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Archive for September 14th, 2008

Day 27 – 14th September

Posted by TravellingStrom on September 14, 2008

The camp site was once again full of backpacker workers, which meant the fridge was chockers of their gear. I had managed to put my camelback bladder in the fridge, also a bottle of coke, and that went missing straight away, the bastards!! Anyway, I woke up early at my normal time of around 6-6.30 but it was already getting light and it was only 5am! Guess a new time zone takes getting used to. Anyway I packed up early and was on the road, my goal was Halls Creek and the Wolf Creek meteorite crater.

I had been trying to plan this for a while, but there was a 100km section of dirt along the Tanami Track to negotiate. I wanted to leave my gear somewhere and do it with no luggage, then return after taking some photos and continue on, or maybe stay in a motel. I had been warned by many people, don’t go there, get fuel and keep on going, the locals will rip stuff off your bike right in front of you etc it is very expensive etc. Anyway I decided to go there and the best thing was to ask the local coppers about the track, then make a decision. So, off I trot, here is a nice dawn photo of the lake at Kununrra

I had a quick rest stop at Doon Doon, just because I can

Then just down the track met some wide loads, these I am more used to seeing around my home town, but WA is a heavy mining state as well.

The road was interesting, lots of corners as I skirted the Kimberly and nice bluffs

I got to Halls Creek just before midday and chatted up the local copper

His basic response to road conditions was “shit”, in fact there had been a few rollovers over the past few days, no one hurt though. The track was loose and bumpy with heaps of dust holes and sand drifts as it was at the end of the season. Well, decision made, I am not going to see it this time. He showed me a photo of the hole in the ground, not much to see and not worth dying over. So, go west my boy

Just as a side note, I had absolutely no problems with any of the local indigenous population.

Then about 1pm I spotted on the horizon in front of me a couple of dust columns, which concerned me as I hate Willy Willys when riding, they throw dust in your eyes and can unbalance you on the bike. I noticed as I got closer that the dust had settled but there was a small smoke column now, then when I rounded the next corner I came upon this scene

There were 2 cars already parked next to this road train that had come off the road and burst into flames. The driver got out without a scratch, the same cannot be said for the truck. It was towing 3 flat beds with EWP lifting platforms on them, one survived, the rest was trash. I took some videos, if I have time I will embed one here.

There was a number of pops and bangs as gas bottles cooked off, then one diesel tank flamed up, no explosion of course. I ended up spending about 15mins filming before continuing on. A tour operator had turned up and he had a Sat phone, so I was not needed.

I stopped just up the road at the Mary Pool rest area for my rest break, this river is wide and empty

Anyway, I left it as is and headed off west and continued to see interesting bluffs and formations

I stopped at another road side rest stop in the middle of nowhere. It was extremely hot by this stage, but I did not have long to go now, but it was getting late.

I finally got into Fitzroy Crossing at 1.45pm and decided on a camp site at $13 instead of an air conditioned cabin at $175 as you can well imagine!! First things first though, once I booked into reception, I went straight to the bar to watch the Storm go down to the Warriors. Met Chris the groundsman and also a pommy chap called Luke who works behind the bar. He was interested in my trip as he is also travelling. No photos, I am slack I know 🙂 I went and did my tent thing after that, which turns out to be nearly 1km away from reception and the pool and bar 😦 I went for a look in town, but it was all closed so bought some fuel and then walked back up to the bar. The prices for food were off the planet, so I tried to buy some takeaways, but it is not allowed!!! Apparently, you have to have a room key to get takeaway drinks, because it is a dry community, but all the caravanners were drinking the stuff they brought in, go figure, I guess the local cops are not going to wander around and book campers. But, in the bar, they have to write down every transaction and it gets inspected up to 4 times a day. So, I bought some coke and got some scoops of ice and went down and had a few rums instead! Luke had mentioned that it gets cold overnight, so I put up the fly and got out my doona. It was 44C today so it was a stinker and still quite warm in the evening, but I crashed out around 9.30.

Day – 662 km
Trip – 7689km
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