound like fun to do the whole road. Moreover, the tyre budget was just blown in Broome on bling …
We’ll just go another way.
“I will take the ring,” he said, “though I do not know the way.” – Frodo Baggins