29 July, Monday to 4 August, Sunday
29.07.2013 - 04.08.2013 32 °C
We crossed the border into WA!!!! Woo Hoo. Big moment for us.
NSW, QLD, NT and now we are here in WA. 14 weeks on the road and almost 14,000 ks on the clock. YAY us.
Crossing a state border has been uneventful generally but not here in WA. Massive checkpoint. Quarantine Officers are on duty at this checkpoint 24 hours a day. They search cars and caravans for honey and all fruits and vegetables. We didn’t expect this at all and were fully stocked for the big drive from Darwin. We had to wind swifty up so we could access the vegetable basket then surrender it to the officer. Bummer. So that was our welcome to WA. Very serious stuff.
Kununurra has been lovely though. We camped right at Lake Kununurra. A shimmering lake with lily pads, reeds and green grassy banks with a rocky mountainous backdrop.
The caravan park and the town in general is home to these amazing boab trees. Large trunks and small tops. For this reason I feel a real connection. I have been laughing with Sherrie saying my new name is now Julie Boabsboom.
One of the boab trees in our caravan park is 2,000 years old. These trees look like they are straight out of a storybook. Sherrie and I imagined that Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree looked like one of these Boab trees.
We did a few day trips out from Kununurra during our stay. One trip we made was a 100 ks north to a town called Wyndham. Not much there but it is WA’s northern most town so we felt compelled to drive there as we were ever so close. A large 20 metre fibreglass crocodile greeted us as we drove into Wyndham. Quite impressive. Apparently 5.5 Kilometres of steel rod was used the make this monster. Naturally we stopped to take photos but there was no way we could insert any of our limbs into its jaws because we just couldn’t reach up that high. It was a big sucker. I know you are all disappointed about not seeing us fighting for our lives again. Ha ha.
At Wyndham you can drive up to a lookout and actually see where the 5 major rivers in WA meet the Cambridge Gulf. The Ord River, Durack River, King River, Pentecost River and the Forest River. AMAZING. We felt quite small up there looking down at the vast rivers systems. We loved the bronze map up there that showed how far Wyndham was from major cities / countries. Hard to believe that only 712 kilometers from where we stood was Timor. Heck we have driven that in a day so that is really close.
Apart from a small harbour, a deserted pub and a street with very few shops that’s it for Wyndham. Lots of aboriginals sitting around in groups here and there in parks etc. We didn’t spend much time there at all. Pretty much a drive in, quick drink at the pub, then out again.
We did stop and look at the Prison Tree on the way out of Wyndham. We drove about 50 ks return on a 4WD track to the middle of nowhere to see this tree. A large Boab tree that was hollowed out and used as an overnight cell to hold prisoners. The tree had a small window carved out of it. The tree is of course dead and has been quite badly damaged by tourists carving their names into the tree. Should have really given this one a miss but the lady in the petrol station at Wyndham said to go and that it was great. Hmmmm.
We had some fun nights out in Kununurra. We went to the pub for Karaoke one night. Everyone in the town goes and everyone in the town sings. Of course none of them can actually sing but they all get up anyway. Sherrie sang Lauryn Hill’s version of Killing me softly and bought the house down. She’s good. I had quite a hangover though the next day and had to go back to bed mid morning with some panadols. Sherrie said she didn’t have panadol’s when I asked but did have the genetic brand. I told her I was pretty right for DNA but would happily go the generic brand of headache pills that she had. Ha ha.
We also put on our checkered shirts and boots one night and took ourselves off to the Kununurra Rodeo. Sherrie had never been to a rodeo before so it was a must do for us. The bar was open for drinks and we bought some hot chips and hot dogs and sat in the grandstand riveted. Loved the guy who decided to streak across the showground in the break. The crowd was just silent through it all despite his best efforts to fling his arms up and do the big twirl. There were at best a few chuckles and then he climbed out of the ring and disappeared into the car park. So that sort of stuff happens at rodeo’s too. Ha ha. Poor guy, what an anticlimax getting absolutely no reaction from the crowd. The rodeo was good. Couldn’t believe they have under 12’s. They call them potty riders and they ride the calves. The youngest was just 6. What’s up with these parents? Crazy. After the rodeo we went to the pub to have a drink with Tash. Tash is on a roaming holiday like ours except she works along the way. In Kununurra she’s a barmaid. She and her hubby and kids are in a similar van to swifty and were camped close to us. We clicked straight away when we met her and have enjoyed her company whilst we have been here. Her next stop is Broome too so we will definitely meet up again there.
The best thing we did here was take a day trip to Emma Gorge. It’s about 100 ks from Kununurra accessible from the Gibb River Road then an hour hike from the picnic area / car park. I think it could be the most beautiful water hole we have swam in so far but we are just so overloaded now with beautiful places that it is just so difficult to rate anymore. It’s the dry season now so there was no water fall but there was water dripping from the overhanging gorge rocks like rain. A constant steady rain. It apparently takes a very very long time for rain to seep through theses rocks and eventually drip out through the bottom into the water hole. Sherrie and I swam the perimeter of the water hole stopping for a chat with fellow travelers here and there. People are always so friendly at these places. Guess we are meeting like minded people who just love this country and this life as much as we do.
Really enjoyed our stay at our caravan park. On our last night we dragged our camp chairs down to the lake at sunset and listened to a local aboriginal singer / guitarist play for us. He was struggling a bit with a sore throat and asked if there were any singers in the group. I put my hand up and volunteered Sherrie. I'm good at that. ha ha She sang Lionel Ritchie’s EASY and the crowd loved her. It was her best ever singing I thought. A little later he called her up again for Elvis Presley’s SUSPICIOUS MINDS. Awesome. She’s quite well known in the town of Kununurra now after this and her sensational singing at Karaoke. We kicked on at swifty for a bit after sunset with Tash. Then it was time to say goodbye and move on.
Getting closer to Broome. Very exciting.