I was woken on a cold morning early by the noisy 3 Japanese travellers just tented near me. As it turns out they had been attacked by ants overnight and had ended up sleeping in the car. The noise was them brushing all the ants from all the gear! Lucky I did not have that problem, or so I thought at the time. I had done some reading and wanted to see some things up at Derby. Some fellow travellers had also mentioned a phenomenon called Stairway To The Moon which I wanted to see and it was apparently happening over the next few days on the full moon. I thought they said this was in Derby, so I wanted to see that and it meant staying overnight.
Of I went and this is a totally different Fitzroy River I had left at home, for a start it is nearly empty
The road started off boring
But, I did not have much time for scenery as something was biting my feet. Only my left one seemed to be effected, but after about ½ an hour I pulled over and removed the damm ants nest from my boot!
They were only tiny, but had big teeth I can tell you, my sock was covered in them. I eventually got rid of or killed most of them the little buggers! Then on the road again for a while until the next designated rest stop, this was marked by an extremely old and large Boab tree.
I had some smoko here and removed all the bloody ants from my right boot this time, grrrr! Hopefully I have eliminated them all. There was a lot of bushfires here but as Aussie plants do, they come back and thrive on a bit of heat. Here you can see the tree was burnt black, the leaves are still brown and dead, but it has started to sprout new growth, amazing stuff!
Around 11.30am it was boiling hot and I eventually got to Derby where I passed the turnoff to the Prison Boab Tree, one of the reasons I wanted to come and look.
The inside was totally hollow and it was huge! These trees can be up to 1000 years old or more! Just next to it is the longest water trough in the southern hemisphere of 120m long, fed by a windmill bore
The other thing Derby is known for is the largest tidal range in Australia of 11m from low to high, the water streams in and out. I went up to see if there was anything to see, but just a working jetty with no where to park or shady spot to sit, so I took a few photos and nicked off.
I pulled up at the Willare Bridge roadhouse to eat the salad roll I had bought in Derby, nice and shady tree, just what I wanted as the heat was atrocious.
I got into Broome just after 1pm and bumped into Jim and Lesley, they are riding 2up on a Moto Guzzi with trailer and are from the states. I booked in to the town caravan park for 2 nights as it turns out the Stairway To The Moon is not until tomorrow night and is in Broome not Derby, go figure. It was also just a 100m walk to the viewing area. I set up camp and went for a ride into town to find a shop that sold fold up cooler bags. I bought one at Woolies as well as some other items and some beer. I saw this statue which is a tribute to all those who lost their lives in the deep pearl diving industry which is what Broome is famous for.
Then I had a quiet afternoon by the beachside reading a book and having a coldie, it was low tide and the hovercraft were out playing
Once the sun went down it was just watch the moon rise, I did not go to the viewing area as I was lazy, I will do that tomorrow night, but you can see the berm that has been built to see the full effect.
Then I had a few beers with another traveller called Brian and chatted up Kati, from Finland who is on a 12 month visa. The flying foxes were rampant right above the camp, so I knew I would need ear plugs to be able to sleep.
Day – 500km
Trip – 8189km
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