Wednesday 3rd July, 2013 – Mount James to Barlangi Rock, Western Australia
We were woken in the wee early hours by the sound of rain on the camper and it was all hands on deck to get packed-up and hit the road. I think we now hold the record for packing away a Camprite TL8s camper. The rain turned out to be a light shower, though Murphy’s Law, if had we not moved the heavens would have opened up and we would probably still be there with shovels trying to recover the vehicles.
We parked-up a few kilometres down the road and had a dignified cuppa and a slice of toast to start the day.
The next stop was the Mount Gould Police Station and Lockup, which was an operational Police Station from 1888 until the early 1900s.
We arrived at Meekatharra at around lunchtime for a bite to eat and to refuel the Toyota and then it was onto the Meekatharra – Sandstone Road as we made our way south…….anything to avoid the bitumen roads.
We arrived at Barlangi Rock early afternoon and decided it would be a great place to camp, with plenty of wood for the fire and sheltered by the rock itself. We were not wrong, with the sounds of the bellbirds singing, no flies, and the most beautiful sunset….just perfect. As we had arrived in the early afternoon, Julie had a chance to try out her skills with the Garrett Metal Detector, with a view of gathering enough gold to pay for our next adventure……..unfortunately the gold remained in the ground.
Total distance covered today 362km’s.
Thursday 4th July, 2013 – Balangi Rock to Mount Magnet, Western Australia
We had a bit of a sleep in this morning to make-up for yesterday’s early start with the rain. It was a great feeling to be sitting around the campfire and watch the dawn approach from the east over the Mulga’s (Acacia aneura). For those of us that are campfire perfectionists, I’ve found over the years that Mulga is by far the best wood for a decent campfire….with maybe a bit of sandalwood thrown in to give it a great smell of the bush.
Having finished our third cup of billy tea it was onto Sandstone and to visit some of the attractions such as the Old Brewery and London Bridge. We also made a visit to the information centre and Shire Offices to have a look over the old photographs of Sandstone in it’s glory during the days of the gold rush through the lower Murchison Goldfields….what a town it was!
From Sandstone it was onto Mount Magnet on now what is a bitumen road to cover the 160km. Mount Magnet was another of my haunts, having lived and worked there from 1982-85 and will always hold a special place in my heart. While doing the rounds of the town, I was a little saddened to see that my old house at Lot 307 Attwood Street had been demolished……the end of an era for Greg!
We made our way out of town mid-afternoon and made camp a few kilometres to the south-west at a little spot well known for it’s alluvial gold. Julie was to spend the afternoon and following morning fossicking with her Garrett Detector.
It was another great camp, with a roaring Mulga campfire to keep warm. We had noticed that the nights were getting much colder as we had been moving south from the Kimberly and Northern territory….tonight would be no exception.
Total distance covered today 291km’s.
Friday 5th July, 2013 – Mount Magnet to Ninghan Turn-off
We broke camp in the early afternoon to make our way south to Paynes Find and what would be our last night of the trip before returning to Perth. While Julie was determined to find a couple of those elusive 1oz nuggets; or bigger, it wasn’t to be this trip. Though thanks to her determination, there are a few less ring-pulls, nails and screws for the next punter to worry about.
It was a short drive down to Paynes Find and for us to make camp near the Ninghan Turn-off. Tonight would be a special night, with no expense spared on the scotch fillet steaks and associated trimmings. After all, this was our last meal away and bush camp, so we wanted to make the most of it. The campfire was also a nice one being fed with Mulga and Eucalypts…another great combination of timbers on those cold nights.
Total distance covered today 191km’s.
Saturday 6th to Monday 8th July, 2013 – Ninghan Turn-off to Perth
It’s our last day today for the final drive into Perth. Both Julie and I have faces like smacked bottoms, though we are always like that at the end of our trips. As we made our way south on the Great Northern Hwy, it felt like we were the only vehicle heading in that direction. All we could see coming from the opposite direction were all these happy campers having just left Perth on their respective first day out…..lucky them!
We arrived into the Perth metropolitan area at around 2.00pm and it was straight down to the car wash to give the Toyota and Camprite their duly earned birthdays. As always both the Landcruiser and Camprite TL8s had performed exceptionally well over the past couple of months. Both vehicles being a credit to Crikey Camper Hire and did not miss a beat over the course of the trip.
Over the next couple of days we spent the time at Dads place unpacking the vehicles and cleaning them from top to bottom.
Monday lunchtime we headed over to Crikey in Osborne Park to hand the vehicles over and say our goodbyes.
Total distance covered 379km’s.
Total distance covered for the trip 15,200km’s.
We now have a week left in Perth to spend with friends and family before returning to the UK and will of course be adding another entry before the blog is closed off.
Thanks for reading our blog and please visit our ‘Photographs’ page for other pics taken along our travels. Comments and questions are always welcome.
All the best,
Greg and Julie
Adventure before Dementia